Sack Atos Healthcare
Atos Healthcare has the £80million-per-year contract for 7 years to act for Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) to 'assess' sick people claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
They have been working to the previous government's target of pushing 1 million claimants onto Jobseekers' Allowance, and there are some well-documented abuses of vulnerable individuals such as refusing to allow note-taking or tape-recording of the assessment, failing to report truthfully where the claimant has demonstrated incapacity, inadequate facilities for those who are ill during an assessment, a computer system which gives garbled versions of examinations to DWP and various other abuses.
We, the undersigned, call upon Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg to terminate Atos Healthcare's contract with immediate effect, to pay the enhanced rate to all claimants whose claim is over 13 weeks old and to pay basic rate ESA to all other claimants.
We call for a return to family doctors as the primary source of information as to whether an individual is too sick to work, not a profit-driven plc.
We further call for a new approach to the sick by government whereby such vulnerable people cease to be treated as 'scroungers' particularly when many of these individuals as taxpayers have paid into the NHS, in some cases for many years.
Martin Kielty commented
Atos employee admits she was forced to trick people into losing benefits – she was told if someone turned up for an interview properly dresses she was to certify them fit for work… http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/nurse-makes-heartfelt-apology-after-1340838
Brain & spinal cancer. Fused spine. PTSD after 2 friends were murdered & cut up in there bathroom. I found what was left & then the following year of papers, court, nightmares that don't stop. I can't look at or touch black bin bags, vileda rubber gloves, ford escorts, hoovers with bags, Barclays cash machines & the police, courts.
5 years ago I killed my mother while driving a 4x4 in Africa (overturned). I injured my 7 year old & further damaged my back.
2 years ago I was at a junction when a bus hit me from behind & was cut out. Became incontinent during winters.
I was found fit for work by atos.
I am now under the care of emergency mental health team because I want to end everything but can't because of my daughter.
I feel a great rage within me. I want to bring this evil into the spotlight. I 'dream' of getting mr IDS, breaking his back, Knee cap him and then hang a sign around his neck (although Ian is unable to do anything, we find him fit for work)
It is just a dream & I thank god for my nurses, doctors & my little girl. The ONLY things that keep me grounded in reality ........oh and the drugs.
Give me a job I can do & pay me a living wage you @:#%^}s and I will gladly do it. Give me a wage to pay my tax & put back in for my daughter....... But you can't can you? Because your banker mates, the fsa, bank of England, hypothocation, re-hypothocation, futures, libor, off shore, Barclays, HSBC, Morgan Stanley etc
Give me the job ...... Give me the dignity .... Because I've tried and nobody will touch me once the see or read about my past.
You can't, no jobs, no money, no compassion. WORK WILL SET YOU FREE
So many campaighns against ATOS (10) all about their failur to deal with people appropriately!
Can't we meld them all together and give them a big slapping? They have done wrong with too many people (including my son - hint: ask for the full report and rip them to shreds).
Munir Lalani commented
Let's get things changed! Please sign Pat's Petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968
i find this sort of thing very hard to write
i have been subject to one of ATOS farcical medical assessments and scored 0 points. i suffer with clinical depression, stress and anxiety. this company should not be allowed to operate, and seeing as they are currently closing down as many anti-atos websites under the guise of being libel, i suspect it is only a matter of time before this is removed.
since having depression, i have been very ill, and find many simple day-to-day tasks very hard, for example going out, being in places i do not know and meeting new people, all these things trigger panic attacks etc, so going for this medical assessment was my idea of hell. i have always maintained that i would not wish depression on my worst enemy, but i have now changed this view, i would wish depression on the powers that be at ATOS, but only for 3-9 months its take to be assessed by their staff, and then forced to feel like a fraud while they decide whether or not to take a further roll of the dice with my live and the lives of my children
all through my illness i have been lucky, i have a wife that cares for me, and supports me, i have 3 children that i love, i have reasons to live and as yet have been very fortunate to have not been suicidal. as i say i am lucky, but due to my situation, my family would be financially better off if i was not here, and would not be subject to the misery they are going through that is of no fault of their own.
as depression is on the raise in this country, how many people that have battled with suicide and self harm, but have always found a reason to live will now fail?
i have also applied for DLA (disability living allowance) as a stop gap while waiting for my appeal, and guess what, i have been refused (i had my GP's full backing on this) and why was i refused? because they used the information in my assessment from ATOS
i am now in a really bad place, no idea what to do or where to turn, as part of the appeal process i had to ask me GP for sick notes (they were happy to provide these). if my appeal is turned down, i will go onto job seekers allowance and be deemed fit for work, but then cannot work as i am signed off. so too ill to work according to my GP, not ill enough according to ATOS
Kelly Bunker-Rider commented
I am going through a lot of stress as I have a medical assessment with one of these blood sucking leeches next month. I know that I will not be seeing a person who is qualified to deal with mental health, or knows how it affects the person afflicted with it.
