Medical assessment centre in Mansfield could be axed along with job centre services

Mansfield Job Centre, Commercial Gate
Mansfield Job Centre, Commercial Gate

A service that provides work capability assessments for ill and disabled people could be relocated - meaning Mansfield residents would have to travel for up to an hour each way for appointments .

The Medical Services Assessment Centre at Hill House on Commercial Gate in Mansfield could be moved to the centre of Nottingham after it was announced that the building will no longer be used by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)

A letter sent by DWP said: “This move is part of DWP’s continued drive to deliver public services in more innovative and cost effective ways.

“We have sought to ensure that the estate from which we operate continues to meet the changing needs of our business and our claimants.”

It was announced last week that the building housing the service could be closed as the office space is under used.

All 18 staff from the current site would be relocated to the Pearson Building on Upper Parliament Street.

Alan Meale, MP for Mansfield said he will be opposing the plans.

He said: “I don’t know how we can expect people that are at their most vulnerable, the ill and disabled to make such a long journey to Nottingham.

“The reality is that they won’t be able to get there. It is a disgrace.”

People attending the assessment centre will be able to claim the cost of public and private transport from their current address. Home visits can also be arranged.

The DWP has revealed that two job centres in Nottinghamshire could also face closure.

Services at Hill House on Commercial Gate in Mansfield and Ashbrook House, on Forest Street in Sutton could be merged with other local authority sites.

Under new plans the job centre facility at Hill House will be merged with the Job Centre Plus at Mansfield District Council Civic Centre on Chesterfield Road.

Services at Ashbrook House will be merged with the Job Centre Plus at Ashfield District Council Offices on Urban Road in Kirkby.

The DWP said that 20 per cent of office space is being under-used as more people are making benefit claims online.

It claimed the plans to streamline services will save around £180 million a year nationally for the next 10 years.