Assessing incapacity

I would think that everyone wants those who cannot work because they are incapacitated to receive financial support. I would think that everyone wants those who can work but who claim incapacity benefit falsely not to receive that support.

However, the previous Labour government tried to get people off  such allowances and my experience as a local MP from surgery is that the ‘re-assessment’ of people claiming has been variable at best.

We need to be sure that there is no perverse incentive to determine that someone can work when they cannot. We also need to be sure that those carrying out the assessment are good at it.

0 thoughts on “Assessing incapacity

  1. Something has been bothering me for a while now.
    1. How can George Osborne know exactly how much he is going to save with benefit reforms before the process is anywhere near completion unless he already knows the outcome of the work capability assessments?. It appears that the process has been predefined in order to achieve the desired result regardless of peoples health condition(s).
    2. Why would the DWP pay ATOS £500m over 10 years without a guaranteed return on capital?. I know that ATOS have been the recipients of peoples venom, and rightly so, but what about the undoubted complicity of the DWP?
    They have colluded and conspired against us, so what are the chances for DLA?
    The local rag today featured an article by Trading Standards. It was extolling the virtues of reporting people suspected of cheating the system and was extremely threatening and malevolent in its content. It seems that we are fast becoming the human equivalent of “splat-a-rat”.

  2. Lynne, why all the secrecy about what is really going on? If the coalition really believes that a person that can only pull their tongue out can lick stamps for the Post Office, or a person with a brain tumour really wants to spend their precious time actively seeking employment to avoid sanctions, then why not come out and say so.
    Do you not find this persecution distasteful or are you starting to believe the mantra “They’re ALL layabouts and scroungers”? That’s the message that is constantly being fed to the press in order to justify what can only be described as obscenities.
    Is this really your ideology or is it just a price worth paying, and, when the real cost of the “Ducking stool” mentality bites will you still be able to hold your head high? Really?

  3. I have discovered something today that backs up previous posts that ATOS are on a pre-defined mission to disqualify as many people as possible. How long before the tribunal service is infiltrated as well and told not to find against ATOS decisions.

    This is truly shocking so hold on to your seats.

    I filled in my second ATOS form last week. Today I received the letter asking me to call for an appointment for the so-called medical assessment. I said I specifically wanted a female assessor. The person at the appointments centre in Croydon checked my records. She offered me an appointment and mentioned the name of the assessor. It was the same person that assessed me last year as fit to work, a decision attacked by the tribunal chairman as totally incompetent. THAT PERSON IS STILL WORKING FOR ATOS!

    I asked if there was any cross checking done if a decision went to a tribunal to track the decision back to a specific assessor and was amazed to be told that the DWP did not carry out that kind of check and nor did ATOS. ATOS are not even told of tribunal decisions that go against them!

    In other words, there are people who are making CONSISTENTLY WRONG AND INCOMPETENT DECISIONS working for ATOS who have no kind of measurement of their performance other than the extra bonuses they get for DISQUALIFYING claimants from benefit.

    Can you believe that?

    Last year, I made a complaint about the assessor following the receipt of the bungled assessment report but many months before the tribunal. There was never any response to that complaint. I was given the phone number again for the customer service department which does NOT have an 0800 or even an 0845 number and which I had to call at my own cost. I live near Portsmouth and the customer service centre is in Leeds. Once again they denied any knowledge of the complaint but agreed to send me out another form. I don’t suppose it will do any good, and they will probably ‘lose’ it again, but I have to try.

    The complaint will be that the assessment was bungled and that the assessor is incompetent. She had no psychiatric training enabling her to make a proper assessment of my depression and no endocrinological knowledge which caused her to make a comment about my thyroid condition that was totally opposite to the decision made just weeks earlier by a consultant at my local hospital.

    I was able to get another appointment with another female assessor but based on what I know now, I do not expect that assessment to come anywhere near reality or fact. It feels as if the decision has already been made.

    I have to take these findings to my own MP and to challenge him to justify why ATOS is employing people who have been proven incompetent. These are not ‘people trained to assess disability’ but people trained and rewarded for manipulating the LIMA computer system in favour of the DWP.