It is wrong. This will be my 5th assessment, and I have prepared myself to get a fit for work. Even though some one from the job centre told me to go onto ESA as I was not fit for work, so now some person sitting behind a computer, who knows nothing about my medical back ground, doesn't know how fragile I am, how my tablets affect me, etc etc, will turn around and tell me I'm fit for work. I'm prepared for it, as that has always happened to me. But if it does happen I will go to the job center and get them to help me fight against it, as I have been told that the lady who told me to onto ESA will help me appeal.
Jon Nihill commented
I am not in recipt of disabled benefits but am aware of someone who is. I've experience in dealing with atos and to say they are next to useless is being kind to them. My fear is geniunely disabled people will have their benefits taken away by so called "medical practitioners" which to my knowledge is not a doctor.
I understand that in the system there are a lot of individuals that get disabled benefits that are more than able to go out and get a job. But please dont target all people who get these benefits some of whom will be unable to buy food and basic supplies.
alan moore commented
I received an ATOS assessment two days ago. The nurse claimed she offered no treatment to me and would report to the DWP about what she discovered but her line of questioning was hostile, cold and uncaring. She tried talking down to me and when I objected she threatened to terminate my interview. That would have meant JSA for me. I may well have a brain tumour which can only be diagnosed properly by specialists not by puppets of entrepeneurs who are on huge govt contracts. The process of diagnosis is slow my next appointment is 13/06/11 but I may a) drop dead before then or b) be on JSA trying to find a job which isn't there or c) a job that may kill me......PATHETIC and inhuman....
I agree the GP is better able to decide if a sick person is sick a short medical by atos is a waste of time. They say the nhs should be in the hands of GP's as they are the best to judge why not trust them with sick status
David Calvert commented
Once a claimants benefit is stopped so are their free prescriptions leaving a a sick person with no money or means to treat themselves,eventually people stop taking much needed medication and become even more ill. Not only does this place an increased burden on NHS and hospital resources it merely creates a nation of even sicker people. Atos Healthcare is purely a waste of money, medical evidence from qualified consultants and GP’s is sufficient then this money could be invested in the NHS where it is most needed.
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Nick Hughes commented
Take these massively important decisions out of private, unaccountable hands and put them back under national control and oversight. It is appalling that people's lives and living wages, be judged by a target-driven, for-profit multinational, who have a vested interest in 'failing' people.
Ken Walters commented
I turned up for my medical, only to be told it had been cancelled 10 days before, I got the cancellation letter 16 days later. I passed my medical as unfit to work, but even then they wouldn't give me a straight number which I'd scored on the medical. They said I had a minimum of 30 points, and would call me back again in 6 months. The doctors I heard there were Polish, and their Englsih was abysmal.
Also these medicals need to take note of fatigue and pain and many more things that just can you hold a pencil in one hand - They dont ask if you can write with it! They don't ask if you can get through a day of work with your disability due to fatigue. They don't ask if you are able to actually do a job - and what job they think you could do in the 60mins a day you can concentrate. This is why our specialists need to be the ones to judge us
These ATOS people know nothing. Our specialists know our problems like our GP or Neuro/Nurse of that ilk - Not some invisible person with a computer
Nationalise all assessments and support for disabled benefit claimants
A campaign to publicly run all dealings with benefit claimants which are physically or mentally disabled. This means running medical assessments through government organisations and offering them support through government organisations. This way the emphasis for the service provided will be more for the benefit of the people and not profits of a few - which is exactly the opposite of what we have at the moment. This way government can be accountable.
At the moment, the 'support' meetings which are mandatory for ESA claimants and the initial medical assessments are privately run and it only takes a little internet research to discover that they are greatly flawed and profiteering at the exploitation and expense of the most vulnerable in a society - the disabled. They are also receiving a lot of taxpayers money and offering an atrocious disservice to the general public who are disabled.
Their objectives for involving themselves with this area of public support is not to help people but to get as many people as possible into work as quickly as possible because they work on commission. If they don't do this as a quota of their job roles then they risk losing their jobs. Medical assessments are deliberately set-up to be unrepresentative and fail people. Many people who are in great need of financial support and cannot work are being denied this and forced onto Job Seekers Allowance. This is blatant scrutiny and exploitation of disabled people who benefit the least out of these services and it is wrong that private company officials earn huge wages out of this. Above all I think that under these distressing circumstances, they serve to worsen a lot of medical conditions and force people into despair.
Marcia Simpson-James commented
I've seen people who are obviously seriously ill being told that they are "fit to work". They end up worst than before with all the mental stress of being forced to work whilst they are clearly incapacitated. Many have (what we in the old days used to call) a nervous breakdown. This can not be good for them or society. DWP Secretary of State, Ian Dunces Smith, is so stupid, he thinks that these chickens won't come back to roost. Its these people I feel for.
Better to stop Employment support allowance and sickness benefits for anyone who can walk and is capable of picking up a pencil or a tenpound note than pay all of this money out