Tuesday 26 April 2011

Spoonie Appeal - have you had an ATOS assessment?

Just a quick "survey" please.

I just read someone say for the 8th or 9th time that the ATOS centre they had to get to for their "assessment" (ritual humiliation, unfit farce, call it what you will) was inaccessible.

Mine was in the centre of Brighton on a one way roundabout system. There was no parking and it was surrounded by double yellow lines between two sets of traffic lights.

There was a door buzzer before you could get in, then a corridor with another buzz-entry door at the end.

Could you add your experiences in the comment thread please? Good and bad? Are ANY of the centres accessible to the very people who have to use them?

Please share this far and wide - the more people that reply, the more interesting I think it could be.


UPDATE : So far, it seems 29 of the ATOS centres are inaccessible to the sick or disabled (unverified).
So yes, it is intentional.


  1. I haven't - yet - but a friend was called to an ATOS assessment on the third floor of a building with no lift. She's a wheelchair user.

  2. Did you see the terrorist threat board? They are afraid of the public not terrorists

  3. After Atos Assessment "Customer Feedback Survey" including accessibility of centre and attitude, knowledge of assessor of your condition. If you have had your assessment please fill in online form. Results published publically online rolling every month. see our site afteratos.org see first Pilot Study results at fb page http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=115223491893556 First Online "DISABLED & ACTIVE" Conference in the forums this Sunday 1st May.

    1. Firstly I struggled to get to my Atos Assessment it was an hour and a half away by bus and walk from my house and I am not all that mobile at the moment. I wish I was but I am not, but I will say after I had to keep moving the appointments due to ill health they authorised a taxi and I was able to get to the assessment, truly this was the only way to go for me, but I am on ESA low income support and even with most medical prescriptions free there are always other items that are not prescribed but necessary. The housing benefit only covers some of my rent, so there is very little left over for food and to pay the taxi. I just hope the refund comes through soon. About the appointment, there is a lot of scare mongering about the appointments, from what I have read most people fail their first appointments anyway, so accepting that it was a breeze. there was nothing to really prepare, so much as when asked the questions think how it affects you. You know you are sick and disabled convey that across how it impacts your daily life. I don't want to be sick/disabled and living on benefits, I want to be an active part of the community, but the sad truth is I cannot be atm. God Bless and good luck!

  4. That's an amazing ATOS site! I'll give it a really good read tomorrow. Who are you? Is it a new site? I'm really surprised I haven't heard of it before?

  5. How Accessible was the Building? After Atos Pilot Study - result in pie chart form

    How accessible was the inside of the building?

    Did the assessor adequately investigate your condition?


    Full first pilot study feedback results in vid form


    website : afteratos.org. Only open since Tuesday last weeks, hacked and cracked Sat up and back yesterday - over 2000 hits from all over the world. Atos is worldwide and so are we. Join and help us get the feedback from those who have been throught the Atos assessment.

  6. In Hull.. my atos doc showed up on the cancelled day (i had another appointment to go to that i could not reschedule) and i had to send him away, then i attended the centre for the next attempt, it is in a busy area, buzzer at door, terrible chairs and long corridoors.. my wheelchair broke in the car park they watched me and my friend struggling with it out of the window and did not offer help. in the end we gave up and i used my crutches. we told the doc exactly what happened so she made no mention of it on my assesment and said i only use crutches! amongst other 'mistakes' and flat out falsification. i was refused all help and am still awaiting an appeal date a year later. x

  7. I believe they are set up to catch you out long corridors, buzzers etc etc..

  8. The fellow came to my house as I was housebound - they knew I was housebound and yet they kept trying to find evidence of me walking. "Don't you go round to the shops?" No, I don't, it was too far in winter and unsafe, and if they had called my carer at all she could have told them that (The DWP never even contacted her). He managed to drag out that I had been fed up with being stuck at home for three months so I dragged myself into town to get some flowers and visit my favourite coffee shop - it was the same day my son ended up getting excluded and so I spent the three days afterwards trying to recover with an autistic hyperactive child, drugged to the gills on Tramadol. Result on the assessment form? "Can walk up to 500 yards painfree."

