Probe is planned in Bradford into disability assessments

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Probe is planned in Bradford into disability assessments Probe is planned in Bradford into disability assessments

A full-scale Council investigation into controversial Government disability assessments is to hold a major hearing this week.

Bradford Council, which has branded the tests “unfair”, is believed to be the first local authority in the country to be investigating their effects on vulnerable people in their area.

Anyone who wants to claim disability benefits now has to undergo a test called the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) to see if they are able to work.

But the testing scheme, contracted out to healthcare firm Atos, has come under fire from disability rights groups.

And in July, the Council branded the process “unfair, inaccurate, and bad value for money”.

A motion passed by the full Council said the tests were “causing fear and distress” among vulnerable disabled people, that they discriminated against those who had fluctuating conditions and that the appeals process was too lengthy.

Now, a committee has started investigating the local effects of the programme by holding a two-month inquiry.

As part of this, the Council's Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet on Thursday to hear first-hand from disabled people and their carers who have been through the assessment process.

The committee will also be gathering the views of organisations working with disabled people, such as Disability Advice Bradford and Mind, as well as the Department of Work and Pensions and Atos itself.

It will publish its findings in the New Year.

In July, the Government announced it would bring in other contractors to run the assessments, as well as Atos, in a bid to tackle waiting times.

A DWP spokesman said: “Through a series of independent reviews and by working with medical experts and charities, we have considerably improved the WCA process since 2010.

“The percentage of people entitled to Employment and Support Allowance is now at its highest level with more than half of people completing a WCA eligible for the benefit, but everyone has the right to appeal a decision.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:15pm Tue 3 Dec 13

RollandSmoke says...

Will they be interviewing the families of those who have died within weeks of being found fit for work? Those driven to suicide by the stress? The governments own figures show that the numbers are in their thousands. Why has it taken so long to look into a problem that disability rights groups have been highlighting for years? ATOS are interested in meeting targets and will lie on the forms to achieve them. At my assessment the clown had written that I had told him of symptoms that he then went on in four different places in his report to say I didn't have. When I asked the process by which it was decided I didn't have these symptoms no-one could give me any answers. Ticking boxes is not a medical assessment.
Will they be interviewing the families of those who have died within weeks of being found fit for work? Those driven to suicide by the stress? The governments own figures show that the numbers are in their thousands. Why has it taken so long to look into a problem that disability rights groups have been highlighting for years? ATOS are interested in meeting targets and will lie on the forms to achieve them. At my assessment the clown had written that I had told him of symptoms that he then went on in four different places in his report to say I didn't have. When I asked the process by which it was decided I didn't have these symptoms no-one could give me any answers. Ticking boxes is not a medical assessment. RollandSmoke

4:53pm Tue 3 Dec 13

hx3bantam says...

How come we keep getting told that people shouldn't attend A&E Departments as their GPs know them better than anyone but in this instance their GPs aren't even consulted? It's a scam! ATOS have made a tidy sum out of "bounty hunting" disabled people on top of which it has just been discovered they have paid no Corporation Tax in 2012. Crooks hired by bigger crooks!
How come we keep getting told that people shouldn't attend A&E Departments as their GPs know them better than anyone but in this instance their GPs aren't even consulted? It's a scam! ATOS have made a tidy sum out of "bounty hunting" disabled people on top of which it has just been discovered they have paid no Corporation Tax in 2012. Crooks hired by bigger crooks! hx3bantam

4:54pm Tue 3 Dec 13

richard grant says...

What a farce.
I suffer with M.S.
I attended the Atos test and the doctor did not even examine me.
He just ticked the boxes on his computer to suit himself.
He did not listen to me at all.
They then took away my Incapacity benefit.
They dont care, or give a ****.
Good old Mr Cameron.
They would rather give our money away in foreign aid.
What a farce. I suffer with M.S. I attended the Atos test and the doctor did not even examine me. He just ticked the boxes on his computer to suit himself. He did not listen to me at all. They then took away my Incapacity benefit. They dont care, or give a ****. Good old Mr Cameron. They would rather give our money away in foreign aid. richard grant

10:03pm Tue 3 Dec 13

bobbyo says...

Totally agree with the three comments above, get rid of atos, they dont give A, tos about ill people, hope the families whom have lost loved ones because of these atos people can sue !
Totally agree with the three comments above, get rid of atos, they dont give A, tos about ill people, hope the families whom have lost loved ones because of these atos people can sue ! bobbyo

6:36pm Wed 4 Dec 13

westerby1 says...

To put it as succinctly as possible: Atos lie and the DWP endorse their lie.
To put it as succinctly as possible: Atos lie and the DWP endorse their lie. westerby1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree