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#810808 - 26th Jul 2013 12:40pm ATOS suffers 2 major body blows
j_demo Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th Nov 2011
Posts: 1827
Loc: Wallasey/New Brighton
got this email circulated round work originally from www.benefitsandwork.co.uk which i think some of you may be interested in reading!

===============================================================================

Atos Suffers Two Major Body Blows

Dear Recovery Project,

Atos have been left reeling after two severe blows to their survival as providers of medical assessments in the course of a week. First, a government audit has found that their work capability assessments are so poor that not only must all their current health professionals undergo retraining but also new providers are to be brought in to break up the Atos monopoly by next summer.

Second, an upper tribunal judge has ruled that the opinion of a physiotherapist – on whom Atos are heavily reliant both for carrying out WCAs and even more so for PIP medicals - is of no value if the claimant has a mental health condition. The ramifications of this decision could be huge.

Meanwhile, GPs in South Wales have been told by their local governing body to always refuse to provide letters for claimants in connection with benefits claims as it is ‘an abuse of the national health service’. Only requests by the DWP will be met in future.

Elsewhere, rumours that the software for universal credit has had to be scrapped and started afresh continue to grow. It is looking more and more likely that there will be no genuine rollout of universal credit before the next general election.

ATOS LOSES MONOPOLY
Atos healthcare is to lose its long-held monopoly stranglehold on work capability assessments (open access) from next summer. The News comes as the DWP revealed that 41% of sampled Atos reports had achieved only a ‘c’ grade in a recent audit.

Atos has been the only provider of work capability assessment medicals for employment and support allowance and of its forerunner, the all work test for incapacity benefit, since DWP medical services were outsourced. Campaigners have long argued that the assessments carried out by Atos were not of an acceptable standard but, up until now, the DWP have always defended Atos as if they were part of the same department.

Now, however, the government has decided that Atos is not up to standard and that an improvement plan has to be put into place. Measures include retraining and re-evaluating all Atos health professionals, bringing in a third party to assess Atos’ own audits of its work and engaging Price Waterhouse Coopers to provide advice on improving quality assurance.

ATOS PHYSIO’S EVIDENCE OF NO VALUE
Atos could be in even more difficulties following an upper tribunal decision that the opinion of an Atos health professional who is a physiotherapist was of “no probative value whatsoever” where it concerned a claimant who had a mental, rather than physical, health condition.

The case involved a claimant who had been placed in the WRAG but had appealed to be placed in the support group. The claimant’s mental health conditions included depression and bouts of uncontrollable rage. The judge stated that:

“I can only express my surprise that in a case where the only issue was the mental health of the claimant and its effect in relation to the mental health descriptors, the report was prepared by a physiotherapist following a 15 minute interview. It is plainly important that questions of mental health should be assessed by a disability analyst with appropriate mental health qualifications if their opinion is to be of any evidential value. Even then tribunals should beware of placing too much weight on such reports, based as they are on a very short interview with a claimant and without access to medical records.“

Although the decision, which was highlighted on the Rightsnet discussion forum for welfare rights workers, relates to ESA there is no logical reason why similar arguments cannot be employed in relation to PIP, where a very similar points based system is in place. This could pose a massive problem for Atos whose successful bid for the PIP medical assessment contract stated that they would be using the following health professionals:

933 physiotherapists
373 nurses
75 occupational therapists
19 doctors.

There seems little doubt that the DWP will appeal the decision. Meanwhile, however, we’ll be updating our ESA appeals guide in the near future to take account of this decision – and to look at the potential advantages and risks of using it in your own appeal

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#810814 - 26th Jul 2013 1:05pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13473
Loc: Wirral
ATOS are a foreign company anyway.It's a good thing they are being scrutised and challenged. In the same way as many other companies of foreign decent, that are telling us what we can or can't do, should be.

It's a good thing.
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#810837 - 26th Jul 2013 3:11pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
bigpete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 7th May 2009
Posts: 336
Loc: Thingwall
Erm - it's the DWP/Dept of Health that brought them in - cos they were cheap - not because they were foreign....
Pound to a penny the Govt depts knew they were gonna be rubbish....