    Once I got the arthritis scan in there which shows damage to the bones in my feet, I wanted to appeal the "no mobility allowance" grounds but missed the appeal date by three days. I now have to file, yet again, for change in circumstances, which is the second time I've had to do this after appealing my first claim. It's doing my head in, and I'm appalled that it seems they never bothered to follow up either my GP report, the OT report or my carer's input.

  9. The centre in Bristol is at flowers hill. It's a concrete bunker at the end of a long and boring bus ride. Very awkward to get to and depressing place. Not great if you're suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression.

    Having let food rot in the fridge and been to stressed to leave the house I figured out I could demand a home visit so I did. Haven't been back there since and I have no intention of doing so if I can avoid it.

    The first and only time I went there the assessor twisted everything I said and dumped me off incapacity benefit. The copy of the form (I had to request in advance) was full of lies. Didn't have it in me to appeal at the time and it took ages before I could reapply to go back onto IB.

    Home visits have been better for all the obvious reasons. The first home visit was done by a real doctor and I had a person from the mental health authority there as a witness. (The doctor was shocked at the earlier story and didn't believe it until the health worker confirmed it).

    The last visit was done by someone who came over as being helpful and pleasant enough. That surprised me. I did my prep work like all these well connected tax dodging bigshots so gave him the answers I wanted to give him.

    As far as I'm concerned if they put as much effort into finding the sort of job I'd like to do that paid an amount I could live on it would be a better use of their money. But they won't do that because they'd have to give up control and admit they're wrong.

  10. It is very sad that this assessment is supposed to catch the scroungers yet seems to be made very hard for those, that it is obvious, have a genuine case.

    More emphasis should be put on those obviously cheating the system and common sense used towards those who are plainly not.

  11. Partly from another post of mine:
    At the moment they say my mother is fit to work and are taking benefits off her. She has a brain injury and her GP says she is unfit to work. She still attends head injury clinics regularly. The doctor at the company also did not know anything about head injuries. They also claimed she can hear perfectly without assistance. She wears 2 hearing aids.
    They appear to be lying to get people who can't work off these benefits and onto job seekers allowance. Perhaps they're being set targets and dishonesty is the only way of meeting them?

    My mum also made another appointment for her assessment as she is partially deaf and could not understand the doctor who didn't have the best grasp of english and had very thick accent. She turned up to second assessment and the same doctor was there! What a waste of everybody's time.

  12. Anonymous your mother needs to contact her mp it's disgraceful that her money should stop and legal advice should be obtained as it may not even be lawful

  13. TWATOS gistapo !!!

  14. fourbanks

    No use contacting the local MP he appears to be one of the PM's close allies. He won't stick up for people like my mum. Before her accident she paid taxes and worked for 30 years.

    My dad is on his third round of appeal letters. Not much hope.

  15. Anonymous
    sorry to hear this that your mp is bot good my Tory mp is ok but whoever you are you need to be on your guard and never ever go to a atos medical without at least your support worker going with you because if you can make a cuppa you'll be fit for work and that's the bottom line

  16. I am waiting for the call to be reassessed. I thought I would be okay, since I get full DLA (Care and mobility). But the more I read about the assessments, the more worried I am becoming.
    I had problems a few years back before the changes came in to place, and I now insist I record ANY interview that they give me - using my mobile phone. They tried on numerous occasions to stop me when I first did this - but knew they had NO grounds to stop me from doing it. I have found this gives me more chance on any appeal should I need it. I'm even more determined to make sure I do this when called in for my new assessment.

  17. I haven't properly researched the new test yet. (Too stressed out just thinking about it.) I plan to work out the worst case scenario for each answer and answer from that position. This is what Tories like Lansley do when they're being grilled by select committee. (Knowledge is power?)

    I will also be recording the assessment with a cheap tripod and camera that does video. I bought it in the hope it would encourage me to get out of the house. (Hah, hah. Like THAT worked.)

