Fibromyalgia Action UK
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ATOS - Its not the staff that are the problem!

OK its a bit controversial I know. And I am probably going to be shouted down but I will risk it.

Yesterday I went for my assessment in Leeds. All went as expected the usual questions which I answered very honestly. Yes I can walk, make my bed, make my meals etc. Its not the pain that's stopping me. Its my mental state that's the problem. I was a school behavior manager until I had a nervous breakdown. Now I cannot face being around teenagers. I think I would explode if I tried to go back to that kind of work.

What really shocked me though was the attitude of the other people waiting to be seen. They were very rude to staff when checking in and one even refused to wait to see the doctor as they had not been seen after being there 5 minutes and they had things to do. Funny I thought they were on the sick so whats the rush. What was even more stupid it was only 1.10pm and the woman's appointment was not until 1.15pm. I am sorry but I lost it and told her to shut up and bloody wait like the rest of us. The woman was a German. I know because I speak a little of the language and was listening to her slag of the system.

The other problem was the smell. I am sure some people don't know how to wash. Or is it just for effect? The smell was nauseating.

Now I understand fully that some people struggle but if I ever get to the point were I stink like that I will give up the ghost.

7 Replies

I found my assessor (A female doctor) to be efficient and kind. Obviously she couldn't get into a conversation ( as I might have with my GP). She was however accurate and fair. My DLA award was made just after my assessment for ESA as a result of her findings being consistent with my illness, and the clinical findings of my GP and Consultant. The whole process is extremely demoralising. Particularly when you are already at a low ebb, physically and mentally.

And yes, I know what you mean regarding the personal hygiene of some people...often it's not even those attending for the assessment, it's who they bring with them....


I didn't mind it. They didn't have all my paperwork. But after the examination she recommended I go back to my doctor as my blood pressure was WAY to high.

I feel for the in that job though. How many people must they see each week that are nasty and aggressive to them? I worked in housing before education and I must say a former colleague of mine took it out of the next customer if someone gave her an hard time. So I wonder how many people attending the medicals have been decide as a backlash to a previous attendee?


Hi karate..... Rofl that takes me right back to when I was a kid with that advert for hi karate aftershave... Anyway back on track... Yeah like you, although I post cheerfully and sometimes too honestly on here.. I have arthritis and fibro and I am in some pain every day BUT I worked and crashed and burnt out teaching and now my mental state is all over the place .... If I have to get up at a certain time.. No matter what for .. I can,t sleep for worrying about oversleeping.... Not sleeping... How to get there how to get there on time... I go from a calm outgoing person to a nervous wreck.... I don't think I could physically work.. But I know I most certainly couldn't cope mentally... I hope you got your point across to the assessors.... If you have to go back I would recommend bunging Vick under your nose... Or less subtlety a clothes peg :)

Hoping you get a good outcome

VG x


Nervous Breakdowns, Strokes, CFS/ME and Fibro seems to be a reoccuring theme with people working in Education; there are too many pressures in the job and we burn out. Teachers and those supporting children and teenagers need more support. When I was teaching I was surviving on 4 hours sleep a night, it's no small wonder I had strokes.

I'm not sure about ATOS staff. My own experience was fine; but you hear so many horror stories that it seems the poor staff outnumber the good. Nevertheless there is no excuse for rude and ignorant behaviour.

Julie xx


You can understand why small vinagrettes of lavender scented water or rose water were carried by ladies. There is no longer any excuse for people to smell.

I have no or little sence of smell because of the medicines cannot even smell when the grandchildren need a change but I am slightly obsessive about cleanliness / personal hygene.. I would rather be overly rose scented ! My daughter assures me I have he balance right and I do not go around afixiating people with my pong.

It is a terribly difficult thing when someone suffers from tis when I had a shop and stray people would wander in some times it would be very difficult to say my You Pong but of course I never did.

Enough of this Have a smell free day xgins


please dont be too hard on these people you say smell. depression symptoms (if you read them) depending on the type of depression can render someone incapable mentally of maintaining personal hygiene. however, there is also a skin condition called Hidradenitis suppurativa... where the person gets boil like eruptions in armpits, under breasts ,groins and down below.not always at same time. but can be non stop ,one after another , get rid of one in one place ,get another elsewhere.almost immediately. when these things burst it stinks to high heaven. its nothing to do with being unwashed. my daughter suffers from it. she has salt water baths every day to try and help them to burst so she gets relief for a short while from the pain they cause. if in armpit she cant raise her arms, stretch, do vacuuming etc. if in groin she cant sooner does she get rid of one than another erupts. ten years she has had this. only treatment is antibiotics but they can damage liver. she just had to have a year off them cos liver results were too high. now OK in that dept so back on them its progressive, very painful and antisocial. comes under the embarrassing illnesses umbrella and there is no research been or being done on its cause. no one knows where to start apparently.

so please dont judge these people. there are reasons they are smelly.


I appreciate that some people suffer with medical problems that cause problems but these people where just filthy. Their cloths were filthy and they were unwashed.

I feel though that society has a part to play. People with depression (that's my main problem) are forgotten about by the system until its too late. Doctors just throw pills at the problem and don't deal with the cause. I am lucky I have started therapy this week and hope it helps.

Sorry your daughter suffers with a problem that causes her problems. I hope that she is doing OK with the antibiotics now.

Whilst working in schools I noticed that hygiene (or lack of) is a learnt behavior in some children. some of the parents I met where filthy too. Their excuse was it was the governments fault for not giving them enough money. But they had enough for beer, cigarettes and drugs? I am not judging people I just feel that we all have a choice. To wash or not to wash.


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