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This website provides information on how Atos runs its business, extracts from the Contract between the DWP and Atos including the MEDICAL CONDITIONS that mean a face to face medical assessment is not always necessary, ASSESSMENTS AND POINTS, the breaches of Contract that occurred in my case, my unsound medical report and the correspondence showing how difficult it is to obtain justice or advice.
The Government is inviting the public to submit petitions. Search epetitions.direct.gov.uk for "DWP" or "Atos" or "disabled" to list relevant petitions including Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968).
Other ongoing petitions are Petition against constant vilification of sick and disabled claimants and Petition to "Sack Atos Immediately" .
The DWP occasionally consults the public http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/.
A guide to the pages and main sections published on this website. SPVA Help describes the case of a veteran, her research work and her efforts to obtain justice.
The help section on this page.
The frequently asked section on this page. It provides a step by step guide from initially obtaining advice to appeals.
The home page provides an overview of the DWP and Atos Origin IT Services Ltd trading as Atos Origin.
For many people welfare rights advice from your local council is the best initial step. The council or the organisations recommended by your council should provide impartial advice.
Be wary of some "campaign" managers of some charities and help groups. It may be better to check if the individual has been shortlisted as a candidate for a national or local government position. If the candidate's party is in power, your case may not be fought as you might wish. If such a person promises to take the matter up with the Minister at their next meeting which happens to be months away and then does not come back to you. Treat the snake for what he does, not for what he promises. Ill people fatigue easily and any delay disadvantages the claimant.
My correspondence with the DWP and Atos, the "Atos" Independent Tier et al. It took two years and two months before the DWP and Atos conceded. This page lists all correspondence on one page.
Letters in 2009. Initial disbelief. Assessed as work capable. Obtaining the Contract.
Letters in 2010. The fight continues.
Letters in 2011. The fight continues.
Letters in 2012.
This page contains the ESA50 form I completed and the ESA85 report that I eventually received (after a lot of correspondence and I believe the intervention of the Secretary of State).
My ESA50 form that I completed on 15 June 2009.
The libellous report produced by the Atos doctor that resulted from my face to face assessment that should not have taken place. It does not reflect the actual assessment. Atos fraudulently or through incompetence instructed me to attend an assessment. The fact that the doctor carried out the assessment, when she had no legal right to do so, constitutes an assault. The Atos assessment took place 15 June 2009. Atos wrote this report 24 July 2009 but it was months before I received it.
The Atos Independent Tier Report by an anonymous "medically qualified", paid by Atos, individual. Atos wrote this report 15 February 2010.
Atos wrote the IB59 advice on 23 April 2010.
This is the extract of the Contract between the DWP and Atos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The Contract comprises a Agreement made up of Clauses and a number of Schedules made of Clauses.
Images of pages including Schedule 4 (http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwp-contract/)
The list of medical conditions and the actions that should be taken including "Unsuitable for calling to a Medical Examination Centre".
These include "all staff provide a courteous and helpful service at all times".
The publications that Atos should display in all waiting rooms.
The clauses that relate to enquiry services including "...shall use reasonable endeavours to respond to all enquiries within two (2) Working Days of receipt of an enquiry. or exceptionally, where the enquiry is of a complex nature, within five (5) Working Days of receipt of the enquiry".
The clauses that relate to enquiries and complaints including "...shall acknowledge all complaints received directly from Claimants or their representatives within two (2) Working Days".
The clauses that relate to medical examinations including "...shall ensure that any Claimant is not required to travel for more than ninety (90) minutes by public transport (single journey) for an examination...".
The clauses that relate to the Welsh Language Act including "...shall comply with the provisions of the Welsh Language Act to provide a bi-lingual service for those Claimants who are resident in Wales...".
The clauses that relate to claimant satisfaction surveys including "...shall undertake monthly surveys to gauge Claimants' perception of the service they receive....".
The clauses that relate to changes of circumstances.
The clauses that relate to hospital case notes.
The clauses that relate to medical general standards including "...fully registered, without restrictions or conditions, on the Principal List of the General Medical Council (GMC}...".
The clauses that relate to medical process standards including "...shall use reasonable endeavours to ensure that a minimum of ninety nine per cent (99%) of Health Care Professional reports, in each business area, are fit for Purpose and do not result in Rework... comprehensive, clearly explaining the medical issues raised... in plain English and free of medical jargon...".
The clauses that relate to medical quality assurance including "...shall maintain databases that collect and report information in relation to recruitment, training, monitoring, Approval and revocation of Approval...".
My correspondence with the medical regulatory bodies. This page lists all correspondence on one page. The correspondence with each organisation is available on one page.
Attempts to request the BMA to assist in my case.