    Lynne, you cannot read this and not take any action. We are losing faith that you really care what is going on.

    Does anyone here know of any journalist who is sufficiently interested in and sympathetic to our cause to be worth contacting?

  4. @ Jenny Fletcher

    Horror of horrors. My IB50 dropped onto the mat this morning along with an accompanying letter from ATOS Origin. I find it absolutely abhorent that I should have to release my private and very highly personal data to a third party and risk having it put into the public domain. Your post has inspired very little confidence that this won’t happen given their obvious levels of incompetence, negligence and blatant disrespect. I am 60 years old with multiple health problems so what chance of employment for me?

  5. First they denied justice to immigrants, but I didn’t care because I wasn’t an immigrant.
    Then they denied justice to the poor, but I didn’t care for I was not poor.
    Then they denied justice to me, but by then it was too late for there was no more justice to be had……………

    Did anyone in the 1920,s believe such a place as Auschwitz would ever exist.It starts by compromising your beliefs.Turning a blind eye.Saying its for the good of the majority.Those in the SS were Human Beings once.Doctrine and Propaganda made them into animals.

    You say it could not happen.Funny how history repeats itself isn’t it?

  6. @Mal W
    I understand that some might see the views held here a little extreme, however there is a distinct undercurrent running through society that the “scroungers” and disabled are to blame for all that is wrong, and the press are playing an adequate supporting role. Given the current climate I can foresee that this will fuel a hate crime against one of the less unfortunate in society.
    Remember, some people were “given” these benefits without asking or applying for them, and just when they are adjusted to them they are withdrawn and it is no wonder that people are angry.
    Take this case: A person has to finish work due to health problems and is awarded an ill-health pension and IB. Now the conditions of that pension state that the claimant must periodically prove his continued inability to work via their GP.
    Now, along comes ATOS and finds that person (in their absolute terms) fit for work and informs the GP of their decision. So the person not only loses their IB but the only other income that they have, the pension. Now that’s what I call being beaten with a corporate “greed stick”.
    But you see it doesn’t finish there. Let’s move the default retirement age and keep moving it farther away so that people can never draw a state pension. The only way that they can retire is to make their own provisions, otherwise they work until they drop.
    Take away bus passes and remove hospitals from the NHS and into the private sector and BINGO! no reliance on the state for anything. Is this what I paid my NI for. Nearly 40 years contributions, for what!

  7. Excellent posts MalW.
    I noticed some years ago that pensioner groups stopped talking on behalf of the ill and disabled.
    Then carer groups started talking about “the carers”, but not about the people they cared for.
    Presumably this is all about the fact that Governments and their mouthpiece (the media) have turned public opinion against us so much, that we are now the lepers of society (apologies to lepers).
    Pensioners who already have their pensions and bus passes will keep them of course, so they will not be protesting.
    Look at the riots in Greece and Spain – the UK has totally given in. We are defeated, and have been since Thatcher v Scargill. We accept anything that is thrown at us. Even if workers wanted to strike, legal arguments don’t allow it.
    I feel sorry for people who are ill and disabled and need housing benefits – they will have to tow the line. At least I can just stay in bed and make my savings last as long as possible.

  8. Oh, and I forgot………………..then there’s the privatisation of the schools in the form of academies. And then there’s DLA which will be all but withdrawn and responsibility transferred to local government who are already a law unto themselves. I never, ever thought that I would say this in my lifetime but it feels so “naziesque” and so “catch 22”.
    But why all the rush? Has anyone else noticed that they can’t push on quickly enough. Yes, I know it’s a finance thing, but something just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s all so Heath Robinson, so ill-conceived, so change-for-the-sake-of-it with little or no regard for the long term consequences as if it is the result of years of simmering and festering. I’m sorry if this seems to have moved off track from the original IB but I guess what I’m trying to say is exactly what Mal W was inferring, that it is IB now and everything relating to state reliance next, and everyone just sits back because this particular blitz doesn’t affect them. There is a bigger picture and people are not seeing it, and I agree totally with everything that Alan says. And to think that it all started with school milk.

