End of ATOS?

Just googled ATOS to get address to send yet more medical reports, appointments for my appeal when I noticed that the government is unlikely to renew their contract next year WAHOOOO!

ATOS insist they have no say in the decision making of claimants, that is down to the DWP.

Bad news could be the contract could go to GS4, SERCO or CAPITA, none of which inspire me to do the job properly.

Is it good news or not?

19 Replies

  • Better the devil you know than don't they could be all worse than atos

  • Hi bluebell99

    I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well today as you can be? It would be wonderful if ATOS lost their contract. However, I cannot see any replacement being any better as they will probably work with the same mandate. For all we know, the doctors and advisers will simply go from one company to another!

    Take care my friend

    Ken x

  • I had an aborted assesment with capita yesterday and found them pleasant and actualy helpful and very concerned that my bp was extremly high. the assesor called halt to the asesment and told my hubby to get me straight to the doctor and not to take me back there, that he was to phone up for a home visit and not to take no for an answere That no way was i to be put through that again and that if he had problems to quote his name.

    They had also phoned the day before to make sure that we were still ok for the next day and to remind us to take proof of id and the form to claim back traveling expences.In our experience Atos did none of these things, they even left my hubby with no way to get home after THEY mistakenly sent a taxi for him. then refused to order one to take him home.

    Capita may have to change if they do get the contract but from my experience I hope not

    Oh and by the time I got to the doctors my bp was back to normal it was put down to stress by the asseser and the doctor and no prob getting a home visit.

    If any one else has had experience of Capita I would be interested in what they have to say sue

  • Hi thanks for that.

    This is refreshing to read! They sound caring, compassionate and offer dignity to users judging from this. I sincerely hope that they do not change from this stance. It is so difficult to say what will happen if the government insist on targets for refusals though?

    I think it is really good if you can insist on a home visit. My wife needs her DLA renewing in September and she was awarded it for 2 years without ever seeing anybody. It was totally assessed by medical information from her GP, consultant and MS nurse. I would presume that this time she will need to see a doctor at some point.

    Thank you so much for this it is really good to know.

    Ken x

  • It does sound a lot better Ken, I agree, we'll just have to wait and see. Surely they can't be any worse than ATOS?? Can they?? XX

  • Just one tiny piece of advice, no matter what insist that your appointment is recorded wether you are at the offices or at home, this is the only way to be sure that they are truthful on your assessment forms, otherwise it'll be a complete bunch of lies saying your fine and have no health problems

    Best of luck, hope you win!


  • Hi Ken

    Vey true. It was reported in today's Guardian, and I saw it by accident when I googled. It is pretty telling that there has been no comment on the tv news. My guess is the government will still keep the same parameters just change the name of the assessors.

    For a moment I thought they were going to re-jig the whole thing and set the DWP new guidelines. I don't think it is down to any one political party as such, as even Labour was going down the same route. The whole thing is a shambles and needs to be sorted out properly and fairly.

    I stand to lose my ESA on the first of May as my husband works, even though he is paid under the average wage. I feel cheated as I worked for years paying my NI and if I can't get into the support group then he has to keep us both. There will come a time when he will get his pension a year before I get mine, what will happen then? It is very worrying.

    Sorry, I digress, let's hope we get a bit of common sense in whoever gets the new contract and a bit of compassion would be good too.

    Warm regards

    Nancy Xx

  • Hi bluebell99

    I sincerely hope that you are as well as you can be today? I was just reading through your post and I think it is terrible if you lose your ESA. You have a disability and in a reasonable world with fair minded folk you should be given ample benefit to live on. As you have said, you have paid in, so you should get something back!

    My wife's DLA makes a great difference to her quality of life, as she has been able to use it for taxi's and continue working, which is something that she wants to do for as long as she can. We are constantly being told that we should work but if you can't walk then you need assistance with this.

    I sincerely hope that you can get your benefit sorted out. Have you tried to claim PIP?

