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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 10th Jan 13, 9:41 AM
    • 9,418Posts
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    Former MSE Andrea
    Ask Atos Healthcare disability assessment questions
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 13, 9:41 AM
    Ask Atos Healthcare disability assessment questions 10th Jan 13 at 9:41 AM
    Atos Healthcare assesses disability on behalf of the government. This highly controversial issue has been discussed many times on these forums and in the press.

    This is a trial thread to allow Atos to provide guidance about the process. We have agreed, but it can only post specifically within this thread.

    Subjects it can answer questions on include:

    • Clarifications about the Work Capability Assessment questionnaire
    • Appointments/Assessments
    • Travel and travel expenses to the assessment
    • Home visits
    • Health Care Professionals and their qualifications (but not specific individuals)

    It won't be able to answer questions on:

    • The policy for decisions itself (DWP is responsible for this, not Atos)
    • The appeals process
    • The DWP staff who made the decision
    • Questions that would need your personal details
    • It can obviously only answer questions on the parts of the ESA Work Capability Assessment it carries out.

    Why we’re allowing this:

    As the issue is controversial and often causes anger amongst some affected, we think it even more important to facilitate the ability for people to contact Atos directly and get answers in a public space. Many people have demanded answers on this forum – this should help them get them – we will be monitoring the trial to see if it does.

    Of course this is not an endorsement of the firm or government policy by MSE or Martin.

    Before we allowed this to happen we asked and received assurances that during this (initial trial) period they would provide sufficient resources to answer people’s questions.

    Please don’t debate the firm or policy in this thread

    We have the forum Discussion Time board which allows discussion of that. This thread is a question and answer thread.

    To ask a question

    Just click reply below to ask your question and the Atos representative will aim to answer your question within 2 working days (ie Mon-Fri). More complicated questions could take longer so keeping posts simple, with one question per post, should help get a quicker response.

    You’ll recognise the Atos Healthcare representative as the username will be displayed in bold purple and have a special representative signature.

    As always, abusive posts will be removed – please report any inappropriate posts to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com and don’t feed the trolls.
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 10-01-2013 at 4:02 PM.
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Page 90
  • Atos Healthcare representative
    I was due my medical assessment at home this morning - I am profoundly deaf (it is explained quite clearly all over my application that I cannot hear nor use the telephone) but I still received calls from the Dr which I was unable to answer. At first he was running late, then he decided to just not show up.

    After asking someone to contact Atos on my behalf, the Dr said they couldn't come down my road as it was blocked off. I maybe disabled but I'm not silly. I can look out of the window and traffic is and has been running through all day. (I originally posted on the forum here)

    I now have to wait for another appointment which prolongs my claim further. I'm really struggling at the moment and could do without the delay/stress. I'm so upset. (I know I also have to be careful what I say, and I hope I don't offend anyone - but sending someone who has broken English/English not being their first language to a profoundly deaf persons house is a little insensitive also)

    I had an assessment around 2 years ago at an assessment centre for ESA (this current assessment is for my DLA renewal) my illness has got worse and it makes it harder for me to travel hence the home visit. Is there anyway my previous ATOS assessment can be used to support my DLA claim, rather than having to endure a succession of cancelled appointments?

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by I-Owe-You
    Hi I-Owe-You

    Firstly, as you have indicated you will in your other thread, if you contact us we can look into what happened yesterday.

    Regarding us looking at previous ESA reports instead of visiting you as part of your DLA claim. This isn’t something that we can do instead of a visit if DWP have asked us to do one. The DWP decision maker may do so though if there are recent reports that contain information useful to them. It is important to remember that the criteria for DLA and ESA are different. It might be worth discussing it with them.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Atos Healthcare. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Raksha
    • By Raksha 26th Jul 13, 1:14 PM
    • 4,518 Posts
    • 6,094 Thanks
    Raksha
    As I understand it, the MHC are there for the HCP to refer to, they don't actually asses 'customers' themselves
    Please forgive me if my comments seem abrupt or my questions have obvious answers, I have a mental health condition which affects my ability to see things as others might.
    • JS477
    • By JS477 26th Jul 13, 1:28 PM
    • 1,793 Posts
    • 2,389 Thanks
    JS477
    As I understand it, the MHC are there for the HCP to refer to, they don't actually asses 'customers' themselves
    Originally posted by Raksha
    It seems these MHCs aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

    Here

    Also from that informative article:-

    "In April, the Conservative employment minister Mark Hoban told Jones in response to a parliamentary question that there were “no formal performance measures” for MFCs, while “no separate data is held on the specific performance” of MFCs."

    MFC = Mental Function Champion!!
  • Atos Healthcare representative
    LiMA

    - done properly ~v~ done badly
    - done with ~v~ done without speaking
    - done hurriedly ~v~ done with all the time in the world
    - done by a skilled practitioner ~v~ done by a monkey
    - done by an ASDA 'till jockey' ~v~ done by an ATOS HCP

    The outcome average refusals will be the same, its not a design fault, its a well designed fully effective working Logic Integrated Medical Assessment model regardless of who is at the keyboard. The primary design of LiMA, its training programme, line managers and statistical outcome characteristic is to deny 58% of its customers a fair hearing and a fair outcome, its your right, those 42% are entitled under UK laws to their rights. LiMA denied those 42% the equal treatment they are entitled to. If it was anything other than what I describe then the mixed average [in person & paper] of 42%+ appeals would not succeed and the 65%+ of represented appeals would not succeed. Its not an emotional opinion, but a mathematical truth. 5% ? possible 10% ? maybe just bad design..... but 42%+ - give me a break, its been hovering around 45% since it stated years and years ago and has never been input~improved but has been negatively outcome~adjusted.

    In my opinion the assessor is virtually irrelevant in the process other than needing to put a 'human face' on the process, listening, smiling while diligently ticking each box will make no difference whatsoever, it might be a social nicety, but would not change the conclusion. Done by a skilled practitioner or done by a monkey the outcome is always going to be the same. Its predictive software, its capacity to anticipate an outcome, any outcome, at for example an adjusted 30% 20% 70% anything they choose can be achieved by simply changing the descriptor or the interpretation of a descriptor.
    Originally posted by Richie-from-the-Boro
    Hi Richie-from-the-Boro

    LiMA is an application which a qualified and approved health care professional uses to record clinical information and to construct a report. This is exactly the same scenario as can often be seen when visiting a GP surgery – many GPs now make their clinical notes on a specialised computer application rather than using paper records. The LiMA application does not write the report and LiMA does not “predict” what the outcome is going to be (for any individual case or for groups of cases). The healthcare professional is fully responsible for the report, ensuring that relevant clinical history, typical day information, examination findings and observations are accurately recorded, and that the opinions that they offer are justified based on that evidence. Atos has no targets for the outcomes of assessments.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Atos Healthcare. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 26th Jul 13, 3:23 PM
    • 6,556 Posts
    • 4,896 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    Hi Richie-from-the-Boro

    LiMA is an application which a qualified and approved health care professional uses to record clinical information and to construct a report. This is exactly the same scenario as can often be seen when visiting a GP surgery – many GPs now make their clinical notes on a specialised computer application rather than using paper records. The LiMA application does not write the report and LiMA does not “predict” what the outcome is going to be (for any individual case or for groups of cases). The healthcare professional is fully responsible for the report, ensuring that relevant clinical history, typical day information, examination findings and observations are accurately recorded, and that the opinions that they offer are justified based on that evidence. Atos has no targets for the outcomes of assessments.
    Originally posted by Atos Healthcare representative
    - thanks for your response ATOS rep

    While you are here can you confirm that you are subcontracting PIP assessmsnts to 'Capita Healthcare' who are currently recruiting [PIP] 'Contract Disability Assessors' for Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland :

    - "£40 per completed report this includes travel, usually within a 20 mile radius
    - permanent salary: £32k plus 23 days holiday, contributory pension scheme and flexible benefits travel expenses paid

    - About the role -

    Looking for a new and inspiring role, perhaps to expand your career, or maybe you want to add another string to your bow? As a Disability Assessor, you will be joining us at a really exciting time. Our growing team of highly skilled, qualified health care professionals have already realised the opportunity on offer. You can embark on a new and rewarding role, where you'll utilise your extensive clinical knowledge and natural skills of listening, observing and empathising with people. Undertaking a PIP assessment is similar to a functional assessment and you will be assessing how disabilities or impairments have an impact on activities of daily living. You will assess individuals who are making a claim for the Personal Independence Payment PIP, and unlike previous assessments of this nature, you will provide an opportunity for the claimant to tell their story. Because the role is community based, most PIP claimants will have a detailed, face~to~face assessment with an experienced Healthcare Professional. This is where Capita Health and wellbeing and you come in. What's in it for you? Are you a qualified Health care professional, Occupational Therapist, Nurse or Physiotherapist? For many healthcare professionals, becoming a Disability Assessor will be complementary to their existing role. And because both full time and part time positions are available on a contract or permanent basis you can fit them around your other commitments. Employed by Capita Health and wellbeing you will undertake a training programme that will build on your professional skills and equip you with the new skills essential for the role. Using your Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Phy Contact: Applications must be made via our website."

    Note : My italic & underline.
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • schrodie
    • By schrodie 26th Jul 13, 3:34 PM
    • 7,667 Posts
    • 11,281 Thanks
    schrodie
    Have you seen this Richie concerning the LIMA software which controls and drives the WCA and writes the report for the DM?

    Here
    • Raksha
    • By Raksha 26th Jul 13, 3:45 PM
    • 4,518 Posts
    • 6,094 Thanks
    Raksha
    Have you seen this Richie concerning the LIMA software which controls and drives the WCA and writes the report for the DM?

    Here
    Originally posted by schrodie
    That revision is dated 2004, so waaaay out of date by now I would imagine
    Please forgive me if my comments seem abrupt or my questions have obvious answers, I have a mental health condition which affects my ability to see things as others might.
  • Atos Healthcare representative
    - thanks for your response ATOS rep

    While you are here can you confirm that you are subcontracting PIP assessmsnts to 'Capita Healthcare' who are currently recruiting [PIP] 'Contract Disability Assessors' for Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland :

    - "£40 per completed report this includes travel, usually within a 20 mile radius
    - permanent salary: £32k plus 23 days holiday, contributory pension scheme and flexible benefits travel expenses paid

    - About the role -

    Looking for a new and inspiring role, perhaps to expand your career, or maybe you want to add another string to your bow? As a Disability Assessor, you will be joining us at a really exciting time. Our growing team of highly skilled, qualified health care professionals have already realised the opportunity on offer. You can embark on a new and rewarding role, where you'll utilise your extensive clinical knowledge and natural skills of listening, observing and empathising with people. Undertaking a PIP assessment is similar to a functional assessment and you will be assessing how disabilities or impairments have an impact on activities of daily living. You will assess individuals who are making a claim for the Personal Independence Payment PIP, and unlike previous assessments of this nature, you will provide an opportunity for the claimant to tell their story. Because the role is community based, most PIP claimants will have a detailed, face~to~face assessment with an experienced Healthcare Professional. This is where Capita Health and wellbeing and you come in. What's in it for you? Are you a qualified Health care professional, Occupational Therapist, Nurse or Physiotherapist? For many healthcare professionals, becoming a Disability Assessor will be complementary to their existing role. And because both full time and part time positions are available on a contract or permanent basis you can fit them around your other commitments. Employed by Capita Health and wellbeing you will undertake a training programme that will build on your professional skills and equip you with the new skills essential for the role. Using your Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Phy Contact: Applications must be made via our website."

    Note : My italic & underline.
    Originally posted by Richie-from-the-Boro
    Hi Richie-from-the-Boro

    DWP would be able to answer questions about the PIP contracts. We don’t have the PIP contracts covering Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland. They would also be able to answer questions about the design of the PIP assessment, which you have underlined.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Atos Healthcare. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • schrodie
    • By schrodie 26th Jul 13, 3:57 PM
    • 7,667 Posts
    • 11,281 Thanks
    schrodie
    That revision is dated 2004, so waaaay out of date by now I would imagine
    Originally posted by Raksha
    It may be out of date but at least it shows you the procedure and the reliance placed upon its "decisions"!!

    It is a case of the Computer says NO!!!!!
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 26th Jul 13, 4:49 PM
    • 12,134 Posts
    • 18,762 Thanks
    zzzLazyDaisy
    -You will assess individuals who are making a claim for the Personal Independence Payment PIP, and unlike previous assessments of this nature, you will provide an opportunity for the claimant to tell their story.
    Note : My italic & underline.
    Originally posted by Richie-from-the-Boro
    Just spat my coffee over my keyboard!
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
    • schrodie
    • By schrodie 26th Jul 13, 4:54 PM
    • 7,667 Posts
    • 11,281 Thanks
    schrodie
    Hi Richie-from-the-Boro

    We don’t have the PIP contracts covering Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland.
    Originally posted by Atos Healthcare representative
    The sick and disabled of Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland don't know how lucky they are and what a narrow escape they've had. God help the sick and disabled in rest of the country!
    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 26th Jul 13, 5:44 PM
    • 6,556 Posts
    • 4,896 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    Hi Richie-from-the-Boro

    DWP would be able to answer questions about the PIP contracts. We don’t have the PIP contracts covering Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland. They would also be able to answer questions about the design of the PIP assessment, which you have underlined.
    Originally posted by Atos Healthcare representative
    - thanks for your response ATOS rep
    - it was just that no one seems to have known you / DWP give out piecework rates before
    - can you confirm that notwithstanding you are not contracted for PIP yet, that those PIP assessors will be using your LiMA software profiling model?
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • Widelats
    • By Widelats 26th Jul 13, 6:51 PM
    • 3,640 Posts
    • 2,716 Thanks
    Widelats
    Hi Widelats,

    we take all complaints seriously and there is a thorough, in-depth process in place for dealing with them. If you contact us we will take all the details and can carry out an independent investigation of your concerns. We can be contacted by emailing customer-relations@atoshealthcare.com.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by Atos Healthcare representative
    Thanks, email has been sent.
    Owed out = lots.
    • Muttleythefrog
    • By Muttleythefrog 27th Jul 13, 11:57 PM
    • 16,664 Posts
    • 32,090 Thanks
    Muttleythefrog
    Atos has no targets for the outcomes of assessments.
    Originally posted by Atos Healthcare representative
    Rather a shame... given recent damning independent scrutiny published I would have imagined a target over accurate outcomes might have been considered.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
    • schrodie
    • By schrodie 28th Jul 13, 10:22 AM
    • 7,667 Posts
    • 11,281 Thanks
    schrodie
    Rather a shame... given recent damning independent scrutiny published I would have imagined a target over accurate outcomes might have been considered.
    Originally posted by Muttleythefrog
    Given that that atos trainer gave the game away in the shocking atos expose I think we can take what this MSE Sponsored Atos Rep (who is clearly calling the shots) with a pinch of salt!

    Targets clearly rule!!!
    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 28th Jul 13, 12:52 PM
    • 6,556 Posts
    • 4,896 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    ATOS Targets

    - posted Jan this year, in this thread, now adjusted below for current MoJ statistical appeal outcomes

    ATOS do not have targets, they have statistical norms which are used to ascertain how many people a health care professional assigns to the different eligibility groups in Employment Support Allowance. An average of only 58 [was 13 in Jan 2013] out of 100 fit~to~work initial assessment [pre appeal] are allowed to score sufficient points or the HCP is subjected to a 'performance review' that's their individual - group - and organisational non-target - for missing the organisational [PBR] targets statistical norm.

