How bad is ATOS?

Interestingly there has been a change in ATOS policy after this story hit the headlines. After a campaign ATOS sub-contracted the assessments in Scotland to an NHS agency.

Will they do the same in England and Wales I wonder.

A GRIEVING boy of 13 has accused Atos of killing his disabled dad.

Kieran McArdle told the Daily Record in a harrowing letter how his father Brian, 57, collapsed and died the day after his disability benefits were stopped. He had been assessed by Atos and deemed “fit for work”.

32 Replies

  • I wondered why the NHS didn't just do this in the first place then heard somewhere ... Oh why can never remember important details... That the NHS didn't have enough staff to do them.... My thoughts ... Get rid of atos and employ more NHS staff or is that too simple....????


  • Its all about making money for the rich and greedy Atos can't possibly continue much longer the system has been proven time and time again to be totally flawed x

  • i also think it should be up to our doctors to decide and inform the DWP whether we can work or not,i would also like to see perhaps peeps who could do voluntary work get some form of payment towards their benefits x

  • I agree, Della.

    Unfortunately, the new policies affecting benefits are popular with so-called 'Middle England' whose perception has always been that the benefits system is overly generous.

    It appears that the latest move to please voters is to tailor benefits according to how much an individual has contributed to the public purse.

    Of course, the point has been missed that those who can contribute a great deal are the ones least likely to need the most generous pay-out!

    The idea of benefits and National Insurance has always been that many should pay, so that a few can benefit. Unfortunately, things are going the other way, with fewer paying and more needing benefits. I really don't know what will happen - it's a bad situation.

    Moffy x

  • The irony is VG, we are all assessed by the NHS as it is, there is no point to having ATOS medicals when you have been signed off unfit for work by the NHS.

  • That's a good point, esa - the job is in effect being done twice over at great expense - expense that could be saved and used for propping up the crumbling benefits system.

  • 3 times or more even, you have get your GP to write letters for ATOS, more waste of valuable NHS time. Then ATOS take no notice and you have to get your GP to write more letters for tribunal. Its a complete joke.

  • You are perfectly correct - and don't get me started on NHS managers because I shall be uncontrollable.

    Also the board has a restriction on discussing politics unless relating to disability issues - easy to forget when we become passionate about the problems facing us!

  • I think you will find ATOS has been created to remove benefits from the disabled, inc the sick. If that is classed as discussing politics, then we are all breaking the rules.

  • No, you get me wrong - that's entirely within the guidelines.

    It's just so very easy to get on to politics in general, which we try to avoid, and I must confess I have been one of the worst offenders!

    I now try to be a reformed character :)

  • Well that's a relief, there wouldn't be much point posting here if talking about ATOS was against the rules. The more adverse publicity they get, which they rightly deserve, the sooner we will be rid of them.

  • Does that mean if atos lose all the contracts you will leave the forum EG.... Hmmm now that's a dilemma how to keep EG and lose atos....

    Goes off to ponder

    VG :)

  • I don't think that will happen VG, the way the system works is, the old boy network ie. ATOS will still get the contracts, and will subcontract the NHS to do the medicals. Who in turn will hire ATOS staff to help with the medicals. I nearly let politics creep in there hence the edit.

  • I'm awfully afraid you are going to be proved right! Ah well - come the revolution!

  • Drags a comfy chair to the guillotine and waits expectantly :)

  • Thats such a sad story.

    If you think ATOS are bad, CAPITA, a similar company are also undertaking some assessments , especially PIP assessments. Capita, like ATOS are an Occupational Health Company, but my experience of CAPITA is far worse than my experience with ATOS!! so still be aware of who may be dealing with any assessments you may have in the future. xx

  • I posted a link with a list of companies that have contracts to enforce PIP, but took it down so as not to depress you all. G4S, Capita, ATOS and a few others, all the gov's main contractors got a slice of the pie. Most of them have no medical background, none of them have really. It is estimated that some 600,000 disabled people will lose DLA.

  • capita are the company which collect TV licence money.

  • G4S is a security firm, now its a medical healthcare company.

  • ATOS are not getting the boot anywhen soon now they're co-dealing with DLA/PIP claims :-( and as has been pointed out, the system is effectively doubling up on assessments. Our GPs know us best so there's no point employing numpties to half do a job it took years of training medics to do the job properly in the first place! With the new universal credit coming in, the govt can remove the cost of ATOS and surplus DWP personnel in one stroke :-)

  • Couldn't agree more, the effect of these assessments is tying up NHS GP's writing letters for patients who have to attend ATOS medicals and tribunals.

  • Absolutely!

    It also undermines GPs and calls their professional judgement into question. They are hardly going to let a "swinger of the lead" get signed off ad infinitum and get away with playing the system.

  • Correct on all counts Sam, if GP's were that incompetent, they would be struck off!

  • couldn't agree more. My GP is now semi retired and i will be sad the day he finally decides to retire. I respect him and although I haven't known him that long I would trust his judgment over and above any doctor who has never met you and can just your health and wellbeing in all of 10 minutes! (Sorry I had to add that as Capital tare k/a Capita Health and Wellbeing!! They have made me more ill since the day I first encountered them….. I haven't stopped taking valium since! :(

  • Didnt gs4 make a mess of security at the Olympics how are they going to asses people... Run them through an airport security system and if it beeps you get turned down

    VG x

  • Hi VG, would it surprise you to learn that ATOS also had a contract with the London Olympics. :)

    I think what happened with G4S is they forgot some of the millions they were paid, was meant to go on wages for security staff. With any luck they will forget to hire staff to deliver PIP.

  • They could always just cut out the middle man, the Government could save money by not paying them and let us assess ourselves … we'd get a more accurate account xx

  • The middle man is the government, its about creating jobs for the boys. Have you heard of the revolving door? that is the practice in which government officials return to positions in private companies that do business with the government, when they lose their seats ie.

  • Yes, Atos are appalling but let's not forget they are only contracted by the DWP who made these abhorrent policies in the first place.

    Re the initial post, perhaps you would sign and share this petition widely regarding all the deaths since Welfare Reform. The deaths per week are supposed to be twice as many since we started this petition - now at nearly 3000 signatures but many more needed.

    Many thanks.

  • Absolutely, lets not forget ATOS are contractors who work for the government, whereas the DWP are civil servants employed directly by the government.

    Don't you think you would be better off starting your own blog?

    I have signed it, now up to 2905:)

  • Thanks for signing. yes, I did have this as a blog a while back. Maybe time to start a fresh one.

  • fter I recently had my 'at home' medical assessment, I was amazed when the Doctor gave me the timescale for a decision.

    I wasn't amazed that it would take up to a month - but the fact that he said he would send his report to ATOS who would then enter it on their system in the right format for the DWP.

    1. Why can't they give the doctor a form to fill in (they are keen enough to give US forms).

    2. What 'spin' could ATOS put on the report before it reaches the DWP.

    if the doctor could submit directly it may save the hundreds of thousands of pounds spenT every year on appeals, and the information would be 1st hand from doctor to DWP -

    CRAZY - the whole thing!!

    In this day and age are we to believe a Doctor not capable of submitting a report either online or in a form.

    ATOS ARE afterall only a 'computer software' company - HEADED BY A PERSON WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE IN OR EMPATHISE WITH DISABILITY.

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