ATOS: Respect our rights and record ALL disability assessment (cc: @dwppressoffice)
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ATOS

ATOS: Respect our rights and record ALL disability assessment (cc: @dwppressoffice)

    1. Jayne Linney
    2. Petition by

      Jayne Linney

      Leicester, United Kingdom

  1.  
  2.   
July 2012

Victory

Last week I got some brilliant news, ATOS said they would record my disability assessment! Up until my interview I was nervous that it was too good to be true, but for once, they were true to their word. Thanks so much for helping me stand up to ATOS - the success of my petition shows that when we speak out together, we can change things for the better. As a disabled person, I'm not against having assessments - but I want them to be fair and I want to be shown respect.

I became too ill to work two years ago after a 30+ year career as a community development worker; I have, among other health problems, both Fibromyalgia and Sjorgens Syndrome. This leaves me unable to do most things people take for granted, such as make myself a hot drink or a sandwich.  

In April this year, I was called for a regular disability assessment with ATOS to see whether I am still eligible for Employment Support Allowance (ESA). In-line with the Government's new policy, I asked my assessment to be recorded. ATOS told me that assessments are no longer available; when I asked the reason I was told that there are only 11 pieces of recording equipment in the country and all of them are broken. ATOS said they would not be repaired or replaced, and that the DWP has instructed them to cease the recordings.   

ATOS assessments have a profound significance for me; if they say I am no longer entitled to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) then I will have no money to live.  Unfortunately my experience teaches me that there are often problems with ATOS assessments; not only are they an inaccurate reflection of what was said and carried out, but they also get basic things such as your name wrong.    

It is terrible mistakes such as these that resulted in the Harrington Report November 2010 which recommended that everyone should have the right to have assessments recorded, so there is a record of what was said.    The Government responded to the report by purchasing 11 Neal 9102 dual CD interview recorders so that people could request from ATOS that their assessment is recorded. And in a private members debate on 1st February 2012, Employment Minister Chris Grayling stated: “On audio recording, we will offer everyone who wants it the opportunity to have their session recorded.”  

This sums up the reason for my petition, I do not accept that all machines are broken beyond repair and I do not understand what has changed since the Government announced that everyone has the option to have their assessment recorded.  

I am calling on DWP to protect my right to have my disability assessment recorded, and to ensure that ATOS has enough working recording equipment to make this possible.  

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More information: ATOS is the company which holds the contracts with the DWP  to carry out all Disability assessments, and decides whether you will be given Government support. The assessment itself consists of a medical professional asking lots of often strange questions such as “do you watch Eastenders”, and then a limited test of movement.  

Background to arranging my recorded assessment: In April this year, I was called for an assessment and in-line with the new policy, I requested that it was recorded. I was told my appointment needed to be rearranged to allow for this, which was done for April 30th. I was contacted by phone, 2 days before my assessment and told the equipment would not be available and another appointment would be sent out; it was, and the next appointment duly arrived but when I called to check it would be recorded again I was told no. This situation rolled along through May and most of June and my eighth appointment arrived for July 2nd yet when I made the obligatory call I was told assessments were no longer available; when I asked the reason I was told all 11 pieces of equipment were broken and would not be repaired or replaced, and that the DWP has instructed ATOS to cease the recordings.     

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Recent signatures

    News

    1. Revised Target

      Jayne Linney
      Petition Organizer

      As I successfully had my WCA recorded, I believe EVERYONE has this right; if you agree please keep signing, sharing and tweeting. THANK YOU ALL

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures
    3. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Stephen Carr SPILSBY, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      I too have had assessments by atos, the first one was great the doctor was very nice and my assessment took well over an hour. I had one in April and it was a nurse she told us she was behind and she would tick boxes I was in for five minutes I mainly only confirmed my name address and my meds she couldn't even say there names and didn't know what they were for. I had no assessment at all and was turned down for ESA even though I have even more health issues now. It's a joke how one person can play with your life and finances. I appealed in april and I'm still waiting for an answer and we were told fifty days but that's a joke too were almost at the end of August also I wasn't aware I could have the assessment recorded. If I'd known I would have asked. I feel that the government has told atos they will get big bonuses if they can cut the amount of ESA awards. We won't find out though. There's no chance I could work its not just that who would employ us????

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • jeffrey davies NEATH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      because they dont tell the truth they lie big time

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rawle Price LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      yes i too am a victim of these people from ATOS because i wanted my interview recorded due to previous lying & made up infomation by the interviewer i took my own recorder which they refused me i went along to their offices seven times (7) in Balham for appointments , each one cancelled siting they did not have a recording equipment in place

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Linda Turner LOCKING, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      we have to prove we are ill and prove our assessment did just that... if we can fit in the tick boxes of course. I was told my GP and consultants opinion was irrelevant!!!... The whole thing is about getting people off benefits and if they die because ATOS/DWP got it wrong? Well it saves them money so job done. we need our assesments recording, at the very least. Terrifying times to be unlucky enough to be sick and disabled.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Peter Mackie EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      I have been on DLA for several years with mental health problems and worry about possibly having to go to an ATOS assessment soon.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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