Monday, 22 August 2011

Atos moves to shut down criticism

It doesn't surprise me that Atos are threatening legal action to websites that are reporting their displeasure or helping people through the medicals. I can't imagine my blog will attract much attention, but if it does, I shouldn't think it'd take much for Google to take it down. Ideally I'd love to have the opportunity to talk to someone at Google, and have them on side, but being an American company, and this a British problem, I don't see it happening somehow.

As the article linked in the title says, I too think I have only recoded known facts. I'm not sure without checking, and I'm exhausted at the moment so that's not going to happen. The article reports the facts succinctly, thus:
  • Atos Healthcare carries out Work Capability Assessments for the DWP.
  • The contract is worth approximately £100 million per year.
  • There has been a sharp rise in people found fit for work
  • There has been a sharp rise in people appealing that decision
  • 40% of those that appeal, win, rising to 70% with legal representation.
  • Although the decision over “fit to work” lies with the DWP,a government review found that the DWP are institutionally incapable of overriding the Atos Health Care Professionals. The Atos recommendation is, in effect, the decision.
  • Atos employ Health Care Professionals to carry out the assessments. HCPs are a mix of doctors, physiotherapists and nurses. Only people with certain problems will definitely see doctors.
  • Atos use their own Lima computer system to record the patient’s answers. Lima has been widely criticised.
  • The HCP fills in Lima by choosing keywords and statements from a list and then justifying them.
  • An Atos recruiter said “We don’t call them patients . . . We call them claimants.”

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