  9. Well, when the time comes, I think the important advice is APPEAL, APPEAL, APPEAL. With representation at tribunal, there is a good chance of winning. I’ve got a feeling that in the long run all this will end up costing more than if they just left us alone. All that misery for disabled people and the government will not save a penny.

  10. Mal W, Oldtimer. You are right & thousands of people are waking up to this reality. It’s time for everyone concerned with the destruction of welfare, the NHS etc to take serious & collective action against it before it’s too late.
    Innocent people are being trampled on. First by Labour now by Condems wearing even bigger hob-nail boots. The irony of the name “Condem” is absolutely priceless!

    Our politicians, our charities, our media won’t fight hard enough unless they are bombarded en-masse to do so.

    Take a look at what we’re doing here & who’s supporting the campaign against welfare cuts so far:

    From one of our supporters. What he’s saying is akin to what’s been said here by some of us:
    + Professor Peter Beresford OBE . Chair, Shaping Our Lives

    “Government policy on disability and DLA assessment is beginning to look like a first world war tribunal committed to sending the badly wounded back into the front line at any cost. No matter about physical or sensory impairment or mental health problem, just get them off benefits and into jobs that don’t exist.

    This policy doesnt add up and is against every principle of anti-discrimination and disability equality. Many disabled people will be damaged by this, but ultimately it will be government and the rest of us who will be the real losers as we are all pulled away from the principles of a just and civilised society.”

  11. @ bonica.

    I have visited the site in your post and if you follow it to Bob Williams-Findlay then maybe we have found an ally. It does appear that ever so slowly the tide is turning with more people at least prepared to stick their head above the parapet if the right argument can be made.
    Maybe, if the data of cost savings doesn’t stack up then this is at least one angle. However, if as I suspect this is more to do with ideology than austerity then no argument will prevail. I do though detect that a greater number of people have major doubts and concerns about the social impact of vilifying the weakest. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is being conducted as a dirty tricks campaign with a hidden agenda that most of society hasn’t quite grasped yet, and I think the reason that we are finding it hard to get a minister fully onside is that one victory will derail the whole process.

  12. The real agenda is a business plan of global proportions, a Cartel Extraordinaire. Divide & rule is the name of the game, masters & serfs, rich & poor & it’s reality, not a Conspiracy Theory:

    Journalist Daniel Estulin’s address to the European Parliament on the Bilderberg Group, the real architects of the EU:

    “Something has happened to us, the people in the midst of this general economic collapse. People at large are gripped by something they don’t always understand. But, it compels them to act in a certain way, in their own interest. That´s what they are doing in Greece. That’s what they are doing in Spain, in the United States. It´s called the anthropic principle. It´s like a tidal movement came upon us and washed our fears away. As people realise that their existence is threatened, they have lost their fear, and Bilderberg and others sense it.

    Perhaps that´s why at a recent Council on Foreign Relations speech in Montreal, Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the founders of the *TC,* warned that a “global political awakening,” in combination with infighting amongst the elite, was threatening to derail the move towards a one world government.

    You see people at this table come from very different ideological and political backgrounds. What unites us, however, is that we are all patriots. And those who oppose us, those who work for secret societies, who have sold their nations out for a pound of flesh, are traitors. Not only traitors of their people and nations, but of humanity as a whole.

    Now, the subject of this Press Conference is Bilderberg: Towards One World Company Ltd.” Unquote

    The asterisked TC are the Trilateral Committe, run by David Rothschild if I remember correctly & affiliated to the Bilderberg Group as Rothschild was originally a member. I think he set up the TC as Bilderberg didn’t want Japan & Asia in general on board & he did.

    This is why it’s more important than ever for good people the world over to stand up & be counted.

