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joan thomas (not verified)
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recording of assesments should be encouraged by patients or carers or should be supplied by ATOS

John
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Yes I 110% agree Joan.  You might be interest in this about Recording Devices< . We have always lobbied for this and having been through the WCA myself I understand the benefit. I was lucky to have a good note taker.

Maj (not verified)
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Was it on here that I read a post or link to another website which kind of advised asking the names of all all the Healthcare Professionals who take part in the ESA Assessment from the person who reads the ESA Questionaire (Application), who decides a face to face assessment is necessary and the HCP who will be at the face to face assessment.?

John
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The list your are requesting would have to include all ATOS Health Care Professionals and Department for Work and Pensions Staff dealing with Employment and Support Allowance. I am not sure a list exists and it would be out of date by the time it was published when you consider staff turnover alone.

If you want to find out who the members of staff were that dealt with your personal claim from start to finish.  The best way is to submit a Data Protection Act Subject Access Request< to the Department for Work and Pensions<.

They have up to 40 days to supply the information. Depending on how long you have been claiming will be reflected in the amount of information you get back. 

You will get computer records printed out and all paper based copies of all correspondence between all parties involved in your claim i.e. ATOS, DWP, you and any medical information.

Make sure this is complete because if you have sent something and it is not there you need to chase it up. Likewise make sure all the information is yours and not someone else's.

Part of the information you get back will include the information on who made decisions like assessing if you need a Work capability assessment.

If you have had your assessment then it will include all that documentation.

Finding out who might do your face to face assessment is a 'non-starter' you only find that out when they have introduced themself to you at the begining of the WCA.

At the early stages ATOS undertake most of the process of assessment process.

The do not make decisions on awards merely supply there medical "prognosis" or opinion.

The DWP Decision Maker makes the award and in theory is to consider the ATOS advice, your submission and any medical evidence you have supplied.

anonymous (not verified)
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It might be helpful and useful to review other FOI requests that have been submitted to the DWP, I refer to http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/dwp< ,which might provide the information you seek.

Angie (not verified)
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Hi,  I recently had my IB taken from me. 

I had my assessment on the 25th July 2012, where the woman was a registered nurse and I do not beleive she has any ortheapedic knowledge/experience.  She insisted that she wasn't going to assess me physically has she didn't want to disturb my poorly knee - which she stated in the report I complained about pain that's why she didn't examine me.  She decided that her 'assessment' was to walk around my chair look at my good knee and go back to her desk.  She did not ask me about my mobility problems or anything to do with my condition, she was more interested in my arms and eyes.

On the 13th August 2012 I had the dreaded phone call from the DWP stating because I got to the assessment then I'm able to work.  I'm unable to go out alone and need someone with me at all times.  I cannot get up and down Kerbs/stairs/steps.  I use a crutch at all times and had to move t be closer to family in 2009.  In the report ATOS had written I catch taxis' regular on my own independently to my grandparents and I never said this.

Most of the report is false information, my aunt came with me and she said that the lady wasn't listening.

I had my benefit stopped 6/09/12 and I am appealing.

So far, I have complained to ATOS, NWC and been educating myself on what's next on the agenda.

I have CAB behind me and I'm just waiting for the appeal papers for the tribunal to come through.

Anything else can you suggest?

Also ATOS have not gotten back to me, they emailed after I had quired 12 days ago saying:

That they had sent me a letter out on the 21/08/12 acknowledging they had received my complaint and would now investigate - never received.

And, that they had done an investigation and my outcome should be on my doorstep in seven days, still waiting.  Emailed them again and they've ignored further communication with me.

I have had a bad right knee most of my life, I will be 29 next month. I suffered with fluid on the knee has a child/teenager and would often be on crutches. I broke my leg twice due to my knee giving way, the same leg – once in 1996 and once in 2010. In 2007 I had an operation to fix my twisted knee cap and to release some of the fluid. I had physio, hydro and acupuncture and nothing worked and I was putpermenantly on a crutch.