Attempts to request the CQC to assist in my case.
Attempts to request the GMC to investigate possible misconduct and unfit to practice by Atos doctors.
Attempts to request the NMC to investigate possible misconduct and unfit to practice by Atos nurse. The Council concluded that the nurse failed to read but this was easily remedial.
Attempts to request the PALS to assist in my case.
My correspondence with the Government bodies. This page lists all correspondence on one page. The correspondence with each organisation is available on one page.
Attempts to request the DoH to remove the unreliable Atos Origin from consideration for future Government funded projects.
Attempts to inform the DWP executive of the repeated failures by the DWP and Atos in my case and request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Attempts to request the Government Equalities Office to investigate possible discrimination by the DWP of the disabled.
Attempts to request my MP and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to review and intervene. Includes contributions to various Parliamentary Inquiries.
Attempts to request the Health and Safety Executive to investigate Atos assessment locations.
After receiving a final evasive reply from the DWP Chief Executive, my case is able to be passed to the Independent Case Examiner.
My correspondence with various other bodies. This page lists all correspondence on one page. The correspondence with each organisation is available on one page.
Complaints against Atos advertising.
Attempts to question Atos at corporate level.
Attempts to question the BBC relating to bias in favour of Atos by suppression of news stories critical of Atos.
Attempts to understand how IPSO Mori produces such favourable survey results for the DWP.
Complaints against pejorative references to the disabled.
Attempts to understand the academic basis for the "non-medical" model for rehabilitation.
This memorandum was submitted as evidence to a Parliamentary Inquiry on 7 August 2009.
This memorandum was submitted as evidence to a DWP consultation dated December 2011 "Work Capability Assessment, An informal consultation on accounting for the effects of cancer treatments" .
This memorandum was submitted as evidence to a DWP consultation dated July 2012 "Work Capability Assessment call for evidence year 3 independent review" .
Extracts from Parliamentary debates, select committees and inquiries.
Extracts from the press. This page lists all articles on one page.
News articles published in 2009.
News articles published in 2010.
News articles published in 2011.
News articles published in 2012.
Extracts from cases and links to where the cases are published.
The DWP is required to publish extensive statistics. It can be hard to extract information of interest and summaries. Payments to suppliers, including payments to Atos are listed.
Atos failures as a business and background information on Unum and Atos.
Unum as a business and its influence in the UK.
Thoughts on the LiMA software.
The Jobcentre Plus "Chop" described.
A guide to the SPVA pages published on this website.
The SPVA page provides information for disabled military veterans in the form of research documents and correspondence. This information has been provided by a disabled military veteran who is very active in ensuring the best for veterans like herself.
A number of research documents and reports.
Correspondence with the SPVA, Tribunals and others.
Letters and research published in 2010.
Letters and research published in 2011.
Letters and research published in 2012.
This website is large and complex. The DWP and Atos Healthcare appear to make obtaining advice as difficult as possible. The information published here is based on my experience. It is hoped that this information will assist you in presenting your case in the way that the DWP and Atos are most likely to meet your needs.
Avoid the telephone like the plague except when ordering the ESA50 form and if you need the DWP to complete it following your instructions. Letters and emails provide a paper trail that will assist in appeals, tribunals and if necessary in court.
If your medical condition means you are forced to telephone always ask them to confirm in writing what you have said and what they have said.
A low cost "MP3" recorder / player allows you to record all conversations. These can be useful in recording your assessment. Your local council or external organisations recommended by them should be able to assist with providing help in writing letters supported by your recordings.
The DWP and Atos prefer to use "customer" or "client" for reasons that "these terms are better understood". I disputed this strongly. Parliament and the Contract use claimant and patient. I do think it is worth taking a stand.
I finally forced the DWP and Atos to agree to refer to me as a claimant.
I have set the precedent. It is for current and future claimants to ensure that the DWP and Atos treat claimants with dignity and respect.
Regarding the DWP continued use of the terms "customer" or "client", I have noted and considered legal opinion on the fallacious argument that people are more familiar with "customer" and "client" than they are with "claimant". "Claimant" has been used for many generations. The use of the unjustifiable terms "customer" or "client" belittles my medical condition, insults my intelligence and ignores my inalienable rights under Commmon and Statute Law to be treated with dignity and respect.
Therefore I require you to cease and desist your harassment of me by using the terms "customer" or "client". I further require you to comply with the Legislation and the Contract and use "claimant". If the DWP feels differently it can petition for Parliament to provide clarification and it is then up to Parliament to redefine the term "customer", though I suggest this would have widespread consequences not least amendments to the "Sale of Goods" Act and the "Companies" Act. Clearly this matter is one that could be subject to Judicial Review but the costs of this would not be welcome to taxpayers or petitioners.