  18. The full description of my WCA is up at http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.com/2011/04/wca-sick-joke-or-national-disgrace.html but the edited highlights are 150m to the nearest disabled parking (inevitably full during the day, 350m to next nearest), buzzer system for entry (great for anyone deaf or without speech), appalling seating, and they'd ignored the fact that I had clearly stated I need adjustable seating (hey, it's only the thing that makes me unemployable, nothing significant), which meant a wasted journey followed by a flare-up to the point I was in so much pain I didn't know what day it was. At the second attempt they had an 'adjustable' chair, but I couldn't even raise it to my normal seating height, then they ran 40 minutes late, with the result that I went into the assessment in so much pain I couldn't think straight. Ultimately in so much pain that I had to shoot out of the chair and balance stork-like on crutches, that or vomit. At which point the quack behind the desk finally deigned to look at me rather than his script on the screen. I walked into the assessment on both legs, came out using only one.

  19. When I had mine the building itself was accessible but I had to get a taxi there (which they wouldn't refund and I couldn't really afford), as the nearest bus stop was too far for me to walk, and I had to wait for an hour and a half in the most uncomfortable of plastic chairs. Needless to say I was in agony before it even started, which means I rushed through it all giving bad answers in an effort to get it over with so I could get away from the torture-chairs. :/

  20. Birmingham Five Ways House is a joke. After being assured by ATOS 2 weeks ago it was accessible (I'm a wheelchair user) we got there to be told the testing area was upstairs and even though there were fully working lifts, wheelchair users or people that couldn't walk down the stairs in the event of an emergancy evacuation, couldn't go up. I mean honestly.

    In th end after suffering the indignity of being asked 'if I could walk it' (No I could not!) they brought someone down stairs and found a room they could get LiMA up and working in.

    Wierdest assessment I've had in a long time.

  21. A spreadsheet of all Atos assessment centres and their facilities can be downloaded on their website at the bottom of the page entitled "What a claimant can expect" here -


    as far as I could see around 30 of them are not accessible by wheelchair, around 30 are not on the ground floor, around 80 do not even have onsite parking, let alone disabled parking!

  22. i had an assessment recently in brum.

    the letter that was sent out said that the assessment centre was not wheelchair accessible

    when i checked (through the helpline) the normal assessment rooms were on the 1st floor (about 25 steps?/lift which would be shut off in a fire) their rule that if you couldn't be evacuated in 5 mins then you couldn't be assessed upstairs.

    i had actually been booked into a room on the ground floor and there was a ramp into the building.

    the reception desk was about 5m inside the doors

    the way into the downstairs assessment room (about 15m from reception) and the room itself were big enough to manoevre around. the chairs in the room were comfy and had arms.

    access is from the side that fronts onto islington row middleway not george street

    tennant street carpark is a long way away

    there was some parking available on the street but only for an hour which wouldn't have been long enough...luckily i was dropped off

    the drives that go into other buildings on george street don't have dropped kerbs and the pavement is quite uneven in places. i had to go down the street in the road until i got to the five ways house dropped kerb

    the admin staff did tell me that i might have to wait up to an hour for someone to log off upstairs and get set up downstairs (which was annoying as i'd made the effort to get there on time!) in the end it took about 20 mins.

    i was treated politely by the medical staff that i saw

  23. Free Accident Compensation is the most trusted and leading personal injury claim specialists in UK.
    National Accident Helpline

  24. To the people who are unfit must be provided with the wheelchair assessment as this can help them a lot.

  25. Just Been To Birmingham Medical Examination Centre----What A Joke
    After My Appointments Were Cancelled 3 Times (All 'Their' Fault) I Have Just Been Seen-----Have Never Felt So Humiliated In All My Life----Do These People Get A Thrill In Seeing Your Reaction At Some Of The Questions They Ask? I Have Worked In The Health Profession and Would Never Dream Of Talking To Anyone With The Attitude That Was Displayed To Me ! I Was Assured I Would Be Seen By A Dr------Mmmmmm Not True and If The Person I Saw Was A Qualified Nurse Then I Am The Queen Of Sheba------If There Is One Thing I Detest It Is Being Lied Too.