In 2010 when I broke my leg for a second time, I managed somehow to retwist and undo my operated knee cap.

I have also nerve damage to the knee.

John
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I have sympathy with your situation.  I appealed my decision and it was overturned on reconsideration.  I did complaint to ATOS and they deemed the issues warranted that it be escalated to there "Serious Complaints Team". It took 8 months to get a response, with my MP involved in chasing it. I felt that they thought as my decision had been changed that I would drop pursuing my complaint but I didn't.  However, still unhappy with the response. There was no further escalation route for my complaint.  I have submitted details to the Year 3 Professor Harrington review. I digress.

In order to make a good submission or appeal you need to do the work and become organised. I believe your learn curve at the moment is teaching you this lesson.

In my case I keep all my medical information filled and prefer to deal in written correspondence.  I find that conversations rarely achieve anything but more stress. It takes more time but it avoids or certainly cuts down on ambiguity.

I also believe in being fully "armed" to challenge. This means that you need to understand how decisions and the processes have worked or not.  To do this you would need to have a copy of the paperwork concerning your claim as there are internal documents on your file you maynot be aware of. To do this you can request a copy under a Subject Access Request Data Protection Act, asking for your complete records.  I state this nearly all the time but sometimes the reasons for appeal can also be a failure of process which your records can only identify.  This does add time to the appeal process though.

Within your file will be a document number ESA85.  This is the medical assessment undertaken by the ATOS Healthcare professional and may include there comments and of course a prognosis. You will be able to go through this section by section and highlight errors, ommisions and inaccuracies.

I am also guessing that your aunt has provided a statement based on her observations of your assessment and next time you will insist on the assessment being recorded.  They cannot ignore your full medical condition. If you are in pain did they ask about how that is managed? Does any medication taken specify it impairs your ability to make decisions?

As for getting 'taxi's' this may demonstrate a functional ability mentally but in the terms you express it doesn't mention any help you would require getting into and out of said taxi at either end to deal with your physical difficulties.

I wish you well with your appeal.

Your MP may help to progess matters with ATOS and the DWP so you should use them.

I wouldn't use email but write a letter, mark it "Private and Confidential" and send it 'signed for'. Keep a copy but ALSO SEND a copy to the DWP. You may still be ignored but you then have an audit trail demonstrating they are hindering your claim.

If you have not done so, and sorry if I am repeating myself, but you need a consultant you see regarding your medical issues to write a medical report indicating the issues with your knee and the longer term impact. This you can submit as further evidence.

There is also an issue if you would be a 'danger to yourself or others' as a result of your issues? The HCP should have considered this as part of the assessment.

Darren (not verified)
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hey i just wanted to say im glad i found this site tonight . I suffer with acute anxiety and i had my letter from the benefits people this morning saying i had to join some work group . I didnt understand it at first but it looks like the incapacity i was on before is being turned down and im being forced into some kind of back to work programme  . I hated this assessment process under labour but i couldnt have imagined it would have got this bad . I hardly leave my house i stuggle to go to the shops and have suffered with anxiety for a number of years and now i have to face this nightmare again . This site has been very helpful after a quick glance . I just wanted to say thanks . Im going to start my appeal first thing monday 

John
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Thanks for your kindess. We are not welfare advisors nor lawyers. We merely try to keep people up-to-date and share our own personal experiences as they may help others.

anonymous (not verified)
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Can any one tell me what happens if assessment is terminated because client is distressed with headaches and confusion?

 

John
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Apologies for the long delay in response.

The Health Care Practioner has a duty of care towards the client, one also covered by any professional body they are likely to be a member of.

If an assessment is terminated for a health related reason it maybe rescheduled or the Healthcare Practioner may feel they have gathered sufficent information to complete the medical assessment.

Where there is a dispute, and a client is not sure of what is happening if an assessment is terminated they should contact ATOS.  If that fails then a written complaint should be submitted with a copy to the DWP office.

Without understand more information it is difficult to speculate further.

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