Campaign groups in Bradford today joined in a nationwide day of protest against the company used to carry out controversial government disability assessments.

Protesters gathered outside Atos Healthcare in Bank Street, a centre used to conduct fit to work tests on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions for people across the Bradford district. The demonstration was attended by individuals directly affected by Atos assessments, alongside members of organisations such as Bradford & Airedale Mental Health Advocacy Group and Bradford College Student Union.

Bruce Barnes, of The Bradford People’s Coalition Against the Cuts, said: “Atos medical reports are done far too quickly by people without any detailed knowledge of the disability of the person they are assessing.”

Paul Anderson, of Bradford Disabled People’s Forum, said: “It is very unfair the way these processes are carried out, people are wrongly assessed as fit to work when they are not. Atos has no knowledge of these people’s issues, yet make a judgement anyway.”

The DWP has defended the tests, and an Atos spokesman said while the company respected people’s right to protest, lobbying against it would have no impact on welfare policy.