The DWP agreed to refer to me as "claimant".
I acknowledge that you do not like to be referred to as a 'customer' or 'client'. We have been using these terms for many years as the nature of our business has evolved and we now work more closely with individuals to help them return to work. We have noted that you wish to be referred to as a claimant however, please note that any automatically produced letters sent to you will not include this term of address.
The DWP need to be contacted to obtain the ESA Form. If you are unable to complete the form due to your medical condition, the DWP can complete the form on your behalf. You should insist that the DWP should telephone you back and that they send you two copies of the completed form for you to check and sign.
If the DWP fails to include pertinent information such as that your symptoms are intermittent, then ask them to amend and send you two copies for you to recheck and sign.
Your local council may help to complete your form.
State clearly if your medical symptoms are intermittent.
State clearly your capabilities when your medical symptoms are most severe. Consider if you were at work and your most severe medical symptoms occur would you be able to carry out your duties without impairment.
State clearly if you are taking medicines that impair your ability to travel e.g. some high blood pressure medicines work by making the patient frequently pass water. Ninety minutes on public transport is the maximum time allowed to travel each way.
State clearly the impact of your medical condition and the assessment on your mental condition. The stress and anxiety of a long journey, especially as the maximum time allowed to be late is fifteen minutes, will unsettle even the most stoutest of hearts. The Contract provides for the assessor to visit your home.
Ask for the names and qualifications of the medically qualified personal who will decide whether you need a face to face assessment and if required who will carry out the assessment.
Ask that you will require the medical justification to be sent to you in writing should a face to face assessment be necessary. You can explain that you wish to check with your GP or other competent medical authority such as the NMC and the GMC that the medical justification is evidence based and valid.
Insist that all correspondence should be made by letter or email.
Atos process the ESA50 forms. You can email Atos at Atos Customer Relations(firstname.lastname@example.org)
As a claimant with a brain tumour I should not have to have endured the rigours of an assessment unless my GP and consultants agreed that this did not place me at risk.
Review that the decision complies with the actions to be taken for your medical condition by checking the Contract medical conditions. If the decision does not comply with the Contract then challenge it by email.
Challenge travelling time.
If you feel stressed or are anxious, ask that the assessment takes place in your home. If possible have a witness present, ideally a solicitor.
The assessment starts from when the camera picks you up outside the building to when you leave the area covered by the camera after the assessment.
I have published the fiction that was the report produced by the Atos doctor.
If you are well turned out and are wearing smart clothes, because perhaps a carer has taken extra effort, then if you have access to such a carer every day for work fine be well turned out. If, because of your medical condition, your normal dress is joggers over pyjamas and an old coat as you cannot afford heating or new clothes then this is your normal dress.
If, due to your medical condition, you are not able to be as clean as you would like or if you drool or need help with dealing with continence then do NOT falsify the impact of your medical condition on how you live.
Remember if you can't do something, like bending down or lifting a limb, without pain, do not force yourself. Just say you can't do what is asked without forcing and pain.
If, due to your medical condition, you need to take rests or have to ask for a question to be repeated, do not put yourself under strain to answer promptly. I was so ill my assessment, which should never have taken place, took 1 hour and 50 minutes.
If you had to wait more than 15 minutes then ask the doctor or the nurse to sign your appointment paper with the time the assessment started and at the end the time the assessment ended.
Take the form to claim travelling expenses.
Take the leaflet on how to complain.
First obtain a copy of the report. Be persistent. Do not worry if it appears to be a work of fiction, in my case it was.
Remember go through the medical appeals process firsts. Remember to keep the DWP and Atos updated that you require the benefit to be paid and you would like to extend the period allowed for appeal until you have all the documents supplied to you; ESA50, ESA85 et al.
It is a good idea to ask for a copy of the ESA50 that you supplied to ensure that they are using the copy you have agreed.
After the medical appeals conclude then you can take your case to a Tribunal. Tribunals do not have the medical expertise to overturn medical matters. Tribunals are interested in the correct process has been carried out and that the clauses in the Contract have been complied with in full.
It is usual, as in my case, that the DWP will concede if you have the evidence that procedures have not been complied with. This is why it is so important to NEVER use the phone and only use email or letters. The DWP and Atos will continually try and contact you by phone insist they email or write to you so that you may take legal advice if necessary.
Involve your MP. You will receive more considerate treatment. This is implied in the Contract.
Eventually escalate to the DWP Chief Executive Officer. Ask the DWP CEO to review your case. Once the DWP CEO has turned you down, pass your case to the Independent Case Examiner.