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John
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anonymous (not verified)
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hi had 2 assesments with atos origin,been to tribuneral and won also told doctor i had both assesments by the same person and there as bent as a dogs hind leg

Anonymous (not verified)
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I agree, I've seen countless people who have been to a medical assessment and lost their benefits due to the examiner not listening or ignoring the fact that there was a third party present and it needs to stop.

They are really being kicked when it comes to tribunals though, so if people do lose their benefits I advise, that if they genuinely did not deserve to lose said benefits, that they go to a tribunal because it will then reflect badly on ATOS and the DWP. Maybe then someone will realise that lying on the forms is a deeply flawed way of 'making the numbers' ...

John
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I agree, if you loose a benefit that you feel you should have been awarded than you have nothing to loose if you appeal. If you win than this does add to the evidence if the medical examiner was at fault.

However, on DLA for example. If you have been reviewed and been awarded less than before. I would strongly recommend you seek advice on an appeal from a welfare specialist. This is because you could, on appeal, end up with getting less not more. It depends on the strength of your appeal.

ABC123 (not verified)
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Please can I ask anyone who has had their benefit stopped incorrectly by ATOS HEALTHCARE / DWP to get in touch with your local MP if you feel you have been treated badly be either or both companies.

My son has been treated despicibly by ATOS & the DWP in regards to his ESA claim, despite numerous (recorded) written complaints to the DWP (which all have gone unanswered) they have now ceased his benefit without even writing to him, just sent P45 in post.

They have offered an appeal which they said they would review URGENTLY probably 3 to 5 working days, full appeal was sent recorded delivery first week in May , we still have not had a decision. We appealed for a crisis loan for my son ( a DWP dept which we pay for which is extremely busy due to the cancellation of benefit these days) he was awarded £30 for essential living costs.

ATOS/DWP are breaching their own policies and procedures & appeal processes, they are discriminitating against disability and they are quite clearly harassing & targetting a very vulnerable group in order to please the government unemployment figures.

Local MPs have received numerous complaints on the behaviour of ATOS staff who are representatives of the DWP, they are taking on cases in order to ask for a full review of their process, contact your local MP lets get this stopped now, nobody objects to a fair assessment, but they must remember we are humans! not a statistic.

 

PLEASE POST YOUR GRIEVANCES ONLINE IN ORDER THAT WE CAN LET OTHERS KNOW THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

John
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Yes this is often the case I hear , read and discuss the issue with friends across the disability sector.  You may have a separate legal case here but you would need legal advice.  Also please let the Citizens Advice Bureau and the organisation that deals with your son's particular or most debilitating disability. We all want to know.

You can complain in line with making an appeal. You are wise to have letters sent requiring a recieving signature.

When you complain to the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), yes it is a process that takes time, but you also can escalate up through to an Ombudsman.

A complaint about the service or lack thereof is different to challenging or appealing a benefit decision.

Click here for the DWP website to complain.<

Click here for the Parliamentary & Health Ombudsman Useful Links.<

ATOS Origin are the sub-contracted organisation of the DWP but the doctors must adhere to there own organisations standards. Therefore complaining about ATOS should be done via the DWP also.

Click here for the Citizens Advice Bureau ESA campaigning page.<

Finally, if you are unable to get local legal advice, check any credit card or insurance policies you may have as you may find they offer a legal advice service as part of the offering they make to you as a customer. If you are a trade union member your trade union will also be able to assist with access to legal advice.

Finally I want to repeat the wisdom of your action to send post "recorded delivery signed for"<. You can check online when a letter was recieved which may help where the Department claims to have not recieved or lost it. Where it has been signed for after that point the receiver is liable.

I hope this resolves for you soon.

Thank you for your post and the advice you give us all.

Best,

John.

anonymous (not verified)
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i had atos may 2011 the so called doctor put in the dwp what he wanted not what he was told i have lost  all dla esn as well so now i get nothing to live on dwp have up held the atos report i suffer from r a in all my joints

John
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I, like many here will be sorry to read your experience.  If you don't get ESA/DLA anymore you ought to be getting JSA.  It is not clear if you had assistance with your claim either.

