Concern as Atos retains a contract

Coun Mike Gibbons

Coun Mike Gibbons

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Sacked ‘back to work’ test firm Atos will hang onto a separate contract to test disabled people in the district – triggering fresh criticism of the Government.

The French company – under fire for bungled examinations of the long-term sick – will stop that work within a year, ministers announced yesterday.

The move follows widespread accusations that Atos wrongly found sick people able to work, provided a poor service and inflicted huge delays.

Last month, campaign groups in Bradford joined in a nationwide day of protest against the company, outside its testing centre in Bank Street. Mike Penning, the disabilities minister, said a new company would be appointed in early 2015 and vowed Atos would not receive “a single penny of compensation”.

In fact, Atos had a “substantial financial settlement” to the department for work and Pensions (DWP), after it found “significant quality failures" in its post-assessment reports.

However, Mr Penning said the company would continue to carry out tests for the new personal independence payment (PIP) in much of the country, including Yorkshire.

Yet that contract has been as fiercely criticised as the work capability assessment (WCA) tests that Atos will now lose. Councillor David Green, leader of Bradford Council, said people simply wanted the process to be fair and simple.

“Most people don’t care who does their assessment, as long as it is done fairly and quickly,” he said.

“Some people in our district were waiting 18 months for an appeal to be heard. We need assurances that Atos’ replacement will be fair, responsible and quick to act.”

Councillor Mike Gibbons, chairman of the scrutiny committee which is leading a Council investigation into the way Atos was working in the district, said it was difficult to comment on the issue while the matter was ongoing, but felt the announcement “wouldn’t be sorry news for some people”.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, Liberal Democrat group leader and scrutiny committee member, said if Atos were to continue in any role, it would need to “shape up.”

Mike Penning, Minister for Disabled People, said: “We are seeking a new provider to replace Atos, with the view to increasing the number of assessments and reducing waiting times.”

Comments (8)

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8:29am Fri 28 Mar 14

OLDLAD says...

Have had two assessment by atos of which neither were mismanaged or intrusive. My advice to those awaiting assessments is be honest and do not blag. This is not a medical but questions about how you cope daily. Atos just add your replies but it is the dwp that make the decision. And before anyone asks I do not work for atos.
Have had two assessment by atos of which neither were mismanaged or intrusive. My advice to those awaiting assessments is be honest and do not blag. This is not a medical but questions about how you cope daily. Atos just add your replies but it is the dwp that make the decision. And before anyone asks I do not work for atos. OLDLAD
  • Score: -13

8:37am Fri 28 Mar 14

Grumpygirl says...

OLDLAD wrote:
Have had two assessment by atos of which neither were mismanaged or intrusive. My advice to those awaiting assessments is be honest and do not blag. This is not a medical but questions about how you cope daily. Atos just add your replies but it is the dwp that make the decision. And before anyone asks I do not work for atos.
ATOS and you obviously agreed about your condition. The problem has been all the disagreements that were later upheld on appeal.

ATOS have caused untold misery in their scramble for money. This is what happens when jobs that should be done by the public sector are privatised.
[quote][p][bold]OLDLAD[/bold] wrote: Have had two assessment by atos of which neither were mismanaged or intrusive. My advice to those awaiting assessments is be honest and do not blag. This is not a medical but questions about how you cope daily. Atos just add your replies but it is the dwp that make the decision. And before anyone asks I do not work for atos.[/p][/quote]ATOS and you obviously agreed about your condition. The problem has been all the disagreements that were later upheld on appeal. ATOS have caused untold misery in their scramble for money. This is what happens when jobs that should be done by the public sector are privatised. Grumpygirl
  • Score: 17

9:28am Fri 28 Mar 14

sorrow&anger says...

ATOS are thoroughly discredited as is the system that incentivised them. These kind of assessments should always be done by people who are financially disinterested in the outcome.
ATOS are thoroughly discredited as is the system that incentivised them. These kind of assessments should always be done by people who are financially disinterested in the outcome. sorrow&anger
  • Score: 16

9:45am Fri 28 Mar 14

pcmanners says...

