CONFIDENTIAL RESEARCH REPORT
Re: ATOS HEALTHCARE
This research report is dedicated to the author and designer
of www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html, whose quality website encouraged me
to conduct further detailed research. Contact via email and telephone confirmed that
this designer undertook this work whilst diagnosed with a terminal and inoperable
primary brain tumour, knowing that he probably had less than 12 months to live. His
courage, concern for others and remarkable strength of character are indeed humbling
to behold and it was my great privilege to have contact with this very remarkable man
and courageous man.
Please be advised that this report is the result of 9 months research and was written
over a period of time, between February and June 2010 as health permitted, hence
various references in date order throughout the text. I am most grateful for the contents
of the annual government reports, written by His Honour Judge Robert Martin, and I
hope the detailed information contained within this report may be considered to be of
some assistance to his work and the work of other Tribunal Chambers. This research
was undertaken voluntarily, as a private initiative, and was not commissioned or funded
in any way.
1. INTRODUCTION: I am a retired health professional and a War Pensioner,
medically discharged from service in 1984. I originally trained in the NHS as a
cardiac technician from 1970-72 and, when qualified, I opened and ran the
cardiac care department at the new Lister Hospital, in Stevenage, from 1972-78. I
then joined the RAF Medical Service in 1978, where I was further trained in
clinical Neurology and Audiometry, and I qualified as a Physiological
Measurements Technician at RAF Wroughton. Once qualified, I was posted to
the RAF Central Medical Establishment in London, where I worked for the head
of RAF Medicine, Air Vice Marshall Brian Kelly, together with other visiting
consultants, until my medical discharge in 1984.
In 1983 there was a planned national rail strike and I was unable to travel to my
unit. Therefore, for the duration of the rail strike, I was temporarily detached to
the Institute of Aviation Medicine, at RAF Farnborough, Hants, where I lived in
married quarters and where my husband was stationed. The medical research at
the Institute was classified and I am, therefore, not at liberty to disclose in detail
how I contracted my illness. Suffice to say that, whilst on detachment, I
contracted a very rare virus infection, which subsequently manifested itself as a
post viral Polyarthritis that required treatment at RAF(H) Halton on three separate
QED: The enforced detachment to the Institute, due to a national rail strike,
ended my medical career.
2. VOLUNTARY WORK: Since I lost my medical career I have involved myself with
voluntary work, at both local and national level, and I have been the Director of
three charities. Many years ago I co-founded the Camberley Branch of Arthritis
Care and was short-listed for a national award for my work with young people
with the condition. Having moved to Cambridgeshire, I was a member of the
Executive Board of my local district theatre, I was the co-signature for the charity
chequebook and I held the office of Honorary Secretary to the Executive Board.
In 2003 I marketed the theatre for its silver anniversary season, which became
the most successful season on record with all shows sold out.
I was also mentor to large numbers of performing arts students over the years
with the Special Education Department, Cambridgeshire, refering complex needs
teenagers to me for work experience with very positive results. It was my failing
health that obliged me to leave the theatre community in 2004. Since leaving the
theatre I have helped people with writing a variety of letters and documents, have
re-written three dissertations for students and continue to help others to write
formal reports. Quite clearly, self-pity is not my style.
My integrity has never before been in question until an unhappy meeting with a
young health professional, in the employ of Atos Healthcare, in December 2008.
It is safe to presume that I was incensed when I learned that my integrity had
been doubted. Despite increasing pain and disabilities over the years, as
predicted at my medical discharge, I remain fiercely independent. I prefer to be
kept busy and I have never felt the need to "adopt a disabled lifestyle" as
reported in December 2008 in a totally bogus medical report by the Atos
Healthcare "disability analyst." Integrity and honour remain the values I live by.
Given my shocking and disturbing experience with a young doctor from Atos
Healthcare, and following additional detailed research, I am obliged to expose my
findings about this totally unacceptable government funded medical agency.
3. BOGUS MEDICAL REPORT: It is totally unacceptable to me to have my integrity
challenged by the actions of a young man who knowingly wrote a bogus medical
report, claiming to have conducted a detailed medical examination when, in
reality, no medical examination whatsoever took place. Due to this young man's
dishonesty, my War Pension was not only not increased but it was changed from
an interim award to a FINAL award, which means no further deterioration claims
will be considered and it was presumed that both my doctor and I had made false
statements for my ultimate financial gain. This was totally unacceptable to me
and deeply offensive to my doctor.
I have invested a great deal of time, when physically well enough to undertake
research, in order to confirm my suspicions regarding Atos Healthcare. Given that
my findings may potentially impact on the welfare of countless thousands of other
genuinely sick or disabled people, I decided to bring this research evidence to the
attention of someone in authority.
4. BOGUS REPORTING IMPACTS ON CHILDREN: Prior to revealing evidence
regarding my own personal experience, and that of other disabled adults, I
believe I should report my recent experience on behalf of a profoundly disabled
5-year-old little boy, who is the son of a friend. My friends, who have minimal
income, applied for DLA for their son to allow them access to a Motability car to
permit easier transport. The little boy was born with a profound and very obvious
physical disability in that both his legs are very nearly at right angles to his torso.
Clearly, the boy is physically unable to walk, run or climb stairs and this situation
can never improve. It is certainly one of the most severe disabilities I have
witnessed in childhood, not unlike some of those afflicted with the Thalidomide
The DLA application forms required evidence as to why the child was physically
unable to climb a flight of stairs and his parents offered detailed evidence,
supported by their GP and Consultant Paediatrician. However, the medical report
provided by a Physiotherapist from Atos Healthcare, on behalf of the DWP,
concluded that the reason why the boy was unable to climb stairs could be
attributed to "frequent ear infections" and her report totally failed to mention the
child's very obvious and profound physical disability. Consequently, the family's
request for DLA was initially rejected, with the Consultant Paediatrician's report
being ignored. Needless to say, a strongly worded observational support letter
from myself, as a retired health professional, did it seems help to persuade the
Appeal Tribunal to disregard the totally bogus Physiotherapist's report and,
happily, the family now have access to a Motability car that has greatly improved
their quality of family life.
5. CUSTOMER: What is of concern must be what possible pressure was brought to
bear to permit a Physiotherapist to compromise her oath of office so seriously to
instigate such a bogus medical report? One obvious cause is the employer i.e.
Atos Healthcare. The Government is this Contractor's principal health care
"customer" and the DWP Contract is in place to justify these measures, given that
the Government's priority is to remove as many people as possible from
government funded help in order to reduce care costs.
6. TERMINAL ILLNESS: Another very, very disturbing example of the Contractor's
abuse of power can be found at a website identified
as:www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html, which was designed by a very
courageous web designer who is terminally ill with an inoperable primary brain
tumour. Despite the diagnosis and very, very frail health, which included the
onset of Grand Mal epileptic fits that could not be predicted, this victim of the
DWP was still required to travel to distant meetings via public transport, to attend
Pathway Meetings, under threat of losing benefit if he failed to attend. He was
required to be part of meetings to discuss his possible future return to work -
when he had been given a terminal prognosis with less than 12 months to live.
Clearly, the indoctrination of DWP staff is very high calibre given the callous and
uncaring nature of their approach, even to the terminally ill. This is deeply
disturbing and another example of how the DWP and Atos Healthcare choose
which parts of the government Contract to adhere to, and which parts to totally
ignore. The Contract clearly identifies claimants with a confirmed terminal illness
as being EXEMPT from this scrutiny, yet the author of this website
was repeatedly threatened by the DWP with losing his benefit if he refused to
attend. The consequences of such threats, together with the physical effort
employed and the anxiety created, by risking public transport when so frail and
suffering with frequent GM fits, can only be imagined and, in my clinical opinion,
is a form of medical abuse by the DWP and this Contractor.
7. TOTALLY UNACCOUNTABLE: Further research has identified the fact that the
medical examinations conducted by Atos Healthcare staff have no public
accountability for medical practise. Safeguards are in place for all patients in
the NHS, and the private medical sectors, to protect anyone who may suffer at
the hands of an unacceptable medical professional. However, all these agencies
have confirmed that the medical staff from Atos Healthcare "are not in our remit"
and, apart from the DWP Medical Services Contract Management Team, who
are administrators with no medical qualifications, there is no public protection
for the victims of Atos Healthcare medical staff, despite protests from the Service
Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) who try to suggest otherwise.
Atos Healthcare describe their doctors as "disability analysts" whose
responsibility is to the company and not to the sick or disabled people they meet
in the course of their work. Consequently, the sick and disabled victims examined
by company staff are not considered to be patients or clients but 'customers' and
the disabled members of the public, examined by the medical staff from this
company, have no safeguards in place and are, therefore, vulnerable and open to
exploitation until someone manages to expose this dangerous situation.
8. DISABILITY DENIAL FACTORIES: Detailed research has confirmed that this
medical assessment system, employed by Atos Healthcare, is based upon a
successful and very similar medical assessment system in place in America, as
demonstrated by an insurance company identified as UnumProvident (US). This
company, in a California class action lawsuit in 2002/03, was identified by the
Judge as operating "disability denial factories" and fined US$31.7 million.
Nevertheless, the former Chief Medical Advisor to the UK government, Professor
Mansel Aylward, was instrumental in advising the UK government to set up these
medical assessment centres based on the model in America, and he is still
funded by the same American company used in his example, with his research
centre in Wales funded by UnumProvident (UK). Indeed, his research centre for
Psychosocial and Disability Research is based at Cardiff University and
Professor Aylward is the Director at the "UnumProvident Centre." Professor
Aylward was also instrumental in how the new Welfare Reform Act was to be
implemented by the DWP. UnumProvident (US) is actually banned from
operating in several states in America.
9. MEDICAL EVIDENCE RESISTED: Further research has revealed testimony from
doctors working for the company employed as disability analysts, as well as
former staff doctors who resigned from Atos Healthcare, as they were not
prepared to compromise medical ethics for a profit margin to the distinct
disadvantage of the sick and disabled claimants they were expected to examine.
Their evidence confirms frequent staff meetings wanting details of average time
taken for patient reviews, and writing the reports, but the company never
discussed patient/claimant welfare. Doctors at Atos Healthcare are rewarded by
the quantity of medical assessments undertaken, with some doctors earning as
much as £5,000 per WEEK.
In his annual report as President of the Appeal Tribunals, released in July 2008,
Judge Robert Martin revealed that the numbers of appeals had increased, from
217,000 per year to 229,000. Indeed, Judge Martin was insistent about the fact
that the "same problems and errors are repeated year after year, with no sign that
anyone takes any notice of feedback from Tribunals". In relation to DLA, out of a
sample of 365 successful appeals, Atos Healthcare supplied medical evidence in
302 cases. Hence, the Contractor conducts most disputed medical reports.
Tribunal Chairs criticised medical reports from Atos that "did not coincide with
reality" and considered that it was the fact that Tribunals took time to question
appellants about their history, care and mobility needs which led them to a
different conclusion from the decision makers. In relation to the personal
capability assessment of incapacity for work, Tribunal Chairs told the President
that a major problem was an even greater likelihood than with other benefits for
both examining doctors and decision makers to refuse to believe evidence
given by the claimant.
So, the medical evidence from the claimant, their GP and medical consultants,
who know the claimant well and have monitored and treated their health over
time, can be resisted when their evidence is accepted as expert testimony in
every court in the land. This is how the Government will dramatically reduce care
costs. Why is this permitted?
The continuing frustration with the total failure of the DWP and ATOS Healthcare
to produce consistently reliable evidence and decisions shines out in Judge
Martin's report, and there was a likelihood that the situation would get worse in
the coming months and years. And so it did. The new report by Citizens Advice
Scotland has confirmed that 69% of people claiming the new ESA benefit are
actually refused this help and the medical assessment by Atos Healthcare
is totally unworkable.
Of course, the DWP continues to dismiss all evidence against this company as
politicians wax lyrically about Atos Healthcare's 'medical expertise' used as a
priority for assessments claiming that this assessment is one that has "...been
developed in partnership with a number of organisations, including those
representing disabled people."
Dr Jake Branton explained more: "Atos actively discourages its doctors from
calling GPs or requesting more information because it takes too much time.
Doctors are only allocated 25 minutes per claimant and, unfortunately, most of
each 25 minute appointment is taken up with the questionnaire from Atos, leaving
little more than acouple of minutes for physical checks in most cases. There is
simply not enough time to verify a patient's claim."
Dr Chris Johnstone is a GP in Paisley whose initial work helped to shape ESA
Policy and he is one of the experts referred to, by various politicians, as they
attempt to justify this dangerously inadequate medical assessment process from
this private company. He says: "I have no problem with a rigorous medical
assessment done in a supportive fashion. But I think if you have a slipshod one
done, as it appears anecdotally, that's unfair for the people going through the
system. It feels like it is done inappropriately and it's almost being done to save
money rather than look after people."
In a written reply to the designer of this website, Atos Healthcare confirmed that
the "...examining practitioner would not have access to a customer's NHS
medical patient history." ( www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html)
assessments) ( www.judiciary.gov.uj/docs/senior-president-report.pdf)
( www.dwpexamination.wordpress.com) ( www.cas.org.uk)
3/31305.htm) (BBC Scotland Social Affairs report, 19th Jan 2010 refers)
10. VICTIMS: It is indeed regrettable that some dishonest people undoubtedly
played the system to obtain benefits to which they are not entitled. However, a
War Pension is not a benefit, and I believe that the reason the administration of
War Pensions was altered in 2005 was to place all older veterans at a
disadvantage, to resist funding future medical deterioration claims, and to place
us all as potential victims of this government medical tyranny in an effort to
greatly reduce increasing government care costs for older disabled veterans.
Atos Healthcare was awarded the latest DWP Contract in September 2005.
Make no mistake about it, as I do believe that all sick and disabled people, who
must endure a medical by this Contractor, are indeed potential victims. What is
even more sinister is that this so called medical assessment system was
introduced under a veil of fairness, and the British public fell for the rhetoric
amidst massive press and media coverage. Yet the grossly exaggerated press
and media hysteria totally overlooked evidence that identified bogus DWP claims
number no more than 2% of the entire DWP annual budget but, under this new
system, all long term sick and disabled people are treated as suspected criminals
and we do appear to be presumed guilty until proven innocent. In reality, review
medical 'examinations' with this Contractor are a harrowing and distressing
experience and it's time this was exposed as the unacceptable face of
government cost cutting.
11. COSTS: Very conveniently for the Government, a system that employs
medical staff who willingly agree to create dubious medical reports will no doubt
reduce government care costs in the short term. However, given the growing
annual costs of the Appeal Tribunals service, one needs to wonder just how
much saving is identified when the costs of using this Contractor are already in
excess of £80 million per annum, plus the costs of the increasing numbers of
The distress and subsequent trauma suffered by the victims of this Contractor,
whose only 'crime' is to invite financial support when sick or disabled, remains
cause for concern but impossible to quantify.
12. GMC CONCERNS: The General Medical Council is also unhappy with
reported concerns regarding increasing numbers of dubious medical reports,
impacting on the lives of thousands, which detract from the reputation of the
medical profession that has always been held with such high esteem within the
UK. At least some of the medical staff employed by this Contractor clearly do
abuse the public trust, without fear of reprimand.
However, the GMC have confirmed that, as a company, Atos Healthcare "...have
total immunity from medical regulation." Indeed, the Healthcare Commission
confirm that doctors carrying out work for government departments are
specifically exempt from regulation under The Private and Voluntary Health Care
(England) Regulations 2001 and Care Standards Act 2000. This surely permits
unacceptable medical reports to be presented, without fear of reprimand, it is
cause for alarm and is something that the British public do not yet know and may
explain a great deal. I am wondering if the Justices in the Appeal Tribunals circuit
are also aware of this shocking reality?
The GMC have assured me that they would still wish to be advised of any named
doctor who breaches patient trust, and they will be sent details of my experience
after I have received the Appeal decision. The GMC have also confirmed that all
doctors remain subject to good medical practice, regardless of whether they are
the registered health care professional for a patient or a disability analyst
representing a private company, contrary to the claims from Atos Healthcare.
Even enquiries with the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service has confirmed
that Atos Healthcare is not subscribed to their service either and the only agency
that this Contractor does appear to be answerable to is the DWP, who continue
to demonstrate that, as administrators, their supervision is really quite
meaningless. (www.indepenthealthcare.org.uk, www.gmc.org.uk )
13. UNREALISTIC: The total lack of public accountability of Atos Healthcare,
as confirmed in the government Contract that covers 500 pages, means that the
only redress available is for victims of this company to report named doctors to
the GMC or to report other health professionals, such as Physiotherapists, to
their professional body.
This total lack of public accountability is dangerous nonsense and few
people, who are themselves already sick and/or disabled, would have the
strength, the desire or the courage to undertake such a massive and
unrealistic expectation, especially when it has already been established that a
GMC investigation can take up to three years to complete.
This unrealistic expectation permits the Contractor a distinct advantage as
confirmed by the Contract, which guarantees the opportunity for the sick and
disabled people of this nation to become nothing more than government
statistics. This is the danger of a welfare system, in contract with a private
company, that now holds the balance sheet to be of much greater importance
than the welfare needs of our sick and disabled people.
14. POWER & AUTHORITY: Now that the UK government is using finance as
the only priority for welfare, instead of the welfare needs of the sick and
chronically disabled people who depend on this service, it is guaranteed that
countless numbers of vulnerable people will suffer whilst Atos Healthcare remain
in a singular position of power and authority.
The usual common courtesies, respect and human kindness expected from
all health professionals towards their patients - or claimants - have been
exchanged for a balance sheet. Human Rights are displaced and the need
for compassion, and especially the dignity of the patient/claimant, is totally
The sick, the disabled and now even the dying are victims of this systematic
medical abuse of power, and intimidation and bullying tactics are used to silence
anyone who attempts to expose this government funded medical tyranny. Indeed,
in the Appeal Tribunals Report of 2009, it is confirmed, "...appeals are twice as
likely to be successful if the applicant appears at the appeal compared to when
they don't." So, this statement doesn't appear to hold out too much hope for those
of us who are too ill, in too much pain or too disabled to risk travel, which places
the most profoundly sick and disabled people at a distinct disadvantage, including
older War Pensioners. Can this really be considered to be justice?
15. INCREASING DISABILITY: The SPVA administer my pension and, until
recently, I had not been in touch with the SPVA for over 20 years. As my health
deteriorated, and the physical disabilities dramatically increased over time, I
requested a review of my War Pension and, in 2006, a visiting doctor - freelance
and former RAF doctor - conducted a very thorough medical examination in my
home, and in the presence of a chaperone, and confirmed the significant physical
deterioration. My pension was then increased from a 20% disability to a 60%
disability as an Interim award, which accepts that the diagnosed condition may
In 2006 the experienced visiting doctor strongly advised me to claim again within
12 months due to the expected and continued "savage onslaught" of my
condition. His detailed medical report confirmed all statements offered by myself
and my GP as being true, and my GP's assessment of my disability levels as
QED: my doctor and I have no need to make bogus deterioration claims.
16. DETERIORATION: As predicted at the 2006 medical examination, over
time my condition continued to deteriorate significantly but much faster than in
previous years. Due to this serious and painful deterioration, and with the full
support of my doctor, in August 2008 I requested another medical review of my
pension, as advised by the previous visiting doctor in 2006.
For the 2006 review my GP had suggested that I presented as being 60%
disabled for daily living. The subsequent medical review report confirmed my
GP's opinion, in a designated box within the printed report form, and my
pension was increased to acknowledge the serious increase in disability.
For the 2008 review it was my GP's opinion that I presented as being 80%
disabled for daily living and at times, when I am confined to the sofa for days, I
am 100% disabled due to the serious and more rapid deterioration in my
diagnosed condition, which she felt was to be expected. It had been necessary to
increase analgesics to include Diamorphine for pain control, and I was confined
to the sofa for days, usually every week, due to the increase in pain and
disabilities that now also seriously compromised my entire spine and chest wall,
which can impact on breathing.
Little did I realise that my integrity was to be challenged for no other reason than
the fact that my disabilities had continued to increase, but the Government did
not wish to fund the deterioration. Funding is now the only priority for the UK
Government and the obvious increasing disabilities of a veteran will be resisted to
prevent increases in care costs.
17. INTIMIDATION: Subsequently, a totally unacceptable young man, claiming
to be a doctor from Atos Healthcare, eventually visited me at home in December
2008. However, due to unforeseen circumstances on the day, it wasn't possible
to have a chaperone present for this review medical, and I now wonder if the
young doctor's conduct would have been different if there had been another
Indeed, the young man claimed to be a visiting doctor whilst steadfastly refusing
to offer any acceptable ID.
The detailed documents provided for the Appeal Tribunal confirm that this young
man arrived at my home and;
o refused to provide any ID apart from a name badge,
o ignored all good medical practice,
o compromised medical ethics,
o treated me with utter contempt,
o silenced me with a dismissive wave of his hand,
o insisted that I was not "permitted" to speak other than to offer answers to
o resisted eye contact and attempted to intimidate,
o sniggered at me, and laughed in my face,
o claimed to have completed a physical examination on my person when no
examination had taken place,
o produced a medical report that was a total work of fiction and copied,
verbatim, extracts of the medical evidence from parts of the previous 2006
detailed medical examination.
18. BOGUS CLAIM: For the 2008 medical review, all the provided and very
detailed medical evidence was resisted, and the fact that I re-submitted a claim
18 months after the previous pension increase appears to have alluded that I was
making a bogus claim, despite the fact that I have a confirmed diagnosis, which
presumes on-going and increasing physical deterioration over time.
To this effect the SPVA's decision, following the totally false 2008 medical report,
not only limited my pension to remain at a 60% disability but it was changed from
an Interim award that allows for further deterioration claims, to a FINAL
assessment that effectively prevents any further deterioration claim and risks
forfeiture of pension if pursued.
Yet this conclusion was for a confirmed diagnosis of a medical condition that can
only continue to deteriorate over time. This is another example of the dangers of
administrators making decisions that they are medically unqualified to make,
and presumes that a rapid health deterioration must be bogus.
19. SPECIALIST: When I reported my concerns to my GP I was advised that
she had: "...lost count of the numbers of my patients who have been
broken following a meeting with a staff member from this Company." I then
decided to challenge the shocking and bogus medical report and finally, 20
months after my initial application, the Appeal Tribunal medical was eventually
conducted on 29th April 2010 at my home by a visiting Consultant
Rheumatologist, who was not in the employ of Atos Healthcare.
20. RAFA REP: However, I am constantly being warned by my RAFA
Representative that my pension can be reduced or removed, thus adding to the
significant stress and distress I have endured since this all began.
Why must any veteran be so intimidated by their own Representative when a
previous detailed medical examination had confirmed my failing health,
increasing disabilities and predicted that the physical deterioration would rapidly
continue over time?
This supports Justices' claims that there is an alarming resistance to believing
claimants, which now also includes Representatives of the disabled veterans of
this country. I am, therefore, not confident regarding any future decision of the
Appeal Tribunal, which will be attended by my RAFA Representative, as I am not
well enough to agree to attend an Appeal Tribunal at some future date, to be held
in some distant city, when my physical health can vary hour to hour and I am
housebound a lot of the time. (Dec '09 - May'10)
21. SUPPORT OR INCREASED STRESS: Indeed, it seems that my RAFA
Representative is reluctant to believe me as the only advice he gives me is to
repeat that, if my claim is bogus, I could lose my pension (after 25 years?) -
which funds my home - and this from a man whom I've never met and is meant to
be supporting me. I have no doubt that this is due to the 2008 totally bogus report
from the Atos Healthcare doctor that claimed I had "adopted a disabled life style."
Despite the very detailed medical evidence provided for the Appeal, strongly
supporting my testimony, it seems that the medically unqualified RAFA
Representative would appear to believe the Atos Healthcare doctor, and clearly
this is cause for concern if he is meant to represent me at any future Appeal
My RAFA Rep does appear to struggle with the possibility that a doctor could or
would write a bogus medical report, yet seems to presume that a medically
retired health professional would happily make a bogus claim. I do not consider
his input to be supportive in any way, his constant suspicion was a cause of
unnecessary additional distress and I fail to understand why I was obliged to
accept his input following firm instructions from an Appeal Judge. (Mar - May '10)
22. EVIDENCE RESISTED: With reference to Atos Healthcare, it is very
sinister to note that priority will be given to medical reports from this Contractor
(Atos Healthcare) and so the medical evidence provided by the claimant and their
doctors will be resisted, as evidenced in my case.
Indeed, evidence in writing from Atos Healthcare management now confirms that,
for the usual face-to-face medical interviews "..the examining practitioner
would not have access to a customer's NHS medical patient history."
Therefore, no matter how much medical evidence is provided by the Claimant, it
will be totally ignored. Atos staff are instructed to resist all medical evidence from
both the claimant and their doctors, including consultants/specialists, hence
my insistence that this government medical assessment system is nothing more
than systematic medical abuse to reduce government costs.
One must therefore challenge why claimants/veterans are obliged to provide
large amounts of detailed medical evidence for any application which will then be
totally resisted? Atos Healthcare can and do avoid the usual scrutiny by claiming
that their doctors are, in fact, "disability analysts" and are not responsible for the
care of the claimant/victim/veteran as they do not offer diagnosis or prescriptions
However, it is my insistence, as confirmed by the GMC, that all doctors have
a duty of care to anyone they examine for any reason. Indeed, it is my
understanding that any doctor knowingly writing a bogus medical report is
actually acting against the law. I am in touch with the GMC, and will await their
considered opinion as to my evidence and testimony, that I would willingly
provide under oath if necessary. Evidence will be offered to the GMC in the form
of a formal complaint after my Appeal Tribunal has been concluded.
( www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html refers)
assessments) ( www.manchestermule.com/article/incapacity-benefit-
23. CASH OFFER: I can also confirm that, once this Contractor had
realised that I could not be silenced, they then presumed that my silence
could be purchased with the offer of an 'ex-gratia' and 'without prejudice'
payment for £200, for a submitted postage invoice for £31.07, to
"acknowledge the stress and distress" I had suffered. It seems that Atos
Healthcare management have little comprehension of honour, presumed
my integrity was for sale, and were a little stunned when I refused to accept
the offered excessive payment. A cheque for refunded postage costs to the
value of £31.07 was finally received on 23rd April 2010. To date it has not
It is interesting to note that the cheque is funded by the parent company,
Atos Origin, with the company cheque stating that payment is "for and on
behalf of ATOS ORIGIN IT SERVICES UK LIMITED - Medical Services
Expenses" and the compliments slip that arrived in the same envelope with
the cheque is from Atos Origin and not Atos Healthcare.
24. CONTRACT ABUSE: Atos Healthcare is so confident with their position of
authority that they break the DWP Contract on a daily basis because they can.
Who is actually going to stop them?
For example, the Contract requires the Contractor (Atos Healthcare) to
advise the Authority (SPVA) within two days if they receive any complaints
from applicants/claimants/war pensioners. Yet I was exchanging
correspondence with this company for in excess of 9 months and at no
time did they contact the SPVA until I advised that I felt it was time to bring
my experience to the attention of the SPVA, who administer my War
The Government Contract also confirms that claimants with a diagnosed terminal
illness do not need to attend Pathway Meetings, so why do the DWP insist that
they do, and there are several groups of illnesses that require the Contractor to
provide a specialist medical opinion, with specific medical expertise in that field of
medicine, and both progressive cancers and musculo-skeletal difficulties are
Atos Healthcare routinely break the Contract because they presume members of
the public have no access to the Contract, and no-one is doing any medical
supervision to guarantee that vulnerable patients are offered care and
consideration. ( www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html)
25. SPECIALIST OPINION: Given that this Contractor was in breach of
contract when sending a novice staff member to conduct my medical review,
instead of a medical specialist, I am at a loss as to why I have been placed under
such stress for very nearly 18 months and this will be pursued in the fullness of
time, health permitting. However, given that the vast majority of claimants have
no access to the Contract, this fact is not well known and, since this Contractor
has no public accountability, the public never will.
To date, the GMC has taken no action against any staff member from Atos
Healthcare, whose staff habitually write false medical reports about conditions for
which they are patently unqualified to pass opinion. This appears to be common
practice with this Contractor, who remains confident that they cannot be
realistically challenged. To date, their confidence is well justified to the detriment
of some of the most profoundly sick and disabled people in this country, and that
includes children. (www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html)
26. VEXATIOUS COMPLAINTS: The constant suggestion by the DWP, the
GMC and the British Medical Association (BMA), all claiming that any medical
assessment that can reduce income is open to "vexatious complaints", appears
to have been the general excuse for the DWP to effectively remove all
responsibility for the care of our sick and disabled veterans and fellow citizens.
Therefore, any and all protests regarding the abuse of patients by this Contractor
are routinely dismissed, presuming them all to be "vexatious" and an emotional
reaction to being identified as a scrounger being forced back to work.
There is nothing in place to prevent the Contractor creating as many bogus
medical reports as possible, the general public have no idea of the shocking
consequences of a so called medical review by this Contractor and, once they
have been adversely affected, the general consensus will be that victims will be
ignored or not believed.
Overwhelming evidence from successive annual government reports from the
Appeal Tribunals President, Judge Robert Martin, have been totally ignored by
the previous Government, and there appears to be no evidence to suggest that
this medical tyranny is likely to be improved in the near future, regardless of a
change in Government since the recent general election.
27. RESEARCH EVIDENCE: Research evidence collected, using limited
resources, has clearly demonstrated that Atos Healthcare and the DWP totally
ignore the government Contract conditions by, for example, failing to inform the
SPVA/Authority of a serious complaint from a War Pensioner who was also a
retired health professional, insisting that a terminally ill claimant must still attend
Pathway Meetings or risk forfeit of benefits, by attempting to resist the award of
DLA for a profoundly disabled child and by failing to provide a suitably qualified
doctor to conduct my review medical.
Overwhelming additional evidence is freely available via the Internet and, surely,
not every one of the thousands of disturbing stories can be dismissed, as
attempted by the DWP, as being "vexatious"? Clearly Atos Healthcare, supported
by the DWP, select which parts of the Contract to adhere to without fear of
reprimand, and one wonders how many thousands more people must be
traumatised and intimidated, throughout the UK, before someone challenges
these demonstrated unacceptable activities of this company when fully supported
by the Government? Additional detailed evidence from the Citizens Advice
Bureau, Scotland makes disturbing reading. (para 40 refers)
28. STATISTICS: Atos Healthcare is very confident that they can silence most
complaints. Dr Kitchen, at the SPVA, confirmed that Atos claim that there are
only 24 reported "letters of complaint" from every 7,000 people medically
examined by Atos Healthcare and, indeed, these are figures willingly published in
government reports about this Contractor and have marginally increased from
earlier claims that there were only 7 reported complaints per 7,000 examinations.
However, Atos Healthcare, who has repeatedly demonstrated that they are
economical with the truth, exclusively provides these totally
unsubstantiated statistics. I challenge these statistics as, judging from the wealth
of complaints about this company available via the Internet, the significant and
increasing numbers of successful Appeals and my distressing personal
experience, it seems likely that most complaints are handled by the
Contractor without admission to any Authority or inclusions in any statistics
provided for the DWP.
For this the government are paying in excess of £80 million per annum of
taxpayers' money. Indeed, Dr Kitchen of the SPVA appears to be so confident
with statistics from the company that he can attend meetings at district War
Pension Committees (WPC) where he freely admits that he has "no knowledge"
of any complaints about Atos Healthcare medicals. He has since been
educated! www.veterans-uk.info - extract from WPC East Midlands minutes,
30th Aug 2007 refers.)
29. PRESSURE: Both Atos Healthcare and the SPVA attempted to silence me
so one must be concerned for large numbers of other genuine victims of this
company, who are unlikely to have the necessary skills and confidence to
challenge bogus medical opinion. They also may not be too experienced at
writing formal letters and documents. Therefore, I believe that this system is very,
very sinister and smacks of desperation from a Government that has bankrupted
this nation, and now the sick and disabled people of this country are easy targets
and are being used to reclaim some of the nation's lost wealth by using bogus
medical reports to resist helping those most in need.
Clearly, this DWP government Contract had cross party support as Gordon
Brown, when Prime Minister, insisted that 1 million people would be removed
from the old Incapacity Benefit and David Cameron claimed that the numbers of
people in receipt of DLA would be reduced by 25%. These claims made good
press copy but how do they know that, in advance, without a guaranteed
system to abuse sick and disabled people and to reduce government care costs
It is apparent that Atos Healthcare are working towards achieving these totals,
regardless of the fact that most people interviewed are genuine and only dubious
medical reports can guarantee to have chronically disabled people, or victims of a
life threatening condition, removed from long term disability benefits to be placed
onto Job Seekers Allowance. Surely, if there were this claimed "overwhelming
evidence" of dishonest claimants, common sense dictates that they would be
prosecuted for their dishonesty and for knowingly stealing from the State?
Someone, somewhere should be asking where this identified evidence came
from, then check out the activities at the UnumProvident Centre in Cardiff. (para 9
refers) ( www.justice2008.co.uk/MedicalServices.aspx )
30. DANGEROUS COMPUTER QUESTIONNAIRE: The Contractor's parent
company, Atos Origin, is an IT company and dependency on a computer-
generated questionnaire does appear to be exasperating a serious problem at
the Atos Healthcare medical assessment centres. Indeed, all computer-
generated questionnaires are notorious as they cannot allow for common sense,
for medical variances within an identical diagnosed health condition and because
administrators will be making judgements from questionnaire conclusions about
medical conditions for which they are totally unqualified.
Doctors may complete the computer questionnaire in interview with
patients/claimants, but administrators calling themselves Decision Makers take
decisions regarding benefit, war pensions etc based on conclusions dictated by
the questionnaire. An example of the problem is available on all Microsoft Word
software: running a spelling and grammar check over a document will produce
computer suggested changes. Most are appropriate but some are nonsense, and
will be ignored by the writer, who has the skills to know the difference.
Clearly, administrators do not have the necessary medical knowledge and skills
to overlook nonsensical computer generated conclusions; hence the many and
growing numbers of distressed victims of this company. An obvious example are
the growing numbers of terminally ill claimants, classed as being fit for work,
because they are physically capable of collecting a pen from the floor! This is
very dangerous nonsense!
31. CLAIMANT DISTRESS: Do not underestimate the levels of stress and
distress caused by staff members from this Contractor, and this increases once a
claimant demonstrates the temerity to challenge their authority. Then Atos
Healthcare will attempt to apply pressure whilst ignoring the required contact with
the identified government Authority.
I received a total of four letters, from a variety of doctors from Atos Healthcare
and the SPVA, all attempting to defend the original bogus medical report, before
the Medical Director for Atos Healthcare finally apologised and acknowledged,
via a letter from the National Customer Relations Manager, that the 2008 medical
report had "failed to reach professional standards". This insincere apology was
an attempt, I believe, to finally make me stop my formal complaint.
However, both the MD of Atos Healthcare and the SPVA failed to respond to the
identified breaches of good medical practice and breach of medical ethics, as
identified in my very detailed complaint. Having belatedly received apologies,
from the MD from both Atos Healthcare and the SPVA, they presumed that I
would then quietly disappear and await the additional medical assessment prior
to my Appeal Tribunal.
Yet in all communication they both, constantly, refer to the contents of the
medical report that they have been repeatedly told was totally bogus, and the
content was a work of fiction. If they refuse to accept my testimony then this
matter can never be satisfactorily resolved, and they are both totally resistant to
acknowledging the contents of my testimony. They are simply apologising for the
doctor's unprofessional behaviour, not for the bogus medical opinion he reported.
Perhaps both the SPVA and the Contractor ignore all complaints given that Atos
Healthcare are exempt from medical regulation and remain confidant that they
can never realistically be challenged?
The harrowing experience of patients when attending one of the Contractor's
medical centres is reported by the designer of
the www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.htmlwebsite, as witnessed when he
was required to attend another appointment, despite having a terminal diagnosis
and the onset of Grand Mal Epilepsy, as confirmed by a Consultant
He reports the following: "The first thing you will notice when you attend a
medical examination centre is the atmosphere of menace and oppression. You
are asked for identification. My NHS prescription charges exemption card was
accepted. You are kept waiting. In my case forty minutes after the time of the
appointment was due to start.
A very sick young girl arrived five minutes after the fifteen minutes allowed for
being late. Her carer was still trying to park. She had struggled to get upstairs on
her own. Parking places are not provided. She was treated without
compassion. Her appointment was cancelled even though all appointments, by
that time, were running at least 30 minutes late. She asked if she could make a
new appointment there and then. She was refused. She was told that, not that
they could not do this but that theywould not do this. She was told to go home
and ring the appointment centre.
One reason Atos Healthcare was awarded the contract by the DWP was that they
claimed to have expertise in IT services. A reasonable person might question
why staff who presumably can access a central booking system behaves in such
an unhelpful manner? Remember the harsh and unwarranted treatment of the
patient is not personal. The staff are only obeying instructions. The staff are told
to consider the people as customers not as patients. The staff may not be on the
pay scales or conditions that are typical in NHS establishments.....I felt this
Kafkaesque process was an unwarranted approach to be used against the dying,
the sick, the disabled and their carers. It does additional harm as the patient is
lured into a false belief that, as this is a medical procedure, it will benefit the
When realisation eventually dawns, disbelief disgust and anger are a natural
consequence of seeing ill people kicked while they are down. I was so weak I
nearly fainted under the Tube. I was seriously ill for four days. It took weeks to
recover my strength because of the actions of Atos Healthcare. Despite
complaints and appeals, you may still be ordered to attend "work" meetings. You
should reply to each request made in error with an additional complaint. If you do
feel strong enough do point out you are the patient not the customer. The DWP is
the customer. You are a patient covered by the state duty of care."
( www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html re: DWP ESA Medical
Examinations - ESA Medical Examination - Practical Matters refers) NB: The
author of this website is terminally ill with an inoperable primary brain
tumour. WHY does the DWP actively encourage a private company to abuse
such seriously ill patients??
32. SPVA: The Deputy Head of Veterans Medical Services, from the SPVA,
claimed that he would usually have offered me another medical "in these
circumstances" but, given that my case was under Appeal, this was not possible.
One needs to question how many times this has happened in the past "in these
circumstances" from a senior doctor who claimed, at a regional WPC meeting,
that he had "no knowledge of any complaints" about Atos Healthcare medicals?
Indeed, this doctor seemed a little stunned to discover, from my reply, that I
wouldn't permit another staff member from Atos Healthcare into my home and,
following extensive personal research, I confirmed that I don't trust the company
or any of their staff.
33. RESPECT: The Deputy Head of Veterans Services (Medical) SPVA - in
letters written by employed "drafters" - waxes lyrically about his respect and
admiration for disabled veterans yet, clearly, he is not military and has little
comprehension of a code of honour. He was informed that I intend to alert the
GMC to my serious concerns regarding the medical practice of the Contractor's
medical staff and his lack of supervision on behalf of disabled veterans. He was
not best pleased with my news. Indeed, he continued to avoid answering specific
questions relating to my reported unacceptable experience with the junior doctor,
who visited my home and compromised medical ethics on behalf of Atos
Healthcare and the SPVA.
It is interesting to note that this senior doctor has "voluntarily removed" his
registration from the GMC Register in the hope, presumably, of avoiding any
future responsibility for the consequences of unacceptable treatment by Disability
Analysts in the employ of Atos Healthcare.
Yet, by definition, the Deputy Head of Veterans Medical Services has a duty of
care to the disabled veterans of this nation and one has to ask why he is
abandoning this duty whilst the Contractor continues to sabotage the War
Pension (WP) deterioration from veterans without fear of redress?
This also begs the question as to how many other disabled veterans have been
betrayed by the very government department that is meant to support them?
Is it not enough that we've had our health, and subsequent quality of life,
compromised by service to our country without the need to discover that limiting
pensions, and not the welfare of disabled veterans, is now the only priority of the
34. CLAIMED REPRIMAND: Following claims from Atos Healthcare that the
doctor who visited me had been reprimanded I invited detailed evidence as to the
type of reprimand, which was resisted by the National Customer Services
Manager, Brian Pepper, claiming that he was prevented from offering confidential
information about members of staff and that details had been provided for the
designated DWP Contract Manager, whom I then contacted.
I had presumed that this latest claim was yet another work of fiction by this
company, and it seems I was correct. Two months after my initial enquiry in
February 2010, I again made contact with the DWP Contract Manager inviting a
reply. An incoming letter from the DWP Contract Manager offered apologies
claiming that she was awaiting detailed information from Atos Healthcare, which
had not been forthcoming!!
35. STRESS & DISTRESS: Once an Appeal Tribunal has been requested the
stress on the claimant increases exponentially, with conflicting information from a
variety of Justices being sent to the claimant, who may struggle to cope with such
stress when already so ill and/or disabled. In my own case, I have had input from
no fewer than 4 different Justices and the Appeal Tribunal was originally
confirmed as being planned for November 20th 2009.
At the very last minute I received a 'phone call to advise that the Appeal had
been deferred again and I was strongly advised to acquire a Representative. I
was resistant to this suggestion as my case is predominantly about compromised
medical ethics, and the lack of good medical practice, and I failed to see how
anyone could realistically represent me without medical training.
I finally agreed to obtain help via RAFA but have never met my Representative,
whose 'support' revolved around his insistence that the Appeal Tribunal would not
be interested in my evidence regarding the Contractor, and he appeared
threatened by the fact that I am a retired health professional.
There was limited contact with my RAFA Representative and I had no idea as to
his possible input at any future Appeal Tribunal. I confess he did not inspire any
confidence that he intended to support me so one wonders why I should be
obliged to use his services? (Paras 20 & 21 refers)
36. PRESUMED AUTHORITY: At the time of starting to prepare this report my
Appeal hearing had been altered yet again. Having been invited to permit the
Tribunal to take place at my home as, due to serious and variable health
limitations I am totally unable to confirm attendance at a distant meeting at some
future date, that arrangement was superseded by yet another Judge who
deemed, after exclusive consultation with my RAFA Representative, that another
medical report was all that was needed; hence more delays.
I advised the Appeals administrator of my concerns that my Representative had
been consulted, and confirmed arrangements changed, without having the
courtesy to consult with me. This man is my designated Representative, not my
Advocate, yet he presumes an authority he doesn't have and the Appeals
administration appear to think this is the norm. Needless to say, following this, my
RAFA Representative has been even less supportive. I have no knowledge of the
expected time frame between the proposed new medical review visit and the
Appeal Tribunal decision.
I also have no confidence that the RAFA Representative will support my claims
and concerns, as I am physically unable to attend the Appeal hearing, now
planned to be held in London. My RAFA Representative has yet again firmly
instructed me that, if the medical review fails to support my deterioration claim,
then I should cancel the expected Appeal or risk the removal of my pension
altogether. Is this not just another form of an intimidation?
It should be noted that it is now over 16 months since my unhappy experience
with a staff member from Atos Healthcare and 20 months since I first advised an
increase in my pensionable disabilities.
In 21st Century UK, it surely shouldn't take almost two years for justice to be
seen to be done when some of the victims/claimants/veterans/patients are so
very ill. If this is the normal time frame for an Appeal Tribunal, many people who
are terminally ill risk death before any decision regarding their Appeal has been
considered. This can't possibly be considered to be justice. (As of April 2010)
37. TRIBUNAL MEDICAL: The additional medical review for the Appeal
Tribunal was conducted at my home, in the presence of my carer, on 29th April
2010 and 16 months after the previous unacceptable medical, conducted by a
presumed doctor from Atos Healthcare. This time the visiting doctor was a
specialist Consultant Rheumatologist, a high calibre clinician, and I had no
problems whatsoever with his conduct or his attitude.
As a quality professional he happily produced photo ID on arrival, without being
invited to do so, in opposition to the attitude of the doctor from Atos Healthcare
who had refused to offer any form of ID, despite being asked to do so on 3
Immediately after the visit by the Consultant I forwarded an email to both my
RAFA Representative, and the Administrator for the Appeal Tribunal, to confirm
that I was happy with the Consultant regardless of his medical opinion or of the
future outcome of my Appeal. This was to confirm that I do not habitually feel the
need to dispute medical opinion, which appears to have been the underlying
suggestion of this entire Appeal. Time will tell if this Consultant, representing the
Appeal Tribunal and not in the employ of Atos Healthcare, actually confirms my
deterioration claim. If not, all my evidence will be dismissed and I will no doubt be
accused of making a "vexatious" claim, which is the Government's excuse for
introducing a private medical agency that operates outside of all accepted
medical parameters, to the detriment of some of the most vulnerable people in
our society. (As of 29th April)
38. REPORT: The report from the Appeal Tribunal Consultant confirmed that
my deterioration claim was genuine. The visiting Consultant had advised me
that it was not in his remit to suggest the percentage disability to be awarded
despite the fact that, in the 2006 medical review report, the visiting doctor had
confirmed that he concurred with my GP and that I had presented as being at
least 60% disabled at that time.
It is sinister that the medical report forms were changed to prevent any
examining doctor confirming the percentage disability presented by examination
of the patient - another cost cutting measure by the DWP, presumably following
too many confirmed deterioration claims in the past?
The new medical report by the visiting Consultant, on behalf of the Appeal
Tribunal, was received and not only concluded that my claim was genuine but
also described me as a "stoical woman." A copy of the new medical report was
forwarded to my RAFA Representative and I then decided that my Appeal
Tribunal should now continue at a date yet to be decided.
My original RAFA Representative, who constantly placed me under additional
stress, was to retire on 28th May and I was allocated a new Representative, with
whom I have yet to make contact. Just prior to his retirement, and following a
positive medical report from the visiting Consultant, the outgoing RAFA
Representative instructed me to request that the Tribunal should still be
conducted at my home, to give the Tribunal members the opportunity to meet
with me. His attitude had finally dramatically improved since receiving a copy of
the new medical report and he now decided to believe me! A telecom was
received on 27th May to confirm that the Appeal Tribunal would be listed for 1st
July in London in my absence. I requested the possibility of a home visit and I
await that decision (as of 27th May).
39. PLEASE CONSIDER: With reference to sick and disabled veterans in
particular, together with the growing numbers of injured service members from
the on-going conflicts, the Government's reduction of designated medical help
and support for the military has been ongoing for many years without too much
public interest. As yet another example of able bodied politicians and
administrators making decisions for which they are patently unqualified, it was
decided long ago to close all military hospitals and the majority of the military
rehabilitation units in order, of course, to reduce costs. Consequently, not only
was the most designated medical support removed for our military but the NHS
was then catastrophically compromised, by re-allocating military medical care to
the over stretched NHS.
In theory, two wards in some of the larger district hospitals throughout the UK
have subsequently been closed to civilians and provided for the exclusive use of
the military. In reality, the NHS will use whatever resources are available, hence
civilian patients are frequently found on wards that were meant to be for the
exclusive use of the military, and vice versa, which stresses all patients both
civilian and military.
Needless to say, someone, somewhere no doubt patted themselves on the back
as an example of saving the Government £millions and, at the same time,
demonstrating their total ignorance concerning the very obvious consequences of
such a dire choice. Clearly, to a medical professional, it is indisputable that the
mental health and well being of patients who are sick, disabled and/or injured in
the service of their country cannot be separated from their physical well being
There are limitless clinical reports confirming that physical recovery can and will
be delayed if the patient is stressed, or distressed, and one guaranteed way to
distress injured members of the military is to remove them from the familiar
security of military life and catapult them into a civilian environment. Being a
member of the military is a way of life, not just a job, and this is totally
disregarded for medical care to limit care costs, which will be increased
exponentially due to increases in recovery time when these patients are removed
from all that is familiar. When needing medical care and least able to cope,
military patients are placed into a predominantly civilian environment.
This isn't rocket science, it is common sense and is supported by clinicians
whose opinions will be silenced or ignored. Closing the military hospitals also
removed the military medical staff housing, plus support staff, hence it is never
likely to be reversed and the NHS will continue to be overwhelmed by being
forced to share limited resources with the military. This nonsense also means that
military medical staff, dressed in full uniform, are obliged to work in a civilian
environment and then they wonder why staff morale is low! Then, just when all
available medical resources are stretched to the limit, the Government
controversially commits this nation to a war zone that will last for years and
guarantees that the numbers of disabled military patients will dramatically
increase and the limited allocated resources have been demonstrated to be
The Government also altered the War Pension to an entirely new compensation
system for military disabled in the line of duty from 2005. The very belated
introduction of a public holiday, designated as Veterans' Day, really can't begin to
compensate for the systematic neglect of medical care for our military, both
serving and veterans. The UK are knowingly sending our military into war zones
which guarantees they will only receive limited medical support if injured. They
deserve better! (www.theforgottenheroes.co.uk refers)
40. CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU: Prior to the introduction of the new
government medical assessments using Atos Healthcare, officials had already
been indoctrinated to expect a massive public outcry as countless numbers of
people were to be removed from a life on benefit to get them back into the world
of work, despite the fact that there is record unemployment. Ever since, no matter
what overwhelming evidence has been placed before the DWP regarding the
failure of the Contractor to help the sick & disabled people who must use their
services, it is simply dismissed as the DWP's only concern is the reduction of
This was demonstrated in the Government's reaction to a major report by
Citizens Advice Scotland, whose detailed evidence labelled the new ESA benefit
system as being "unfit" and quoting countless examples of distress experienced
by profoundly disabled people, with 69% of applicants being found fit to work by
the totally unworkable and dangerous computer tick test evaluation system.
According to the very detailed report, the new benefits system have caused
"misery and frustration" for vulnerable people yet the DWP's response, as
expected, was to claim that: "...the assessment is about creating a fairer and
more accurate picture of a person's physical or mental condition. This is how
claimants can best get the right help and support." These comments were in
reaction to the introduction of the new ESA benefit, that replaces Incapacity
Benefit, with able bodied civil servants and politicians waxing lyrically about its
claimed merits with no concern, and certainly no interest, in examining
overwhelming and detailed evidence that demonstrates that the Contractor totally
disregards the Contract, leaving sick and disabled people traumatised by
their callous and insensitive so called medical assessments.
The Government don't want to know and continue to demonstrate that they will
Despite being consulted about the new medical assessment system prior to its
introduction, the Disability Alliance are now on record expressing growing
concerns with the mounting evidence of trauma experienced by disabled people
whose recent medical assessment have concluded that most are fit to work
when, clearly, most of them are not. (www.cas.org.uk as of 25th May)
41. CONCERNS: Despite the identified concerns of the Justices who must
consider the evidence at Appeal Tribunals, and identified in every annual report
to the Government, Atos Healthcare are protected by the DWP. The abuse of the
sick and disabled people of this nation continues, without fear of challenge or
reprimand, and a reasonable person could only conclude that this is justified by
some arbitrary target set by political leaders.
Attempting to reach unobtainable and unrealistic Government targets, in the
minds of many, appears to have caused the deaths of at least 400 patients in
Stafford Hospital in particular, as recently highlighted by the Prime Minister (PM)
when he announced a long awaited public inquiry to be chaired by Robert Francis
Now the new Prime Minister has announced hospitals should get rid of "the
targets" and get back to decent hygiene and nursing care. Perhaps the new
Prime Minister is starting to wake up to the dangers of politicians attempting to
enforce targets where health is concerned? Perhaps he will also wake up to the
fact that, without the authority of a resident Matron on site, all patients are at the
mercy of Medical Administrators, who have a business degree instead of nursing
experience. That is why patients die from a lack of basic hygiene and nursing
Research evidence has confirmed that Atos Healthcare actively instruct their staff
to resist all medical evidence provided in support of the claimants, and totally
dubious medical reports by the Contractor's medical staff have been
demonstrated to be the norm. Indeed, it is easy to confirm that Atos Healthcare
constantly breach the DWP government Contract, which is rewarded at an
annual cost of £80 million per annum, and the DWP Contract Manager has
demonstrated that, indeed, they are totally impotent to challenge the activities of
this medical tyranny.
In my experience the SPVA now resist all responsibility to the nation's disabled
veterans by residing in the shadow of the undoubted power and authority of Atos
Healthcare. (PM speech: BBC News as of 9th June refers.)
42. SPVA/ATOS COLLABORATION: I eventually received a reply from the
DWP Contract Manager, three months after my initial request. She resisted my
request for any evidence that the doctor from Atos Healthcare, who had provided
a totally bogus medical report, had been reprimanded for his unethical conduct.
Despite the claims to the contrary from the Atos Healthcare National Customer
Relations Manager, Brian Pepper, the DWP Contract Manager, no doubt, had no
evidence of any such reprimand. However, she did enclose copies of a selection
of emails between the MD of Atos Healthcare, Dr David Beswick and the Deputy
Director of Medical Services for SPVA, Dr Paul Kitchen.
As suspected, Dr Kitchen expressed frustration that I could not be silenced and
offered considerable support and gratitude to the MD at Atos Healthcare. There
was no evidence whatsoever of any concern for my welfare, as a chronically
disabled veteran, and Dr Kitchen had emailed all possible letters he was writing
to me for priorAPPROVAL from the Atos Healthcare MD in the hope that he
wasn't writing anything that could cause the Atos MD problems! This from the
man whose principal concern is meant to be for the welfare of the sick and
disabled veterans of this nation.
Quite clearly, the Government's insistence that all government departments must
reduce costs includes the SPVA, whose only concern is evidently not to upset
Atos Healthcare management. Most interesting is the fact that Dr Beswick, as
Medical Director of Atos Healthcare, has persistently failed to personally respond
to any of my letters. Indeed, he's concerned with any possible redress from the
GMC, as identified in comments via email to Dr Kitchen, and so he refuses to put
his opinion in writing. Instead, he prefers to pass his opinions via the National
Customer Relations Manager, Mr Brian Pepper.
Included in his emails to Dr Kitchen, Dr Beswick confirms his irritation that I am
about to refer his staff member to the GMC and he claims that "..she is still
looking for blood via the GMC.." and "..the GMC will quote and use every word
and phrase we draft, hence my caution." Dr Kitchen offers sympathy and concern
to Dr Beswick and confirms that he uses "drafters" to write comforting and
supporting letters to the victims of Atos Healthcare to add the "touchy/feely
factor" that, he admits, he isn't too good at achieving.
Therefore, perhaps the new Government could begin to reduce costs by
removing the staff costs of 'drafters' from the employ of the SPVA by requiring the
Deputy Director of Medical Services to write his own letters? Even better, for the
chronically disabled veterans of this nation, perhaps the Government could
employ a Deputy Director of Medical Services at the SPVA who actually
expresses care and concern for the victims of this Contractor, who have already
served this country to the best of their ability?
Where is the genuine support for the disabled veterans who have lost their
health in the service of this nation??? (Contents of emails between Dr Kitchen &
Dr Beswick refers)
43. ATOS HEALTHCARE INFLUENCE: Detailed research by a very
remarkable victim of this company, who is himself terminally ill with only months
to live, has revealed overwhelming evidence of the influence of this company. I
am very grateful for all his hard work, help and support. Atos Healthcare is owned
by Atos Origin UK, which is owned by the parent company Atos Origin. Atos
Healthcare is a member of the following organisations:
a. WHITEHALL & INDUSTRY GROUP (www.wig.co.uk)
b. EURIM PARLIAMENT GROUP (www.eurim.org.uk)
c. PARLIAMENTARY IT COMMITTEE (www.pitcom.org.uk)
d. MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS (www.mca.org.uk)
e. COMMERCIAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH PROVIDERS
Commercial Occupational Health Providers (COHPA) held their 2009 AGM and
Conference on Thursday 17th September 2009 at Atos Healthcare, Regent's
Place, London. COHPA were delighted to entertain a packed house at both
occasions, with over 150 guests throughout the day overall. Guests included:
o Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health & Work, HWWB
o Mark Bounds, COHPA Chairman from Atos Origin - parent company - Host
o Professor Mansel Aylward, Director Unum CPDR (Govt Advisor for Welfare
Reform & introduction of Atos Healthcare for DWP medicals)
o Diane Kloss, Chair UK Council for Occupational Health
o Greame Henderson, Head of Health & Work DEPT OF HEALTH
o Dr Bill Gunnyeon, Chief Medical Advisor DWP
o Noel O'Reilly, Editor OH (magazine)
o Cynthia Atwell, Chair RCN Public Health Forum RCN
o Jeremy Smith, AOHNP (UK)
o Dr Steve Boorman, Director Corporate Responsibility ROYAL MAIL
o Dr John Osman, Chief Medical Advisor HSE
For the black tie 5th Anniversary Dinner over 100 members and guests
celebrated with COHPA at the Armourer's Hall. Mark Bounds, COHPA Chairman
from Atos Origin was the host. Professor Mansel Aylward (former DWP Chief
Medical Advisor) gave the keynote address and COHPA Board, past and
present, were there. Dr Geoff Helliwell (Founder Director) and Greame
Henderson of the Department of Health were honoured guests.
In legal cases it is useful to consider what a reasonable person would
conclude. WHY is the DWP so reluctant to enforce the Contract between the
DWP and Atos Origin? (www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html)
44. ATOS HEALTHCARE MARKETING: According to the Atos Healthcare
website only 1% of patient experience with AH medical staff is considered to be
poor, with 80% apparently deemed to be excellent by the visiting "patients". (In
The Company also claims an entire page full of very positive feedback from
patient comments, which are of course totally anonymous, and according to the
page identified as 'information for Claimants', comments include the fact that
"You will be treated fairly and respectfully at all times during your assessment."
This is corporate marketing at its best but clearly not based in reality. I can find
no other evidence on the entire Internet of any positive comments regarding
patient experiences with medical professionals from this company.
45. FINAL RESULT: Shortly after receiving a copy of the medical opinion of
the visiting Consultant, who represented the Appeal Tribunal, I received an
unexpected offer from the SPVA of an increased War Pension at a rate of 70%
disability as an INTERIM award, back dated to August 2008 when I had originally
applied for the medical review. This is significantly less than the percentage
disability identified by my GP, and my RAFA Rep had been very hopeful that I
would be awarded at least 80% disability at the Appeal Tribunal after seeing the
consultant's report. (An award of 80% disability opens up additional financial
support for profoundly disabled veterans.)
However, my new very experienced RAFA Rep felt that this sudden and
unexpected offer of an increased pension was ".... a remarkable climb down
and very, very rare..." to have an increased pension offered so close to a
planned Appeal hearing.
However, having spent the past 22 months attempting to regain my integrity,
living with increasing anguish and distress which impacted on my health, and at a
point of total clinical exhaustion, I happily agreed to accept this new offer of a
minimal increase in my pension. As a consequence, my Appeal will lapse. The
challenge to my integrity was always just as important to me as any increase in
my pension. Indeed, it's an interesting coincidence that my pension was suddenly
and unexpectedly increased within days of me advising Dr Kitchen, at the SPVA,
that I had access to the exchanges of emails between himself and Dr Beswick at
Atos Healthcare, which confirmed his total lack of concern for my complaint and
considerable concern for the MD of Atos Healthcare. To date, I have not received
a reply from Dr Kitchen. (as of 17th June 2010)
46. INTEGRITY: The suggestion that I was dishonest was totally intolerable to
me and, given that in the past I have written a variety of professional reports, I
couldn't permit this sleight on my character to remain unchallenged as it was a
tarnish on my reputation. Now that my pension has been marginally increased, to
finally acknowledge the continuing deterioration in my health with increasing
disabilities, and my integrity and credibility are restored, I feel confident to offer
this research evidence to others.
47. VERY DISTURBING CONSIDERATIONS AND UNRESOLVED
ISSUES: Following 9 months of research, and almost 2 years of my life
overshadowed by the suggestion that I am dishonest, what is of great concern is
the total lack of any obvious repercussions in place to reprimand health
professionals from Atos Healthcare who deliberately compromise their oath of
office. They knowingly write bogus medical reports to prevent financial help for
some of the most vulnerable people in our society, as encouraged by the
company at staff training.
What systems are in place to protect the public and to challenge these
deliberately misleading medical reports, as identified at Appeal, and repeatedly
reported by Judge Robert Martin in his annual reports to Government, which are
invariably ignored? Or, as I suspect, once the Appeal has been granted and the
Claimant is finally vindicated, Atos Healthcare staff simply move on to produce
the next totally bogus medical report, without reprimand.
What about the anguish and distress the Claimant/Veteran has experienced
for months or years due to unscrupulous health professionals knowingly
creating bogus medical reports? Where is the serious redress and
acknowledgement of what these victims have suffered just to gain access to
financial support to which they are legally and morally entitled??
This is surely a national scandal and, I say again, it is at a cost to this country of
at least £80 million per annum to fund the DWP Contract with Atos Healthcare,
who are identified as the Contractor. The Government must accept culpability
for this nightmare it has created. The acknowledgement that a small
percentage of dishonest people have enjoyed ongoing financial support from a
bogus claim has meant that there is now a witch hunt mentality in place,
masquerading as medical assessment. Everyone who is sick or disabled is
presumed to be bogus until such times as overwhelming evidence, of illness or
disability, is eventually and reluctantly accepted, often via Appeal.
The callous and threatening attitude of the DWP is now also apparent with the
SPVA, whose concern should be for disabled veterans, and the lack of dedication
to disabled veterans is a cause for alarm. I humbly suggest that this is nothing
less than a national scandal as it has permitted this medical tyranny to replace
medical knowledge and actual concern. The suggestion of bogus claimants has
kept the national press fed with exposing stories, which has all added to the
public's callous attitude as the able bodied population suffer with high
unemployment and jobs being under threat. The mentality that some people are
getting handouts to which they are not entitled has led to the most sinister public
outcry, actively encouraged by the UK Government.
There is now evidence, from published Government committee meetings, that the
DWP Committee members themselves are not familiar with the contents of the
500-page government Contract with Atos Healthcare. They don't appear to
realise that the Contract confirmed that medical evidence provided by any
claimant, including reports from Specialists/Consultants, would be resisted in
favour of exclusive acceptance of the medical reports from Atos Healthcare staff
members. This shocking Contract offers the private Contractor unparalleled
authority, and guarantees that genuinely sick and disabled people of this nation
will be traumatised just because they are too ill to work and presumed to invite
The only recorded statistics are those provided by the Contractor, who has
demonstrated repeatedly that they choose their words carefully. This is
evidenced by Dr Kitchen, of the SPVA, claiming at WPC meetings that he has "no
knowledge" of any complaints about Atos Healthcare medicals and insisting that
the company only receive 24 complaints for every 7,000 medicals undertaken.
That is because the company do not report the complaints, as demonstrated by
the fact that I was in correspondence with them for in excess of 9 months and at
no time had they advised the SPVA about my complaint. Yet the Contract obliges
the company to report all complaints to the Authority within 2 days of receipt.
Clearly they don't and, really, why should they?
Who is actually imposing any medical supervision on this private company???
The so-called Contract Manager is a joke. They can't possibly offer medical
supervision as they are administrators. They are in place to simply quantify
statistics presented by the company, which have been easily demonstrated to be
According to the GMC this company enjoys total immunity from medical
regulation, which means that the only redress offered to anyone who has suffered
such callous abuse by Atos Healthcare medical staff is that they must then deal
with the distress of making a formal complaint to the GMC, usually without
medical knowledge or support. This is only possible if the victim of this company
actually knows the name of the doctor who examined them. Indeed, the GMC
advise that most people loose heart given that any GMC investigation can take
up to three years to conclude.
Why should the distressed innocent victims of this company, who are already ill
and/or disabled, put themselves through such additional trauma without the
guarantee that they will ever find justice?? That is why so much detail of the
shocking abuse by unacceptable medical staff is never challenged or resolved.
That is also why the company remain confident that they can continue to
traumatise innocent victims of this medical evaluation system, without fear of
serious challenge or reprimand, in order to reduce Government care costs.
Indeed, that is this company's only priority. There is overwhelming evidence to
confirm this company's diabolical attitude to their sick and disabled victims who
are examined by their staff. The emphasis is on corporate business and profit
margins and the patients, clients or veterans are simply a means to that end.
Indeed, since the staff are paid per examination, it can't be too much of a surprise
that time is not wasted on pleasantries or putting the patient/claimant at their
ease and, clearly, patient welfare is not a concern. (Decision Making & Appeals in
the Benefit System - Second Report of session 2009-10 refers)
48. IT'S TIME TO EXPOSE THE EVIDENCE: Atos Healthcare boast that they
employ more doctors than any other company outside of the NHS, but what type
of doctors are employed? It would be very easy to expose this government
medical catastrophe using high calibre and independent medical staff, not
employed by Atos Healthcare, and with the authority of, perhaps, the Lord Justice
Carnwath, the Senior President of Tribunals or whomsoever has such an
authority. Perhaps retired military doctors would be a good place to start
recruiting this small emergency medical army, and this could only be successful if
carried out WITHOUT WARNING to the Contractor.
A team of doctors, and other health care professionals, should descend upon
Atos Healthcare medical assessment centres in the UK, including the SPVA for
the older veterans, without notice, and choose at random at least 100 staff
members to examine their last 100 medical reports. Check the percentage of
their reports that have supported claimants when compared to the percentage
rejected and, of those rejected, compare the medical examination reports of Atos
Healthcare staff with what will be significant supporting testimony from GPs
I can guarantee that the unprofessional and arrogant novice doctor who visited
me in December 2008 was very experienced at writing totally bogus medical
reports. So too I suggest was the Physiotherapist, whose bogus report prevented
a profoundly disabled young boy from obtaining the help to which he was entitled.
At best the Government has been blinded, as most politicians are similar to the
general public and presume, wrongly, that all medical staff will be honourable and
are, therefore, incapable of choosing to write misleading reports. Medical staff are
like any other group of people, and there are good and bad in them all. It's time to
stop the damage and expose this national scandal to protect the hundreds of
thousands of genuinely sick and disabled people of this nation from further
49. DWP COMMERCIAL DIRECTORATE: Correlating a document of this size
takes time, and references must be checked and enclosures found. I hadn't
anticipated any more correspondence regarding this lengthy battle but, on June
23rd, a very long and detailed letter arrived from the Correspondence Manager of
the Commercial Directorate Medical Services, DWP. In other words, this was the
formal reply from the Contract Manager division of the DWP in response to my
previous letters written months ago. Contained within the six pages of A4
stationary, Mr John Murphy offers profuse apologies but not because Atos
Healthcare had permitted a staff member to attempt to intimidate a lone disabled
woman, then wrote a totally bogus medical report.
Indeed not, as his apology was limited to the time taken for the complaint to be
'resolved' and that did gain my attention, as I was unaware that my complaint had
been resolved! Mr Murphy challenges any suggestion of a breach of contract and
now actually claims that there is "...no actual requirement for Atos Healthcare
to notify the Department, in this case the SPVA, that they have received a
complaint from a customer." It seems that there must now be another
Contract that is different to the copy I have...
Throughout this lengthy document it is clear that Mr Murphy is repeating
information provided by Atos Healthcare that, unfortunately, was a long way away
from the reality of my experience. Throughout this document this
Correspondence Manager unreservedly supports Atos Healthcare and still fails to
acknowledge anything from my complaint. He even justifies the fact that the
company attempted to buy my silence with an offer of £200. Mr Murphy rejects
any suggestion that the medical report provided by the visiting Healthcare
Professional was in any way bogus, yet he is himself medically unqualified, and
presumably he believes that my doctors and I have lied?
Even more disturbing, this civil servant dismissed all the identified concerns
contained in the annual government reports as provided by Judge Robert Martin
and, the reason why the DWP ignored those reports is quite simple - they choose
not to accept the contents of any report that challenges the activity of this private
company. It is very obvious that Mr Murphy repeats verbatim any and all details
as provided by the Contractor and all other detailed information, from a claimant
to a Judge, will be totally dismissed. A copy of his letter will be one of the
enclosures to this report. (As of 23rd June)
No doubt the SPVA and Atos Healthcare are breathing sighs of relief with a
presumption that a belated minimal increase in my pension will now stop this as yet
unresolved serious complaint. However, the sudden and unexpected increase in my
War Pension totally fails to acknowledge almost 2 years of incredible additional stress
and anxiety, which has taken its toll on my health, and could have been avoided if I had
originally been visited by a specialist doctor as required by the contract. Atos
Healthcare breached the contract by failing to advise the SPVA that I had raised a
formal complaint and by failing to provide a specialist opinion for my review medical
and, as such, they have a lot to answer for. This failure will be pursued in time. Indeed,
in order to prevent any such distress being afforded to any other veteran, I will suggest
that Atos Healthcare staff should be prevented from undertaking medicals on this
nation's disabled veterans in the future. No doubt my suggestion will be ignored, just as
the Government have continually ignored all detailed annual reports from His Honour
Judge Robert Martin, when President of the Appeal Tribunals. On-going conflicts have
present day service members being killed or injured, with daily reports being exposed
by the national news, so let's hope that the new coalition government may have
different ideas of how to commit British Forces. Clearly, the nation's concerns are with
the injured servicemen/women, and all possible help and support should be given to
them and their distressed families. Yet, having already served this nation, our sick and
disabled older veterans also deserve much better consideration than presently offered
by the SPVA, Atos Healthcare and the DWP. Given the influence of this private
company, and the public money invested in this seriously flawed so called health
evaluation system, it is likely that the sick and disabled people of this country will
continue to suffer at the hands of Atos Healthcare staff, who demonstrate unlimited
power but lack medical accountability, as afforded by their principal customer i.e. the
I salute the work of everyone involved with Help for Heroes, whose efforts have raised
additional £millions to support our injured service men and women returning home from
the front. However, this concentrates the mind as, if the military hospitals hadn't been
closed, Help for Heroes wouldn't need to exist or their funds would be used for extras
instead of vital essentials.
It's time to remove these "disability denial factories" from the UK
A great deal of time and effort has been spent researching this very serious situation.
One thing is certain and that is that no-one in authority appears to be totally familiar
with the 500 page contract between the DWP and Atos Healthcare. Perhaps, once the
full implications of this unacceptable contract is fully appreciated Ken Clarke, as
Secretary of State for Justice, may wish to recommend to the new Government that the
contract should not be renegotiated again. Better still, perhaps Mr Clarke may
recommend that this company is removed, and their contract not renewed in 2012, and
then the profoundly sick and chronically disabled people of this nation will no longer
need to fear being medically assessed for the DWP. (as of 6th June 2010)
NB: AH contract recently extended to 2015 to assess all DLA claimants.
Only then, when the medical opinion of doctors and consultants who actually treat the
patient is actually accepted, will justice finally be seen to be done for the countless
numbers of victims of this private company, who have no public accountability and
whose power and unlimited authority know no limits. How many more horror stories
must be reported before someone accepts the wealth of disturbing details available
about this company? (as of 30th June, 2010) (*Healthcare Commission now replaced
with Care Quality Commission.)