There is much criticism of ATOS Medical practioners and what they record not being included in there report to the DWP. This is why there is growing pressure for recorded medicals and the last review of ESA by Professor Harrington recommend this. The DWP have undertaken a Pilot of this and we await the outcome.

I think its important to explain a little here.  The ATOS Medical Practioner measures claimants against a list of factors to determine ability to undertake work.  The information is input into a computer system and you are awarded a number of points.  This medical assessment will be done on what the medical practioner see's on the day and of course you may disagree with that assessment. There has been concern for many years including in the lead up to this system about 'fluctuating conditions' that are not readily nor properly assessed using a "snap shot" approach. 

The ATOS Medical professional will then submit a report based on there opinion to a DWP Decision Maker.  The DWP Decision Maker should then take the ATOS report and all of the information and medical reports from your doctors and make a decision. There has been mounting pressure on Decision Makers who seem to just accept the ATOS report regardless of the claimant provided evidence.

All of this and for other reasons well documented on this website, lead to the very high level of appeals and the recent criticism of the process by the Work and Pensions Select committee.

Clealry many disagree with the judgements made by ATOS.

In your case I would advise you seek help from a Welfare Advisor.  It may also prove useful to obtain your DWP files through a "Subject Access Request" using the Data Protection Act. This will sometimes expose internal documents you otherwise may not see.

Once you have all of the information. Your welfare adviser will then be able to advise you on what your options are.

Again I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is not an isolated case and raises many of the concerns felt by many people.

anonymous (not verified)
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After two medical assessments with ATOS, from which the reports were laden with inaccuracies, falsities and ambiguities; I am at a loss why any self respecting medic would compromise their professional and personal integrity by working for them. Honest work it is not!

After my first assessment, I was so distraught by the report where the assessor completely contradicted what she had told me in the assessment, that I forced myself back to work, determined to have nothing more to do with them.

Unfortunately, after 18 months my health suffered gravely and I could no longer carry on. The second medical assessment and report were ridiculously unprofessional and in my opinion (as a medic myself) bordered on negligent!

Having been granted (my due!) ESA benefits on appeal, I am now due a third repeat ESA assessment this week. A formal necessity, it is otherwise a complete waste of time and tax payer money.

However, I hasten to add that after insisting on recording my assessment, I have now been told that we are indeed entitled to a recorded session, whereby the client is given an immediate copy (upon which, i will check asap is not a blank one!!). I would urge everyone to request this.

The overall irony is that this whole shambolic process has been and is now the biggest influencing factor in my poor health and if I had been granted the reasonable time to return to acceptable health at my initial assessment 3 years ago, I would probably be working now and not having to claim benefit!

After reading some of these posts, I've made the decision to make formal complaints to my local MP and to ATOS and would consider a complaint against the individual assessor to the appropriate professional body. That is of course as soon as I feel well enough... do they have a time limit on the complaints procedure? Perhaps this is their plan.... it's very easy to bulldoze sick people who can't quite defend themselves.... one day many of them will get better!

John
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Firstly thank you for confirming that medicals can not be recorded. Many have sought to get clarification and I will also repost your comment above into the forum we have on this.

If you are complaining then it is better "sooner rather then later".  I would advise you get the MP involved first, ask if they will accept copies of all correspondence from ATOS in response being forwarded to them as well as yourself.  On the ATOS system there is a check box for whether an MP is involved or not.  This must be for a reason.

Send all correspondence 'signed for' as a minimum as you get to track it via the post office online site.

I am through my appeal and was successful on reconsideration.

When I submitted my appeal it was in part an appeal predicated, in part, on a detailed complaint.  The complaint was passed to ATOS Serious Complaints Team and months on, I still await a response as it needs to be checked by their lawyers.

So whereas I have the decision I believe was fair to me in my situation, the process isn't over as the complaint is still outstanding and regularly chased by me.

It is important where you can argue a case in an objective manner to make the complaint. Also let the final details of the complaint available to apprioprate bodies to use as evidence in pursuit of there campaigning.

Alas, as I have written many times, we need to get used to more frequent assessment, campaigning for fairness, but be organised to make out case fully when required.