The Government is just cleaning the mess up. ATOS were hired under Labour. Something our socialist Council should remember, and stop wasting money interfering in national politics.
The Government is just cleaning the mess up. ATOS were hired under Labour. Something our socialist Council should remember, and stop wasting money interfering in national politics. pcmanners
  • Score: -15

12:06pm Fri 28 Mar 14

bd7 helper says...

Instead of going to see your GP we might as well go see (lying) ATOS
Instead of going to see your GP we might as well go see (lying) ATOS bd7 helper
  • Score: 4

1:57pm Fri 28 Mar 14

RollandSmoke says...

pcmanners wrote:
The Government is just cleaning the mess up. ATOS were hired under Labour. Something our socialist Council should remember, and stop wasting money interfering in national politics.
You are right they were hired under labour. We have the governments own figures for the number of deaths within 6 weeks of being found fit for work ATOS between 2011-12. It was 10,600. If you can find the figures for any of the years under labour I would love to compare to establish whether it is ATOS or government policy that explains these deaths.
[quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: The Government is just cleaning the mess up. ATOS were hired under Labour. Something our socialist Council should remember, and stop wasting money interfering in national politics.[/p][/quote]You are right they were hired under labour. We have the governments own figures for the number of deaths within 6 weeks of being found fit for work ATOS between 2011-12. It was 10,600. If you can find the figures for any of the years under labour I would love to compare to establish whether it is ATOS or government policy that explains these deaths. RollandSmoke
  • Score: 4

4:26pm Fri 28 Mar 14

dellorri says...

Correct ATOS were hired under a labour government, when they used what was then know as the PCA (Physical Capability Test) which was based much more on a person's actual medical condition and medical records from GPs and consultants were used fully in the decision making. However in 2009 Labour had decided that the tests were not working well, and were going to end the contract when it expired in 2010 and go back to the previous form of tests which were handled by contracted NHS practitioners on behalf of the DWP. However as we all know, in 2010 the coalition took power, and under the advice from UNUM insurance, it decided to extend the ATOS contract, and to replace the PCA with the now dreaded WCA (Work Capability Assessment). This is modelled on the testing used by UNUM insurance in the USA, and is designed not to take into account any medical conditions but is based on a now discredited "biopsycho-social" medicine model. I.E. "If you think you can get better you will." Which is probably the reason ATOS assessors have been known to ask people suffering from parkinsons disease, or cerebral palsy "And when do you think you will get better?" Or as one ATOS staff tutor told her trainees "If they can use one finger, they can push a button, so they fail."

So to summarise, Yes Labour hired them, Labour used the PCA, then
The coalition extended their contract, and changed the PCA to the much tougher much less medical WCA which even tells the assessor "Do not take into account GP or consultants notes, as they are not able to judge capability of client for work."
Oh and just as a P.S. ATOS haven't been sacked by anybody, their contract just happens to end next year anyway, it's just not being renewed for the WCA.
Chief contenders for the job are G4S, SERCO and CAPITA.
Correct ATOS were hired under a labour government, when they used what was then know as the PCA (Physical Capability Test) which was based much more on a person's actual medical condition and medical records from GPs and consultants were used fully in the decision making. However in 2009 Labour had decided that the tests were not working well, and were going to end the contract when it expired in 2010 and go back to the previous form of tests which were handled by contracted NHS practitioners on behalf of the DWP. However as we all know, in 2010 the coalition took power, and under the advice from UNUM insurance, it decided to extend the ATOS contract, and to replace the PCA with the now dreaded WCA (Work Capability Assessment). This is modelled on the testing used by UNUM insurance in the USA, and is designed not to take into account any medical conditions but is based on a now discredited "biopsycho-social" medicine model. I.E. "If you think you can get better you will." Which is probably the reason ATOS assessors have been known to ask people suffering from parkinsons disease, or cerebral palsy "And when do you think you will get better?" Or as one ATOS staff tutor told her trainees "If they can use one finger, they can push a button, so they fail." So to summarise, Yes Labour hired them, Labour used the PCA, then The coalition extended their contract, and changed the PCA to the much tougher much less medical WCA which even tells the assessor "Do not take into account GP or consultants notes, as they are not able to judge capability of client for work." Oh and just as a P.S. ATOS haven't been sacked by anybody, their contract just happens to end next year anyway, it's just not being renewed for the WCA. Chief contenders for the job are G4S, SERCO and CAPITA. dellorri
  • Score: 13