  13. So there it is, the “Big society”. Devolution of responsibilty, not power, as they would have you believe, for all welfare needs. This will create a mess, a divided, hotchpotch society where the little “Hitlers” and the “Pushy” middle class will rule. There will be “jobs for the boys” and I’m sure that they’re already jockeying for position and falling over one another to see who can fill their boots the quickest.
    I notice that another Tory has had his snout in the trough, no change there then, and they have the gall to moralise to the less advantaged.
    No mention of the private sector being involved in any aspect of the running of the Houses of Parliament. Surely this would bring some accountability, regulation and, as they keep advocating, a lower cost base. Maybe then though they would have to justify the perks to which they obviously feel is an automatic entitlement, so no chance. The public purse also pays for their expenses and salary, although you would hardly know it. What has this to do with incapacity benefit? Nothing, and that’s exactly what we’ll get.

  14. “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
    — Dwight D. Eisenhower in a letter to his brother Edgar, November 8, 1954

  15. Martin Luther King in one of his famous speeches said we shall overcome.And that is what is left of decent poor in society will do.This coalition will go down as one of the most Hated Governments in the History of UK politics.
    Attacking the sick,jobless and disabled,calling them scroungers is a disgrace.And you will be held in contempt for this.You will be held in contempt for the homelessness that your coalition creates.For the poverty your coalition creates.For the inequality and widening the gap of rich and poor.
    And the Day we overcome you will be remembered for what you stood for,not for what you could have stood against.
    The Right Wing of politics is seizing the day.Pushing through programmes that will have a detrimental impact on millions without thought or care.Those of us that voted LibDem will never ever forget how your party betrayed us.You would have been a loud voice in opposition.The Conservatives in a minority government would never have dared to do what they are doing now.They would have been afraid of a vote of no confidence.Your coalition has made them look nearly respectable.
    They are not,nor clearly are your lot either for not voting against the Emergency Budget.

  16. Good news Max Jones & others who’ve posted here. Seems there are some stirrings of courage & principals re-awakening in one or two Lib-Dem MP’s. We need more of them to wake up & smell the coffee!
    Lib-Dem MP Tim Farrow speaking to the BBC:

    “A Lib Dem MP has said many Tory MPs are “toxic” and claimed David Cameron is using his coalition partners as “cover” for unpopular decisions.

    Tim Farron told the BBC the Tory leader gave the Lib Dems such a “good deal” partly to help his own party’s image.

    Meanwhile, Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes said his party would not have backed the government’s academies bill if they had not been in the coalition.

    The comments come amid growing unease within the party about decisions taken.

    Liberal Democrat activists and some MPs are concerned about the party leadership’s backing for a VAT rise, which they opposed at the general election, and cuts to school buildings programmes.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has insisted he will continue to stand up for liberal principles in government and that there is much common ground with his Conservative coalition partners.

    Mr Farron has been sceptical about the coalition since its formation, describing it as a “poor ideological fit”.

    However, he has now gone further and suggested that the Conservatives are seeking to exploit their partners for their own ends.”

    Full article here:

    Tory David Davies has also been overheard discussing the Coalition unfavourably:

  17. Why would a British Government of any colour need to take advice re.Welfare from an American private health insurance company named Unum,who had already been found guilty of fraudulently denying payments to their members,fined millions of dollars.Could it be the ex Head of the DWP had become a director of Unum,it seems a group of people set to gain from a privatised NHS and a forced commitment to private health insurance are running the show,it is reasonable to believe various palms have been greased or await to be in the future.One could wonder why company’s are falling over themselves to pay ex prime ministers vast amounts for what appears to be nothing.The intrigue in British politics is deep and wide,the pretence of doing the best for the many is laughable,people who now denigrate the sick,disabled and old should beware it may be you they come for next.
    When the Welfare Reform Bill was passed a Unum exec was quoted as telling the sick and disabled “be afraid, be very afraid……..” I just wonder what he KNOWS?

  18. Wish me luck all readers of this thread. I have another ESA assessment this afternoon. I have a letter from Havant Adult Mental Health services stating that I am their patient and will be mentioning the previous assessment and the fact that it was trashed by the tribunal chairman. I don’t expect my assessor to have any experience of psychiatric care or the necessary knowledge of endocrinology to understand my thyroid condition but you never know.
    With regard to the previous post, someone should do some research into ATOS company directors and see if there are any who are also on UNUM’s board or are also employed by DWP. It wouldn’t surprise me….