Good luck with your third assessment.

anonymous (not verified)
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i went for a medical as they requested ,i have phycosis and parkinsons.i rang them after waiting for two weeks it took a month to get them to send to benefits office and now i have to wait three weeks for a decision .i constantly rang atos and got a load of conflicting info .tax payers pay for this apauling service that caused a lot of anxiety .i am writing to my mp because its just nuts treating poeple like we dont exist .i thought it was set up to make life easier thats a joke .i have sympothy for anyone who has been subjected to this .and we should not sit back and be quite we need to be treated with respect and dignaty,

John
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Yes I think all of us who have dealt with ATOS have a similar experience.  My advice is if you have a problem with them to write as there seem to be problems understanding when you use the phone.  If you are a migration from Incapacity Benefit case you will remain at your existing benefit until the decision is made.

Thank you for writing to your MP it is important that MP's get letters from all consituents affected.

Yes many of us who have paid National Insurance in the past expected it to cover us when we became ill or disabled it is a "shock and a wake up call" for those entering the system.

Thank you for your post.

anonymous (not verified)
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 last year my wife on her assesment got 12 points but on her appeal won this year had to go to another assesment got nil points even her health has got worst so we appeal and the tribunal  disallowed it but the tribunal awards her 12 points but last year we had 12 points and won so what  wrong now we have no income so what so we do

anonymous (not verified)
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When i was at the assesment,i went with my mum,the Nurse who did the assesment was rude arrogant,convascending,My Mum was tearfull i was hostile as i had this person for my 1st (Micky Mouse Assesment and knew i was not gonna get a fair go.The Nurse was asking questions ,my Mum already said we had a row before coming here today,the Nurse said you could of Rearrnaged Assesment the stupid woman did not understand it was because of that assesment,any way then my Mam said Calmly im self employed i carn,t just take time off when i want,(in a calm voice) the Nurse lept out of her Chair in a loud voice hands outstreched i will TERMINATE THIS ASSESMENT IF YOU START BEEN ABUSIVE,we both looked at each other ehh confused for the rest of the day come back in there findings apparently my mother was abusive lol,my mother works taking a young lad with autism with learning difficulty to school,was rare eye contact she put the computer monitor right in the middle of the desk so she could not see me at all,also made a point of saying to my mam i carnt take anything you say in to account  unless it goes against him which she did contradicted herself all over in it.

anonymous (not verified)
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Hi,

Firstly, I emailled ATOS website to make a complaint about the inhumane behaviour of one of their assessor and it just got bounced back saying it cannot be delivered. The address was on their official website!!! It is a con and a downright lie.

Then I registered as suggested by another part of their site to assess to their complaint department. After following all the instruction, it still said I wasn't registered. It is another con to fob off complaint!!! As far as I am concern, they are unproffessional, seriously lack courtesy, not fit to be working in a service industry. They ask for respect to their staff in their charter clearly shown in their office, they DO NOT deserve respect if they don't earn it!!! My gripe is with the office at Nearden Chancel House.

 Can anyone help? I still wish to make a complaint about their lack of professionalism.

John
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Some key websites.

ATOS Healthcare<

DWP Complaints & Appeals.<

Post Office Recorded Signed for.<

Find your MP <

 

Communication is poor but it is about complaining in the correct way and understanding the relationships.  I would always advise people to write when complaining and sending it to the appropriate person using the "Post Office Recorded Signed For" service (or Special Delivery if urgent).

Draft your complaint using the points you wish to raise, any solutions you can suggest and/or what you expect to arise from the complaint. Keep it brief and non-abusive.  When you have completed the complaint letter put it down for a couple of hours then re-read it afresh as you may have missed something.  Also if you have been accompanied during an assessment get the person to either sign your letter also testifying to there agreement or get them to submit a review of events, signed for inclusion in your letter.

Writing creates an "audit trail" <as letter and responses appear on your file. You can obtain a copy of your file by making a "Subject Access Request" under the Data Protection Act.  <

If you talk on the phone note the time, date and name of the person you are speaking to with any action they say they will take.

Knowing who to complain to is important.

  • If the medical professional treated you in an un-professional way. You can submit a complaint to there professional body. You need the name of the medical professional and if they are a doctor, qualified nurse etc. .. . For doctors you can complain to the General Medical Council (GMC). It helps if you have the appropriate persons membership number of the organisation you are complaining to.
  • ATOS Healthcare have a complaints process< and would need to be aware of any complaint you have to allow them to resolve it. They undertake the medical assessment process BUT not the Decision making process which remains with the DWP. If you are making a complaint to a professional body about ATOS staff you should send them a copy of this complaint.
  • Department for Work & Pensions Jobcentre are ultimately responsible for any complaint you have.  You would use your local Jobcentre office and/or decision maker. This information will be in letters from them.  ALL complaints should at the very least be copied to the DWP. If you are copying a complaint to the DWP than enclose a cover letter detailing any action you require from them.  They may push you to seek resolution with ATOS first BUT if you are not getting suitable and timely communication from ATOS the DWP are responsible so push them.  If you are complaining to a medical professional body  you should be aware that the DWP may not comment until your professional complaint is dealt with.

You need to distinguish between a complaint and an appeal.  An Appeal is where you wish to challenge a decision made and there is an appeal process this is usually explained in form GL24.  A complaint covers other issues such as how you were treated etc.. . You can submit both.  If you are unclear as always please seek suitable qualified Welfare Advice i.e. Citizens Advice Bureau (they are also collecting claimant issues<).

I hope this helps.

anonymous (not verified)
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I WENT ON 16 AGUST MEDICAL ASSENTMENT ATOS HIGHGATE, ALL THE NURSE DID WAS LOOK AT THE COMPUTER AND ASK QUESTION NOT EVEN LOOK AT ME ONLY WHEN SHE SAID CAN YOU LIFT YOUR ARMS UP ECT... I TOLD HER I NEED TO GO TOILET SHE REPLY WAIT 5 MIN I'M NEARLY FINNISH, AFTER I TOLD HER I GOT WEAK BLADDER AND I'VE WET MYSELF BEFORE, GOOD JOB I WAS WITH SOMEONE WITH ME TO WITNESS THIS. NOW I'M WAITTING IF I GOT 15 POINTS? I WAS THERE FOR 1 HOUR. I SUFFER CHORIC ANXIETY DEPRESSION.

anne (not verified)
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I have recently had my D.L.A. stopped completly thanks to an assesment done by a so called doctor from atos I have got a copy of this sham of a medical report and I cant believe that this "medical professional" can tell so many lies, I have complained to both D.W.P. and atos, the said doctor has ignored all atempts by customer service to resolve my complaint, sadly up to now his manager is also ignoring them. I cant believe just how many people are having to complain and why we are being ignored, I must say the lady at D.W.P. is being very helpful, but because I have had to complain my appeal has been held up, your site has proved helpful to me and I now lnow Im not alone I will be contacting my M.P.

John
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Anne, great to see you challenging this. Thank you it helps all of us.

I want to point out another avenue that you can raise your issues.  The ATOS "medical professional" will  be registered with a professional body to which they agree to be bound by a series of ethics and rules.  If the 'medical professional' is not being professional and not complying with the fundamental duty of care they have to a patient than you can complain.

For doctors you would complain to the General Medical Council<.

For Registered Nurses you would complain to the Nursing & Midwifery Council<.

You would complain if they have failed in a medical duty to you as described on the apprioprate website.

I am glad you note the DWP are being helpful as I find them also helpful. However, as you are a claimant, I would write to the DWP insisting that they are utimately responsible to you for a resoultion. ATOS Health Care are merely an agent of the DWP, that is they work for the DWP.  I find the DWP like to push cliamants away towards ATOS almost as if it is an entirely separate body which it is not.

Yes ATOS should be given an oppourtunity to resolve a complain in the first instance but if they fail to do so the duty is still on the DWP to ensure they meet there customer charter< and of course are able to deal with the decision they have made.  It can speed matters up if you deal with ATOS in pursuit of your complaint but when it becomes unreasonable the DWP need to take over.

If you have complained< it is reasonable to write to the DWP and ask them to give you a time frame for resolution, your appeal cannot be 'put on hold' indefinately it does need to be dealt with in a timely manner.

Of course the delays and unwillingness by ATOS will form part of your appeal so keep all the activity you have undertaken here in a diary with who you spoke to, what it was about and the date & time.