    If a mere 58 out of every 100 ever pass, then ± 42 out of 100 don't pass. That does indeed mean the DWP / DM has no targets for expected range or distribution because they are pre-exluded from the DM assessment outcomes .. .. get it now ? .. .. they do not have targets .. .. just 'statistical norms targets'

    NOTE : The clever use of words can push a self-serving agenda, while keeping the corporate head above any nasty political waters.
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • schrodie
    • By schrodie 28th Jul 13, 2:31 PM
    • 7,667 Posts
    • 11,281 Thanks
    schrodie
    In other words Richie atos do have targets and if any of their so called "healthcare [un]professionals" deviate from those targets they are "brought into line"!!!

    The fact that it's on film that atos do have targets makes atos's denial of this fact rather pathetic.
    • Raksha
    • By Raksha 28th Jul 13, 3:41 PM
    • 4,518 Posts
    • 6,094 Thanks
    Raksha
    How do these figures tie in with the amount of fraudulent claims for benefits, surely they should be similar?
    Please forgive me if my comments seem abrupt or my questions have obvious answers, I have a mental health condition which affects my ability to see things as others might.
    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 28th Jul 13, 4:11 PM
    • 6,556 Posts
    • 4,896 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    How do these figures tie in with the amount of fraudulent claims for benefits, surely they should be similar?
    Originally posted by Raksha
    - they don't
    - the 2012 to 2013 estimates are

    Preliminary estimates of Fraud and Error by type of error in 2012/13 0.7%, or £1.2bn, of total benefit expenditure is overpaid due to fraud:

    - 0.9%, or £1.6bn, of total benefit expenditure is overpaid due to claimant error;
    - 0.4%, or £0.7bn, of total benefit expenditure is overpaid due to official error.
    - 0.6%, or £0.9bn, of total benefit expenditure is underpaid due to claimant error;
    - 0.3%, or £0.5bn, of total benefit expenditure is underpaid due to official error

    Preliminary estimates of Fraud and Error by individual benefits in 2012/13 Key findings for the individual benefits that are measured on a continuous basis are that:

    - 4.6%, or £250m, of Income Support expenditure (£5.5bn) was overpaid;
    - 4.2%, or £220m, of Jobseeker’s Allowance expenditure (£5.3bn) was overpaid;
    - 5.5%, or £420m, of Pension Credit expenditure (£7.6bn) was overpaid;
    - 5.3%, or £1,270m, of Housing Benefit expenditure (£23.8bn) was overpaid.
    - 1.1%, or £60m, of Income Support expenditure (£5.5bn) was underpaid;
    - 0.3%, or £10m, of Jobseeker’s Allowance expenditure (£5.3bn) was underpaid;
    - 2.1%, or £160m, of Pension Credit expenditure (£7.6bn) was underpaid;
    - 1.3%, or £300m, of Housing Benefit expenditure (£23.8bn) was underpaid.

    Continuously reviewed

    Income Support - Fraud - 2.6%
    Jobseeker's Allowance - Fraud - 2.9%
    Pension Credit 2.0%
    Housing Benefit 1.5%

    Occasionally reviewed

    Incapacity Benefit - Fraud - 0.3%
    Disability Living Allowance - Fraud - 0.5%
    State Pension - Fraud - 0.0%
    Carer's Allowance - Fraud - 3.9%

    Unreviewed

    Unreviewed Other - Fraud - 1.0%
    Council Tax Benefit - Fraud - 1.2%

    NOTE : Estimates are rounded to the nearest £1m and percentages to one decimal place.
    Last edited by Richie-from-the-Boro; 28-07-2013 at 7:46 PM. Reason: Help for the number challenged
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • Widelats
    • By Widelats 28th Jul 13, 6:51 PM
    • 3,640 Posts
    • 2,716 Thanks
    Widelats
    Atos rep - i live in Scotland, and will have a PIP assessment due soon, are these carried out by the same place that assessed my ESA? Or have you sub contracted to the NHS?
    Owed out = lots.
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