The physio assessing a mental health issue is a classic - unless it happens to you - or anyone you know...

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#810854 - 26th Jul 2013 4:20pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4944
Loc: Birkenhead
Now, however, the government has decided that Atos is not up to standard and that an improvement plan has to be put into place

I suppose they're not up to standard because not enough people have been forced back into the labour market and off benefits.
They'll get someone else in who, desperate to keep the contract,
will be a lot more aggressive in their appraisals.

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#810856 - 26th Jul 2013 4:23pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: bigpete]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13473
Loc: Wirral
Bigpete, have we got our wires crossed here? My remark of 'I think it's a good thing' refers to them loosing their monopoly.

They would have been the cheapest, if they wanted the contract so badly.
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#810883 - 26th Jul 2013 6:02pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
I bet some of the MP's that have Atos (and associated firms) shares will be gutted!
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

It’s hard to be fit as a fiddle when you’re shaped like a cello!

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#811759 - 30th Jul 2013 8:00am Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
SpongesGirl Offline
Member

Registered: 14th Oct 2012
Posts: 64
Loc: wirral
These guys are complete idiots, instead of kicking the people who can actually work off the benefits they're kicking the people who have a genuine reason to not work off them.

A friend of mine, her husband is literally a ticking time bomb and doctors and hospitals are baffled by him there's that much wrong. He's been denied a benefit he is fully well entitled to because of the yes/no answered assessment these ATOS idiots do. The person I'm talking about has many things wrong with him but a prime example, he's only young but has had numerous strokes and has lost control of the right side of his body (he's right handed)

Q. Can you make a cup of tea? A. Yes, but only with my left hand and I can't carry the cup very far without loosing grip and only one at a time.

How is that question even relevant to the workplace? Should they not be asking to see medical records and asking more relevant questions like do you have full use of both arms, can you walk a certain distance without stopping for a break, if not why not?

I was taught on a business course about the 5 why's which means you look at you business' problems and ask why is it failing -> because there's not enough staff, why is there not enough staff -> because I cant afford them..ect. They should use the 5 why's to assess people, why can't you use your left hand -> because I lost it fighting for the freedom of the UK. Sounds like a valid reason to me. (I'm not saying that an amputee is not capable of working because a lot are but you get where I'm coming from with that.) think I'll end my rant there because I could go on forever!

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#811868 - 30th Jul 2013 4:30pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: Wench]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4944
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: Wench
I bet some of the MP's that have Atos (and associated firms) shares will be gutted!


likewise with NHS111



Edited by derekdwc (30th Jul 2013 4:32pm)

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#811874 - 30th Jul 2013 4:59pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18993
Loc: Bob Land
There is a pilgrimage at the 'ATOS Miracle Healing Centre', Mann Island on 15th August 11am.
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#811906 - 30th Jul 2013 6:23pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
ChrisNewcastle Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 10th Dec 2007
Posts: 457
Loc: Newcastle upon Tyne/Ex wirral
If your sick or dying then forget about going to Lourdes,just pop along to an Atos healing centre like Rudebox has just said.They'll make sure you leave in tip top condition!
_________________________



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#811911 - 30th Jul 2013 6:28pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18993
Loc: Bob Land


Edited by RUDEBOX (30th Jul 2013 6:29pm)
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#816726 - 15th Aug 2013 8:32pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18993
Loc: Bob Land
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#816729 - 15th Aug 2013 8:39pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: j_demo]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18993
Loc: Bob Land
and a pic.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Atos pilgrimage (Copy).jpg


_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#816742 - 15th Aug 2013 9:02pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: RUDEBOX]
workinclasshero Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 22nd Nov 2011
Posts: 116
Loc: wallasey
that looks like father Ted and sister Fanny

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#816751 - 15th Aug 2013 9:14pm Re: ATOS suffers 2 major body blows [Re: RUDEBOX]
workinclasshero Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 22nd Nov 2011
Posts: 116
Loc: wallasey
Thats amasing that picture of dilly and sipperclub all dressed up, the length some people will go to To get on wikkiwirral

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