  19. Yes the very best of luck Jenny for your WCA,I fought and won,it took 12 months (without an appeal)
    Mansell Ayleward a past Chief Exec for the DWP is on the board of UNUM and also is one of the inventors of the present system of ESA.
    Atos Healthcare execs sit on the panel that devises the WCA descriptors,surely this is a conflict of interest as Atos are paid vast amounts to carry out the same tests!!!!!!!
    David Blunkett is paid £30,000 by A4e the mind boggles.
    You would need to be awarded 200 points if you believed the top dogs are not corrupt!!!!

  20. Jenny,
    I really hope everything went ok. As stated in a previous post I have received my IB50 but haven’t sent it back yet. I’m a pretty determined person and look upon this as a challenge as I know that the system is corrupt and there’s only one way to deal with it. Devise a way of beating it, it’s the ultimate satisfaction.

  21. It will be nigh on impossible to expose any immorality in the system as first you will have to halt the ‘steamroller’ of public opinion that has been put in motion by the government and the ‘Daily malevolent’.
    Unless there is a tide of public sympathy, and this is highly unlikely, then there will be very few if any reporters/investigators that will find it worthwhile even contemplating an expose.
    By the time that Joe Public wakes up to what is really happening, ie it is them that is going into the ‘concentration camps’ in order to preserve their JSA etc, it will be too late.
    The trouble with the majority of the great British public is that like a bull they have a ring in their nose and can be easily led, even if it is to the slaughterhouse.

  22. You can fool some of the people all of the time,you can fool all of the people some of the time,but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.Come october when migration starts knowledge of Atos and its corrupt practices will spread like wild fire almost every family has or knows someone who is sick,lets hope this will begin to change.
    One question if 2 million people are claiming IB when they are not sick but have a med cert from their GP,is it not the GP’s who are having their work questioned.Why are they not up in arms at the attack on their integrity?
    Can the public be sure they are being diagnosed correctly? That’s 2 questions!!

  23. I thought I should give people the benefit of my experience with sickness benefits, and I doubt I’m a unique case.. I became ill due to employment discrimination, which led to lots of JSA harassment under new Labour. Of course, JSA doesn’t take employment discrimination into account, we’re all just “lazy scroungers”.Things came to a head when they stopped me from looking for a new flat and made me do a slave labour scheme instead. I obviously didn’t have time to do both. I ended up with 3 weeks to look for a flat, instead of about 8 weeks. The result of this was that I moved into a dodgy flat and later got illegally evicted while the Police stood by and did nothing. After this, I had to go and live with my Mum in the middle of nowhere. Even then, the Jobcentre staff wouldn’t leave me alone, because they wanted me to do New Deal for a second time. This made me go to my GP and threaten to break my leg if he didn’t sign me as unfit for work. I said I’d break the other one after that to keep them off my back. He signed me as unfit for work and my status has remained as that ever since. This status enabled me to return to my home city instead of being bullied into looking for work in the middle of nowhere. I was originally signed as unfit for work in late 2000. A few reviews later, they still haven’t managed to force me back onto JSA! Last year, I got another form from ATOS to fill in, probably an IB50. I think you need to talk to them in the language they understand, meaning as psychotic as possible. I wrote on it that if I had to go back onto JSA then I’d kill or commit GBH against one of the Jobcentre staff, before committing suicide by taking poison, so I wouldn’t have to go to prison. Since then, I’ve moved, but I haven’t heard from ATOS and I’m still getting my Income Support! I’m proud of what I’ve done to defend myself, but I just wish I’d done something sooner.

  24. All I can say at this point in time is that the ATOS assessment went slightly better than last time. The assessor called another staff member into the room while she was doing the physical exam and unlike last year did not pull me about and try to force me to touch my toes or stand up straight which I cannot do.

    She hardly looked at the documents I took in including a letter from my local Mental Health services that I was not fit for work. I will now be sending these documents direct to ATOS and a further copy to the local DWP saying that the assessor did not take proper account of them.