    Take care my friend

    Ken x

  • Hi Nancy, I empathise totally with you. I am told my esa ends this year, because I am married, own my home which I have worked and paid into the system for years for, then I too have to survive on my husbands wage. One of the first questions dwp ask when you ring is what is your marital status- in other words, if I was single, needed housing, I would still get benefit to help, but because I have gone down the path Mr Cameron wanted, ie got married, saved to buy a property, I when need the help the system was set up to help cannot have any help at all! It makes me think that what if I was too much a burden for my husband- it would never happen, i hope!, but theoretically, then I would need housing, have no income at all, so would need income benefit, and probably the breakdown of my 30 year old marriage would be the best bet!? What a society we have become eh?? Unbelievable.


  • Hi emmpea

    I sincerely hope that you are as well as you can be today? Please never think of yourself as a burden. I am sure that your husband loves you without reservation and to him, you are the most important person in the whole wide world.

    I was wondering if you were getting PIP (used to be DLA) as you may be entitled to this benefit instead? I have pasted the gov.uk page about this benefit.


    You take care and good luck

    Ken x

  • Hi Ken, thankyou so much for your kind response. Yes I'm sure you're right, but you cant help thinking its so wrong for me to even have to slightly feel this way, it just gets me down so much! I do get dla mobility lower component, but had a letter yesterday saying this is now being reviewed as well! My gp has done a letter today for dwp advising them that she and my husband hold them resonsible for my decline in health with all the stress it is causing, she seems to think the decision will be overturned, but having read so many comments from others on here, I really cant say I share her optimism! Its amazing how we can feel like we are puppets, and someone else holds the strings!

    Thanks again Ken, kind regards Emm.

  • hi nick-k5 and welcome you can get lots of useful advice on this site ,we have a rant ans some do funny stories or pictures to keep us cheerful .

  • For me I am happy about it they've never done me any favours but I don't actually think it matters who does it because the rules will still be the same.

    My only hope is that whoever takes on the responsibility hands over correct and true descriptions of a person's abilities, also not to lose information or put things out of context. How information is handled is crucial to everyone so it confuses me why it's done so badly.

  • The private quangos that do the work come across as being politicians, in that they never tell you the whole truth and can easily twist anything and everything that you say!

    Take care

    Ken x

  • My doctor said the more people that handle your medical information the more chances there are for human error. I think he thought he was being charitable, I think it is plain incompetence.

  • Hi,

    Yes I read that ATOS may go, but does it really matter who gets the contract? The fact is whoever does get it, they're still working for a Government department that wants to cut costs and save money; if they want the contract they'll do what they're told! Having the same Government department in charge of both assessing a persons entitlement to benefits and actually paying those benefits is wide open to corruption. Employing an outside agency to carry out the assessments is merely to give the illusion that the assessment is independent; it's like the DWP insisting that assessor are "registered medical professionals" simply to give the impression that there is any medical care element to the assessment.

  • Well. it's on the telly now so it must be true. I didn't like the report that said people working for Atos have been receiving death threats. How ever much I hate the whole system, to threaten that is really not on.

    As has been mentioned before, they are not the actual decision makers, they advise the DWP so really the onus should be on them. I think Atos is a government red-herring, someone to blame when it all goes t**s up. I fully expect the next contractor will be the same.

    I do know I am fed up of keep sending medical reports by Recorded Delivery to them. When I last contacted them. they said all my extra information was being added to my file, (which must be huge now!) It just makes me wonder if they are really doing it and why don't they just get on and do the appeal.

    They have already started to lie. My appeal was sent in June, they told me they didn't receive it until August. Unhappily I didn't send it by Recorded Delivery, just proof of posting. I hope now that they don't say I didn't get my appeal in within the 30 days.

    Life sucks!

    Nancy Xx

  • I dont think it will make the slightest difference, the decision making is down to the d wp, eho follow the instructions layed down by government, whoever does the job has to follow the same criteria. It will only change if the government change the criteria, or the government is changed.

  • Initially it seems good but could be replaced by even worse - the ones you mention such as A4E, Serco, Capita etc. The real problem lies with the DWP and the WCA. Until the WCA is scrapped and replaced with something humane I don't see a reason to celebrate quite yet.

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