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ATOS (one day this could be you)

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Elizabethofseasons Report 6 Sep 2013 23:37

Gentle nudge please for Joy's post.

Needed for advice and support.

Thank you.


Treehunter Report 5 Mar 2013 15:56

Got may date for tribunal its on the 25th March. I have got someone tbhat can take me and bring me back. But cant find anyone that can come in with me.

I have been back to doctor and he said he do his best with a letter but said the way things going it may not be any help.

Its making me very ill with the stress but he cant give me anything to help.

Will let you know how i get on.



ChrisofWessex Report 5 Mar 2013 15:29

Today on lunchtime news was a report of a man who had been a butcher. He had been refused benefit and was going to have to go to Tribunal.

He was in a wheelchair, had had one leg amputated and lost some fingers. His wife was a fulltime carer but the powers that be believed he was fit for work.

*$parkling $andie*

*$parkling $andie* Report 20 Feb 2013 01:15

Lets hope they get it sorted sensiblly ,fairly and justifyible then !


JoyBoroAngel Report 19 Feb 2013 18:44

well it looks more sensible than whats happening now :-D


Porkie_Pie Report 18 Feb 2013 16:31

Elizabeth, The report was from parliament, The Public Accounts Committee



Elizabeth2469049 Report 18 Feb 2013 16:23

Whose Report was this? from anyone with enough clout to get reforms moving?


OneFootInTheGrave Report 18 Feb 2013 15:49

From the Report on the Department for Work and Pensions: Contract management of medical services - 08 February 2013

Conclusions and recommendations

1. The decision-making process for new Employment Support Allowance applications and Incapacity Benefit reassessments all too often leads to the wrong decisions and is failing far too many people. Claimants have successfully challenged these decisions in 38% of appeals. In one third of these cases, the appeals have been upheld simply because the Tribunal disagrees with the original decision rather than because new evidence is provided on the day. This raises serious questions about the quality of the overall decision-making process. The Department represented appeals as an inherent part of the process but it does not have the information to judge whether the current rate of appeals indicates serious weaknesses in the decision-making process which could be rectified. We welcome the recent actions by the Department to obtain feedback from HM Courts and Tribunals Service. The Department must collect the detailed information needed to understand why there are so many appeals and why so many of them are successful, so that the contractor can improve its performance and DWP can change its assessment process if necessary.

2. The Work Capability Assessment may unduly penalise people with specific health problems. The one size fits all approach is not appropriate for particular groups, for example, people with mental health, rare or variable conditions. The process is too inflexible and makes it extremely difficult for individuals with particular conditions to demonstrate the impact of their conditions on their ability to work. Too often the process is so stressful for applicants that it can impact on their health. The Department should assess whether the Work Capability Assessment process is unfair to these claimant groups by looking at whether its initial decision is less accurate in these cases and, if so, make changes to its processes where appropriate. We welcome the initial efforts made to improve the process and encourage the Department to continue to review the operation of the work capability assessment for vulnerable groups.

3. The Department does not know the full cost to the taxpayer of the overall decision-making process for Work Capability Assessments. Whilst some costs are known, such as the £26.3 million paid to HM Courts and Tribunals Service for its work on appeals, there is little information on the cost and impact on the National Health Service or on some of the internal interactions within the Department. Without a full understanding of these costs, the Department cannot come to an evidence-based conclusion on the value for money of its current decision-making process. The Department should establish the full costs of the process so that it can benchmark with relevant organisations on the cost effectiveness of its approach.

4. The Department has failed to develop a competitive market for medical services. The market for medical service providers is under-developed and Atos Healthcare is currently the sole supplier for all the Department's medical assessments. It has also been awarded two of the three current contracts for the Personal Independence Payment. The Department is too relaxed about the risk to value for money resulting from a dependence on a monopoly supplier, and on the limitations this has on the Department's capacity to remedy poor performance. The Department should assess the risks associated with the use of a monopoly supplier and actively pursue opportunities to develop a competitive market through the deployment of its framework contract.

5. The Department lacks sufficient rigour in managing the contract with Atos Healthcare. It has adopted a light-touch approach to managing this contract and placed too much reliance upon information provided by the contractor. The Department seems reluctant to challenge Atos Healthcare. It has failed to withhold payment for poor performance and rarely checked that it is being correctly charged for work. The lack of challenging targets for medical quality allows the contractor to conduct thousands of poorly administered tests each year without sanction. The Department needs to reduce its dependence on the contractor's information and processes by adopting a more active and interventionist approach to contract management. This should include obtaining more of its own assurance on information provided by Atos Healthcare, active enforcement of the sanctions available to it through the service credit regime and the setting of more challenging targets on the quality of medical assessments.

6. The Department cannot explain how the contractor's profits reflect the limited risk that it bears. Moreover, in a new contract for the Personal Independence Payment, Atos Healthcare is sub-contracting to the National Health Service for part of its work, suggesting it is transferring risk back to the public sector. The Department should explain how the profitability of the contract reflects the actual transfer of risk for both the Work Capability Assessment and the Personal Independence Payment medical assessment contracts.