    She did do a lot of typing and assured me that she was putting down verbatim what I was saying. I think this was because I avoided ticking yes or no boxes on the ESA form and only did so when the answer ‘It varies’ was available with the opportunity to say more. At least she can’t lie as the previous assessor did, saying issue of suicidal feelings did not arise because it was mentioned in some detail yesterday. Nor can she lie about my inability to squat or kneel and get up again without severe pain in my knees.

    Until such time as I actually get the decision I can only hope that the assessor is sensible enough to see that my depression is so bad that no employer would ever take me on, and that in my current state I would never be able to cope with any back-to-work training or similar, quite apart from the physical problems I have.

    On top of all this, my husband (or his new partner) has decided that this is a good time to push forward with a divorce. If I disappear from this discussion, look for me on Hayling Beach about to walk into the sea and drown myself because that’s how I feel this morning.

  25. Jenny have you got someone close by that you can talk to today? I am very worried about your last blog above.

  26. Jenny,

    please come forward and let us know that you are ok. You mustn’t give in, that means they’ve won. Please don’t let this happen.
    Please,please post as there are always people willing to discuss.

  27. Jenny,things may look bad now and I can only guess at how you are feeling.You are facing a lot of problems all at once.You are not alone.We care about you.Adam,Oldtimer,resister and others.
    You may feel alone and in a dark place but a lot of people on here care about you.Call a friend or family member to be with you.Failing that call the Samaritans.They are non judgemental caring people who will listen to you.Whatever you do don’t give up on your life.The system is wrong not you.Don’t think things are your fault.Things happen that are out of our hands.Please let us know you are OK.

  28. Jenny,

    Please let us know that you are ok. If you want to chat there are other mediums, Live messenger etc. We’re all in this together and there is a solution to every problem. Please look for the answers by sharing your story with us if you wish, we all have stories to tell.

  29. Jenny,
    if you are reading this then at least you are ok. Please Jenny don’t leave it any longer to post a reply, we really need to hear from you. Don’t let your last message stand in the way as we all feel like that sometimes, it’s a need to let others know how we are feeling inside and there’s nothing in the world wrong with that. It’s human emotion, that’s what seperates us from other species. I would love to welcome you back.

  30. What is going on here Lynne.A few of us made replies to Jenny and Vice Versa.You claim you do not moderate your forum but were have our or Jenny’s comments gone.I i like debate but if you are going to censure please explain why.I do not think I said anything requiring censure,You may take my benefits away but I will still fight these cuts.In fact the more you attack me the more I will attack the Condems.One day I will be dead.But At least I will be remembered as being honest.

  31. Hmm… censorship is alive and well. Hardly surprising. It looks like it is the comments about who makes the decisions ATOS or DWP that have gone.
    We could do with a sympathetic journalist looking into what is happening here. This could be a major political scandal. Unbelievable !

  32. Alan, fortunately I have a copy of every single comment posted here since my comment as emails. Perhaps Private Eye would be interested to know that certain sensitive comments to do with ATOS and the DWP have been removed by someone from Lynne’s team?

  33. What’s going on? Why all the missing posts? Why the secrecy? Why no explanation? What planet are we on? What are they afraid of? What is the point of having a blog? Has Ms Featherstone been ordered to delete posts or done so independantly? Will the excuse be a glitch in the system? If so, how did the system glitch on ATOS/DWP related & Ms Featherstone’s posts?

    Anyone wanting to email & request an investigation into ATOS should do so here:

  34. For some reason the whole email addy didn’t appear. I’m assuming everyone’s now getting theirs from puffboxc @ bluehost

  35. Thank you all once again for your support.

    Let me throw a little light on this. I was so angry that I really had to do something. I emailed my MP David Willetts, and William Hague, Ian Duncan Smith and Lynne Featherstone saying just about everything I have ever posted here. 36 hours later haven’t had a reply, not even an automatic acknowledgement from any of them and I’m disgusted.

    I am also disgusted at the censorship of my last post and those of others. But I absolutely and totally stand by what I said. That is what I was told and I posted here within minutes of the phone call to DWP so there is no question that I ‘forgot’ exactly what was said.

    I just wish there was some way I could record another phone call to DWP because I have no doubt whatever that they would say the same thing again.