Since this report was originally completed and distributed, in June 2010, further
information has been brought to my attention, hence the need for additional editing. In a
letter to a dying man, the Manager of the DWP CMMS department has now confirmed
in writing that the DWP never have audited/monitored the contract between the DWP
and Atos Healthcare, contrary to claims by successive Prime Ministers and Ministers,
who constantly reassure the House and the British public. In her letter to Mr B..., Hilary
Brierley confirmed that: ".the Department has not exercised its contractual right to
access for purposes of auditing Atos Healthcare's compliance with its contractual
obligations." However, there have been many meetings to confirm "performance
targets". Someone should explain to this woman the difference between a contractual
right and a contractual obligation when dealing with a £100million government contract.
I confirm this report is being used as evidence by Professor Harrington for the WCA
QED: It's now confirmed that the £100 million per annum DWP contract with Atos
Healthcare never has been monitored/audited by the DWP for compliance with the
contract. (as of 8th October 2010) [During the 2009-2010 financial year the DWP paid
Atos Origin £150,798,435. Source is a Freedom of Information request made to the
POST SCRIPT (2): THE HARRINGTON REPORT
An Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, headed by Professor
Malcolm Harrington, was published on 23rd November 2010 and used my original
research report as a contribution to the evidence for the review. The Professor has not
endorsed my research, nor do I seek his endorsement. The Professor's report
confirmed unacceptable and limited activity by the Decision Makers, who fail to
consider all presented medical evidence, and confirm anything presented by an Atos
Healthcare assessment. This is in breach of the contract as exposed in this full
research report originally completed in June 2010. www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-review-
2010.pdf (as of 23rd November 2010)
POST SCRIPT (3): UNUM PROVIDENT NOW REBRANDED TO: UNUM
In a feature article by Jonathan Rutherford, it is confirmed that the former DWP Chief
Medical Adviser, Professor Mansel Aylward, was known to Unum as far back as 1994
and is now the Director of the Unum Centre at Cardiff University, funded by Unum.
www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/articles/rutherford07.html (as of 12th December 2010)
POST SCRIPT (4): CARE QUALITY COMMISSION
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) replaced the former Healthcare Commission and,
in a letter from Dr Nick Bishop, the Senior Medical Adviser, he confirmed that the CQC
only supervise health professionals accessed by the public and cannot oversee Atos
Healthcare, a closed operation on behalf of the DWP. The only possible way to persue
any grievance, if unsatisfied with internal procedures, is to persue action via the GMC
as previously confirmed by the Healthcare Commission. (as of 15th March 2011)
POST SCRIPT (5): RCN REFUSE TO ACCREDIT ATOS HEALTHCARE NURSE
Like many people suffering from the trauma of the enforced welfare changes, victims
turn to others for support and Carer Watch is a self help group of carers who
communicate online. One of their numbers contacted the Royal College of Nursing
(RCN) to invite information regarding the legitimacy of the nursing staff used by Atos
Healthcare for disability assessments. In a letter from Peter Carter OBE, the Chief
Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, dated 9th March 2011, it was confirmed
"In August 2009, Atos Healthcare applied to the RCN to have their training for nurse
assessors accredited. At this time the RCN was having serious misgivings regarding
the Work Capability Assessments carried out by ATOS on behalf of the Department for
Work and Pensions for applicants of Incapacity Benefit. These concerns were very
much echoed by Citizens Advice Bureaux and many other front-line charities. The RCN
decided that it "could not ethically or credibly accredit this ATOS training; and in
September 2009 the request was declined." (as of 15th March 2011)
My grateful thanks to the member of Carer Watch, who wishes to remain anonymous,
for her kind permission to use this information.
As time goes by more and more information comes to my attention, and more and more
people are aware of my research and are happy to help. I am grateful to everyone who
has supported me over the past 2 years and have given me the strength to carry on
even when the going got tough. Thank you all.
FINAL CONCLUSION: The GMC and the Care Quality Commission do not supervise
the doctors employed by this private contractor and the Royal College of Nursing refuse
to accredit the nurse training so, at some point, someone will have to explain to me
why, exactly, this company is being used in the UK?
RESEARCH CAVEAT: It is believed that Unum Insurance, or their predecessor or
subsidiary companies, are no longer banned from operating in the US. This is since the
company agreed to financial settlements with the DoH of all states, and since the
company agreed to pay significant compensation.
It is not known whether Unum Insurance, or their predecessor or subsidiary companies,
in particular Unum Provident Insurance, has agreed liability. Unum Insurance are still
processing compensation claims years later.
There is anecdotal evidence that the processing of some of the claims are taking a very
long time but, to date, there is no evidence to confirm that there is a Unum policy to
delay compensation payments.
Given that the reputation of an Unum predecessor or subsidiary company was tainted
by the involvement, including the "a priori" company name of "the Unum Provident
Insurance", it is reasonable to suppose that the change of name to "Unum Insurance" is
an attempt to distance the current Unum operations from the past. It is believed that
Unum feel that they are now in a position to be able to deny past culpability. Unum
claim, in the US, that they have changed procedures.
It is believed Unum are funding large marketing campaigns in their target markets.
Some believe that Unum are using their influence to censor and shut down websites
which continue to publish past activities of Unum and its predecessor or subsidiary
companies. A number of these websites have been set up by the dying, the sick, the
disabled and their carers. I leave it to you and history to judge how much the attitude of
Unum has changed.
All wish that Unum has truly changed. Unum could demonstrate this if they seek
dialogue with their distractors and ask the website publisher to amend any published
statements that they disagree with. Unfortunately Unum appears, to many, to be
attempting to rewrite history and is attempting to cleanse the knowledge of a
The reasons for the removal of a BBC transcript (republished
here dwpatosveterans.html#unumbbc), from 2007, which identified Unum
Provident Insurance as a discredited corporate insurance giant, are, at this time,
(as of 25th August 2011)
In loving memory of Eileen Nearne, a WWII hero betrayed by her
Daily Mail - WW11 spy Eileen Nearne died
penniless British pension halted
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
"Never believe anything until it's officially denied."
".never underestimate the power of persistence."
Mrs S..., War Pensioner (WRAF), Retired health professional Additional edit - 15th
Internet research references include:
www.healthcarecommission.org.uk (ceased operations March 2009)
www.cqc.org.uk (Care Quality Commission)
www.cas.org.uk (Citizens Advice Scotland)
Research references from published reports include:
1) Decision Making & Appeals in the Benefits System - 2nd Report of Session 2009-10
House of Commons Work & Pensions Committee
2) Appeal Tribunals Annual Government Report 2007-08
HH Judge Robert Martin - President of the Appeal Tribunals
3) Appeal Tribunals Annual Government Report 2008-09
HH Judge Robert Martin - President of the Appeal Tribunals
1) Appeals President slams DWP and ATOS
President of Appeals Tribunal - Judge Robert Martin - Press, July 2008
2) Royal Mail Group & DWP win Occupational Health safety awards as
presented by ATOS HEALTHCARE
3) George Osborne hints at further cuts in welfare budget
Patrick Wintour - Political Editor - The Guardian
4) GMC U-turn: no-one watches DWP doctors - 15th March 2006
5) DWP ESA Medical Examinations
6) DWP MENTAL HEALTH TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP
www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/tpca.pdf (INCLUDES UNUM PROVIDENT REPRESENTATIVES)
Selection of Letters/documents written by Mrs S...:
1) Reply to the letter from Commercial Directorate Medical Services
- 23rd June & 28th June 2010
2) RAFA Report - 6th February 2010
3) Letters to Dr P Kitchen, SPVA - 20th Jan, 15th Feb, 18th June 2010
4) Letter to Mr B Pepper, Atos Healthcare - 1st March 2010
5) Letter to Dr Beswick, Atos Healthcare - 7th June 2010
6) Letter to Jon Parkin, Exec Director SPVA - 24th Jan 2011
Selection of Letters/documents received by Mrs S...:
1) Letter from Commercial Directorate Medical Services - John Murphy
DWP Correspondence Manager response to complaint
- overwhelming support for Atos Healthcare - 21st June 2010
2) Collection of emails between Dr D Beswick, MD Atos Healthcare & Dr P Kitchen, SPVA
dated between 22nd Jan - 5th February 2010 as eventually supplied via Contract
Overwhelming support for AH
3) Letter from Dr P Kitchen - still claiming innocence and confirming that ATOS would
not have conducted an inquiry without his input - 17th June 2010
4) Letter from Mr Brian Pepper, Adminstrator Atos Healthcare - 11th June 2010
SUGGESTED ESSENTIAL FURTHER READING:
1) Medical Services Complaints
2) Is Labour abolishing illness?
Alison Ravetz - Proffesor Emeritus of Leeds Metropolitan University
3) Clinic faces new investigation
Angela Saini - BBC Correspondent
4) NHS choices: Patient Feedback on Atos Healthcare
5) Atos Healthcare: Claimants, Patient Comment, Our Performance
6) WPC East Midlands minutes, 30th August 2007
7) Civil Service conduct & guidance - hospitality received by departmental board
8) New benefit system labelled unfit - BBC Scotland investigation
9) New benefits "have caused misery" - Citizens Advice Scotland - major report
10) Comments from former Atos medical staff
11) Testing times for disabled people by Guy Packar
The author wishes to thank the parents of the disabled child, highlighted in this report,
for their kind permission to expose their experiences within this document.
The author acknowledges with very grateful thanks the help, advice and support of Mr
B..., especially for his permission to highlight his tragic personal circumstances and to
freely refer to information from his outstanding website:
Grateful thanks to Dr Stephen Hall for his assistance with the compilation of this report
and the author further acknowledges technical support from Mr Guven Dalsar, together
with the information contained within the many websites visited during detailed
research over initial 9 month period.
BMA - British Medical Association
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau,
DLA - Disabled Living Allowance,
DWP - Department for Work & Pensions,
GMC - General Medical Council,
ID - Identity,
RAFA - The Royal Air Force Association,
RBL - Royal British Legion
SPVA - Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
WPC - War Pensions Committee
NB: UNUM change their name over time and were previously known as "First Unum"