This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

ATOS and DWP to be held to account / 9 February 2014

The National Audit Office (NAO) are to launch a new investigation into ATOS Healthcare, the company that carries out controversial medical tests for people claiming sickness and disability benefits when it emerged that they've been paid £754m since 2005.

In a House of Lords question this week Lord Alton of Liverpool asked the NAO to investigate the reason behind such a large amount being paid to ATOS by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).  

Lord Alton said: “The Atos contract with the Government has become like a licence to print money. Astronomical sums are involved. Worrying questions have arisen about whether the terms of the company's tender have been met; whether performance matches promise; and whether a project undertaken on the pretext of giving value for money has done so. When millions of pounds of public money is being diverted to private companies, it is crucial that there is accountability, transparency, and public confidence. I welcome the NAO's decision to scrutinise the ATOS contract and think the Public Accounts Committee should ask ATOS and the DWP to appear before them."

Stephen Timms,  Labour’s employment  spokesman, said: “This  Government has been warned time and again to get a grip of this contract, but the truth is Iain Duncan Smith [the Work and Pensions Secretary] has let ATOS spin out of control and the taxpayer and vulnerable people are picking up the pieces.  Anyone taking the Work Capacity Assessment  today is now eight  times more likely to end up in a tribunal than a job and the cost of those appeals has soared by 40 per cent  in the last year alone. Ministers have got to fix this mess – fast.”

Some 40 per cent of people claiming incapacity benefit  appealed against its rulings (costing the government a further £500 million) and 38 per cent of them were successful. Despite that, the company won a further contract to assess the new personal  independence payments for disabled people.  The Government has been criticised by MPs for allowing a virtual monopoly to develop. 

Comments

luan

/
20 February 2014

I had 25 min assesment and sat for the whole time except to show him how i get up (with difficulty)...althou this is in the report in black and white the assessor has filled in a section claiming i had been examined lying down with bogus results yet nobody in this alledgedly intelligent goverment or atos seem to find anything wrong with his report and i have lost my benefit ..atos say they do not make decisions but they are defo responsible for the reports that cost us the outcome the system is so unrealistic ...

Graham Wilmot

/
10 February 2014

I have just entered a comment of considerable length which because I omitted the code by accident has gone. this is almost as frustrating as dealing with ATOS and the DWP

Dorothy Jump

/
10 February 2014

I am a Parent/Carer my son has Severe Learning Disabilities,Epilepsy and Challenging Behaviour he is 40 yrs old. He claims Disability Living Allowance high rate care and mobility and on a Indefinte claim he will be up for a review from 2015. My issues are if he has previously been assessed for an Indefinte claim why be assessed again his situation is not going to change he will be unable to work. I think this Government need to get there facts right. I am challenging this issue with a Petition at www.change.org Government Policy on Disability Living Allowances changes and I will challenge until I get answers.

Tony

/
10 February 2014

Blood money simple . Bonuses for getting people off lieing in what patience didn't say no proper doctors they wouldn't put there names to atos therefore who are these people assessing people they haven't a clue in mental health issues or spinal or bone injuries . They need investigating and who is to be held for the 12.000 suicides after medical and have had there money stopped since these untrained idiots are not legally trained to do the job . I mean would you let a road sweeper in to fix your boiler no you wouldn't I hope someone and there will be one day are held for the deaths at the hands of these jokers .

Maggie

/
10 February 2014

Great post Dave Lupton. Where the hells was Lord Alton years ago?

John Henry 'OgwrDragon' White via Facebook

/
10 February 2014

These are the same 'people' who burned money in front of the destitute... May they burn in hell!

Anne Sarge Ruzylo via facebook

/
10 February 2014

To join the disgusting Atos we now face the Health and Work service!!! They will not stop at anything!!

Neil Hemsley via Facebook

/
10 February 2014

Blood money

Kelly 'noodz' Carron via facebook

/
10 February 2014

Makes me sick to my stomach. How do these cretins sleep at night?!

Kevin James via Face Book

/
10 February 2014

The whole aim, and all the contracts to disabled back to work programmes is because they want to empty the National Insurance Fund which Bevan built up so it could never be empty an Tories could not take us back to prewar existence as it was the security behind the NHS. not to be spent on anything but health an welfare. but built up as a security, except one exemption, as after war to pay for programmes helping disable back to work, the whole programme is about emptying the NI funds built up since war from everyone's money for generations. It is a plan. to empty the coffers and leave us beggars. except for the rich. not even country patriotic, just money patriotic. wish people wd take notice, it is about beggaring the country. not just us.

Merry Cross

/
9 February 2014

Excellent as usual, but also useful for ATOS demos and informing the public. Thanks.

ms nikki hack

/
9 February 2014

I fibro underactive thyroid an oa in my neck, I had mine stopped because I could walk to my frontdoor an stand on my tip toes, I can't believe people like myself are told by these people I'm fit for work, I can't lift any thing heavy because my pain levels will get worst

Add a comment

Please leave your comments. They will display when submitted. DAO encourages critical feedback, but please be considerate. DAO reserves the right to edit or remove comments that don't comply with our editorial policy, which you can find on DAOs 'About' pages.

Your e-mail address will not be revealed to the public.
HTML is forbidden, but line-breaks will be retained.
This can be a URL of an image or a YouTube, MySpaceTV or a Flickr page (we'll handle the media embedding from there!)
This is to prevent automatic submissions.