    Those of you who have kept the email trail hang on to it. I think I put a way to contact me in one post – please use it. I’m in Havant, Hampshire to distinguish from others with my name.

  36. To all that are complaining about missing posts. I also have one missing but as soon as I’d posted it the subscription to the provider expired so I’m hoping that this was the reason other than censorship. When the blog was restored some posts were missing, so could possibly be a technical issue. I intend later to put that post back on, well at least similar because I am still very angry and I need to air my views on the whole squalid affair.

  37. My notifications are also now arriving from the source that bonica quotes. However the post from earlier in the week, plus several posts from other people that I can see in my email are no longer here.

  38. Bonica,
    what a great site that is. I fully intend to complain later when I’ve more free time and I implore all other posters to do the same.

  39. Right I’ll try again.
    It’s good to welcome you back Jenny. You mentioned in your post that went AWOL that the DWP informed you in a telephone conversation that they were awaiting a decision (on your recent ESA ‘interview’) from ATOS.
    That is contrary to the agreement between the two in which the decision maker is supposed to be from the DWP, a stance which the DWP has always maintained, that is, up until now.
    There are, as I see it a couple of possible explanations for this.
    1. It could have been a slip of the tongue and in fact ATOS have always been the decision makers or,
    2. The decision making HAS been transferred to ATOS from the DWP.
    What is the significance of this?
    Well, if ATOS has in fact always been the decision maker then there is ‘a perverse incentive’ as the whole process will lack impartiality.
    If you read Hansard then Lord Freud was questioned about the tribunals system being reduced to meltdown during the migration from IB to ESA because of the massive increase in caseload. He gave a non-specific answer, as always, but the intimation was that he would introduce measures that would reduce the number of possible appeals against bad decisions. I just wonder if the ‘farming out’ of the decision making is one measure that has been introduced.

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there are lies, corruption, collusion and complicity at the heart this whole sordid affair, and it needs to be exposed as soon as possible to prevent further distress that has undoubtedly led to the unnecessary loss of more than one life.
    I’m sure that Lynne as equalities minister is well aware of any additional measures that Lord Freud is planning, but do you imagine that she’ll tell us?
    She’s trying her utmost to avoid any of the issues raised in this blog and trying to fool us into thinking that she’s sounding a warning. Well if you read her original post it doesn’t seem that way, and she’s certainly not fooling me.

    I’ve also received my IB50 as part of the pilot migration process, but I live miles and miles from the agreed pilot areas of Burnley and Aberdeen. What’s going on?

  40. My post from several hours ago is STILL awaiting moderation. Wonder why???

  41. I found the following information on an ATOS website that I thought I would share with you. These are just a couple things that they claim.

    1. They acheive >97% customer satisfaction. You being the ‘customer’.
    2. They get <1% complaints. This includes waiting time and appointment cancellations.

    You WONT be surprised to know that they are self auditing.
    How can they be allowed to get away with telling such blatant lies!

  42. I don’t recall being asked to fill in any kind of customer satisfaction survey last Friday. My appointment was for 15:00. I was seen at 15:40. There was nowhere to get even a drink of water in the waiting room.

    There was no other member of the assessment staff available to chaperone my physical examination. The assessor asked if she could call in the receptionist! At least she couldn’t push and pull me about like the assessor did last time – and that was in front of the Mind representative who gave up an afternoon off to come with me that time.

    Bonica, I have emailed Iain Overton at the investigative journalism site that you mentioned – thanks.

  43. I have also e mailed Iain Overton, the more the better. The ATOS customer satisfaction figure is generated internally by themselves. I think it said that it uses the HCP’s for this purpose. Brilliant!
    I don’t know where I will be going for my assessment as I haven’t returned the IB50 yet, there’s still 3 weeks to go. I’m not even in a pilot area.

  44. This a total waste of time L Featherstone has bing told by her masters to stop posting these comments that have being sent in do you think our rich and corrupt MPs want to listen about the what they are doing to people on benefits Cameron and Clegg sort out the rich who do not pay UK taxand the bankers who are very corrupt no L featherstone has being told back off or you will be placed on Job Seekers Allowance