4:46pm Fri 28 Mar 14

BaildonGuy says...

dellorri wrote:
Correct ATOS were hired under a labour government, when they used what was then know as the PCA (Physical Capability Test) which was based much more on a person's actual medical condition and medical records from GPs and consultants were used fully in the decision making. However in 2009 Labour had decided that the tests were not working well, and were going to end the contract when it expired in 2010 and go back to the previous form of tests which were handled by contracted NHS practitioners on behalf of the DWP. However as we all know, in 2010 the coalition took power, and under the advice from UNUM insurance, it decided to extend the ATOS contract, and to replace the PCA with the now dreaded WCA (Work Capability Assessment). This is modelled on the testing used by UNUM insurance in the USA, and is designed not to take into account any medical conditions but is based on a now discredited "biopsycho-soci
al" medicine model. I.E. "If you think you can get better you will." Which is probably the reason ATOS assessors have been known to ask people suffering from parkinsons disease, or cerebral palsy "And when do you think you will get better?" Or as one ATOS staff tutor told her trainees "If they can use one finger, they can push a button, so they fail."

So to summarise, Yes Labour hired them, Labour used the PCA, then
The coalition extended their contract, and changed the PCA to the much tougher much less medical WCA which even tells the assessor "Do not take into account GP or consultants notes, as they are not able to judge capability of client for work."
Oh and just as a P.S. ATOS haven't been sacked by anybody, their contract just happens to end next year anyway, it's just not being renewed for the WCA.
Chief contenders for the job are G4S, SERCO and CAPITA.
God help us. Is this what the country has come to. We used to have a civil service that was the envy of the world. These so called 'service' companies are money grubbing jokes.
[quote][p][bold]dellorri[/bold] wrote: Correct ATOS were hired under a labour government, when they used what was then know as the PCA (Physical Capability Test) which was based much more on a person's actual medical condition and medical records from GPs and consultants were used fully in the decision making. However in 2009 Labour had decided that the tests were not working well, and were going to end the contract when it expired in 2010 and go back to the previous form of tests which were handled by contracted NHS practitioners on behalf of the DWP. However as we all know, in 2010 the coalition took power, and under the advice from UNUM insurance, it decided to extend the ATOS contract, and to replace the PCA with the now dreaded WCA (Work Capability Assessment). This is modelled on the testing used by UNUM insurance in the USA, and is designed not to take into account any medical conditions but is based on a now discredited "biopsycho-soci al" medicine model. I.E. "If you think you can get better you will." Which is probably the reason ATOS assessors have been known to ask people suffering from parkinsons disease, or cerebral palsy "And when do you think you will get better?" Or as one ATOS staff tutor told her trainees "If they can use one finger, they can push a button, so they fail." So to summarise, Yes Labour hired them, Labour used the PCA, then The coalition extended their contract, and changed the PCA to the much tougher much less medical WCA which even tells the assessor "Do not take into account GP or consultants notes, as they are not able to judge capability of client for work." Oh and just as a P.S. ATOS haven't been sacked by anybody, their contract just happens to end next year anyway, it's just not being renewed for the WCA. Chief contenders for the job are G4S, SERCO and CAPITA.[/p][/quote]God help us. Is this what the country has come to. We used to have a civil service that was the envy of the world. These so called 'service' companies are money grubbing jokes. BaildonGuy
  • Score: 9

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