7. The Department must improve its internal processes to improve the quality of decision-making and contract management. The size of the Department and its impact on individuals and on the public purse requires us to have the utmost confidence in the capability of the Department to deliver. Robust systems are a crucial part of this. We are concerned that the Department is unduly complacent regarding the quality of the decision-making process, particularly given the hardship which can be caused to individuals when the decision is wrong.


jax Report 18 Feb 2013 14:25

A lot of people swear by this site Benefits and work

It costs about £20 a year and I did join once, but did'nt find them that useful for the money, you can read the forum for free....bit like on here, so you may see something that relates to your query. Most of the questions are about ESA/DLA and tribunals


ChrisofWessex Report 18 Feb 2013 14:18

Thank you all for info and advice.


jax Report 18 Feb 2013 00:08

I have Primary progressive multiple sclerosis....I was told after my first medical which I did'nt appeal against, as they had not bought this one year rule in at that time... that I would be fit for work in 6 months :-S

I had stopped working just over 6 months before this medical and had got how he thought I would be better in another 6 months I don't know

You only have to watch these programs about how people have died whilst being told they are fit for work, to see they hav'nt a clue or dont care because they get money for getting people back into work


Porkie_Pie Report 17 Feb 2013 23:48

What i don't understand is that I have degenerative heart disease, degenerative lower spine, and hardening of the arteries, and COPD which is also degenerative, all confirmed by specialists plus the so called specialist Doctor who did the investigation and examined me at the ATOS assessment/medical and So what's the point of me going back in 2 years,

Do they think my condition will improve with time?

what part of the word (degenerative) do they not understand

A degenerative disease is a disease in which the function or structure of the affected tissues or organs will progressively deteriorate over time,



ChrisofWessex Report 17 Feb 2013 23:10

I know he has kept every letter re hospital appointments and operations etc over the years .As he told them his medical conditions and ops could be checked on at the local hospital, they have ignored that.

He was not examined this time by a dr but a nurse which surprised him. He also gets very stressed by things like this - as I am sure each and everyone does, so if I can find out all I can, it will help.


jax Report 17 Feb 2013 22:59

It took over a year for mine to go to tribunal....but make sure he has a lot of medical evidence to back up his claim Chris

I got ESA aswell Roy, but Work related activity group, which meant I had to go to the job centre every couple of months and after a year the ESA would have stopped...As I was appealing the distance I could actually walk (less than 50 mtrs) when this so called dr put 200mtrs I got put in the support group which now means it will continue indefinatly....or until they decide I have now been cured :-D


ChrisofWessex Report 17 Feb 2013 22:45

He had a medical (he has had these every 18 mths to 2 yrs) and as a result this time was deemed fit for work (even his GP cannot work that one out). GP promptly gave him a sick note. Appealed and was sent a long form to fill out and after 2 months has been told no change and sent copies of their medical notes and said he will hear shortly re tribunal.

Someone on here complained about things being changed around - this has happened to him also.

By the sound of it from this thread it will be a long wait.


Porkie_Pie Report 17 Feb 2013 22:36

Jax, you are correct

"At the tribunal you will be questioned and examined by a doctor"

I should have said,

"At the medical you will be questioned and examined by a doctor"

I never got as far a tribunal i was put on the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for 2 years so no need to go through an appeal



MrDaff Report 17 Feb 2013 20:54

My SiL can't get benefits.....according to the 'powers that be'.

She's worked as a nurse for NHS for over 30 years but has been off sick.Started back to work 2 weeks ago. she's had a 12 week notice of 'termination', then last week, her 6 week notice that, if they can't find her a post, she's 'out'.

Her problem? Brain tumor - classed recently as being benign, but 'in to dangerous a position to remove' .....

No job - no house.

Her case would be put to ATOS - not much chance then :-(


jax Report 17 Feb 2013 20:07

Think you may have it wrong there Roy

After filling in the 20 page form ESA50 you may need to go for a medical...if you are not happy with th decision you can then appeal and get it overturned with the help of some medical evidence.
My one went to tribunal as I did'nt realise this and was seen by two ladies a Dr and a Lawyer, they were very nice asked a couple of questions and all was over in minutes.

I think you used to be able to ask someone from the CAB to go with you, but they maybe able to help if not? I just went with OH


Porkie_Pie Report 17 Feb 2013 18:32

Chris, Contact the jobcentre plus

You are encouraged to make your initial claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by telephoning Jobcentre Plus on: 0800 055 6688 or textphone: 0800 023 4888. There is also a Welsh language line number on: 0800 012 1888. In Northern Ireland, phone: 0800 085 6318 or if you have hearing or speech problems: 0800 328 3419.


They send you a 20 page form to fill in about your medical condition and ask for evidance from your doctor

At the tribunal you will be questioned and examined by a doctor



ChrisofWessex Report 17 Feb 2013 17:37

What actually happens at a Tribunal? Where does one contact a Benefits Officer to accompany you? I ask so I can pass this info on to someone who is now in this position.