As I understand it ATOS have to dealth with your complaint within 20 days from reciept as a standard time frame. However in exceptional complex cases this can be extended but you need to be written to every 10 days thereafter concerning progress.  If no progress is made than you clearly have gounds to insist the DWP act.

You could also raise concerns with Bill Gunnyeon DWP Cheif Medical Advisor< .

Getting your MP< involved is key for two reasons. Firstly it is important to have them aware of your case to wrtie to the Secretary of State DWP and also it expands the evidence they have to challenge on your behalf in Parliament.

Remember if ATOS are hindering the process this must form part of you appeal as they have to answer for it.

I wish you the best of luck please let us know what happens?

anonymous (not verified)
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Dear Department for Work and Pensions, Could you please supply a copy of the following protocols given to all atos doctors .
1.Cardiorespiratory—14 protocols;
2.Mental Health—12 protocols
3.Musculoskeletal—10 protocols, and;
4.Neurological & Infections—6 protocols

any txt or pdf format would suffice

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/atos_doctors_directives#incoming-2...<

Other HIV/AIDS FOI requests http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/search/HIV/AIDS<

anonymous (not verified)
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I am very concerned about Atos Healthcare. I had an interview with them for a post as a Disability Analyst and was appalled to learn that I would be expected to assess claimants' mental health status, which even after their training, I would not have been qualified to do.

My interviewers did not seem to understand the job I do and assured me they never look at the anti-Atos publicity. 'After a while you learn to ignore those!' (Laughing).

I didn't get the job as I was assessed to be, 'insufficiently commercially aware'.

How sad that, in wanting to use my healthcare skills for the benefit of people, I was, in fact, assessed, albeit incorrectly, on my business acumen. I run a successful business.

maj (not verified)
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Can somebody explain if anybody knows what level of medical knowledge ATOS HEALTHCARE have if any? I mean do they employ  Consultant Cardiologist to do Asessments? Do they employ Consultant Physicians to do Asessments? Or is just pencil pushers who think have some authority because they work for a private healthcare company contracted to the government?

Thanks in advance.

John
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ATOS medical assessment personnel have to meet the standards defined as being a "Health Care Professional". This means they can be a nurse, a GP or even a consultant. Though I doubt there are many consultants at assessment level, doubt it would pay enough.

IT should be noted that they undertake an assessment and in a view that I share, typically ignore most if not all the claimant supplied additional information.  That is where the Decision Maker comes in, they have to assess ALL the information though clearly there is sense that the WCA carries much weight.

anonymous (not verified)
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Maj (not verified)
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I think my fellow brethren on here will find this pdf useful. Just after page 16 you will see how the points are broken down ha ha We got to always be knowledgeable and one step ahead of HATEos

*** I have amended the link here as tcell.org.uk doesn't hold the copyright. Please see the Benefits and Work website for the ESA guides< ***

anonymous (not verified)
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hi i went for my medical assesment,it was termainted on the grounds that she had enough information and didnt want to put me threw anymore has anyone heard of this??

John
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It depends on how far through the assessment this was done.  Ask the DWP/ATOS for the report on the medical assessment and take it from there.

anonymous (not verified)
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Hi, I went for a ATOS medical and had my reply to say I am unfit for work until November!

Has anyone got any advice as to what I need to do come November?

Thanks.

John
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In November you will be assessed again so a repeat of what you have been through. If you didn't do so already, obtain up to date medical reports so you can send them to the DWP & ATOS for the next review.

anonymous (not verified)
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Oh dear,

If attending wasn't bad enough, was wracked with absoloute anxiety, appointment was for 11.30 today 30/7/12  . .  finally seen by an Atos dr at 1.20 !

Was in agony by the time Dr finally saw me. Not even an apology was offered ! Never been treated with such disdain.

Need to complain but don't know how ?

Feel so insulted and down !

 

Maria.

 

John
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You will be pressed to complain to ATOS Healthcare you can find the information here< or in the letters they sent you. What I would say is copy everything and keep one copy of your complaint for your records and send another to the DWP office that deals with your claim. The DWP office will tell you that your complaint will be dealt with by ATOS but if it becomes a lenghtly process then you can escalate up thought the DWP.

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