Friday 17 August 2012

The DWP, the Law and Atos

Great news this morning - on the BBC and everything - that the National Audit Office have found "weakness" in the contract between Atos and the DWP.

Thanks to Tom Greatrex MP (Lab) who asked the NAO to look into the contract,

"The National Audit Office said the DWP had failed to penalise Atos for "under-performance", and had not set "sufficiently challenging" targets."

The NAO criticised the DWP for inaccurate forecasting and effectively, charging the taxpayer twice - once for spending £112 million last year on the Atos contract to assess sick and disabled people for their fitness for work, and again for spending £60m on tribunals to clear up the mess of wrong decisions. 

Although Atos have failed to assess claimants within agreed timescales, the National Audit Office also criticised the DWP for failing to seek "financial redress" in all but 10% of cases.

However, there is one part of the report that worries me and which I would like to clear up here.

"The NAO said it was unclear whether the quality of the tests was to blame for the number of wrong decisions......"It is difficult to assess, as the department does not routinely request feedback on the rationale for tribunal decisions"

This is a rumbling theme from ministers. In the year two Harrington report, there are several references to the tribunal system. Ministers are clearly irritated that they do not give their reasons for overturning Atos decisions, they refuse to modify their practices to come into line with Atos and rather emphatically, they refused to undergo "training" on "disability employment" suggested by the DWP. Their answer, that they merely there to interpret the law. 

And here is the point. In around 40% of cases, decisions are overturned at tribunal. This figure itself is misleading, as with a trained benefits advocate, the figure rises to 70% or in some cases 100%!! Yep, some advocates have successfully challenged ALL Atos decisions that went to appeal. 

Crucially, the tribunals make their decisions based on law. They decide, legally, whether or not a claimant is fit for work based on precedent, existing case law and employment law. Much as the DWP might wish it were not so, the decisions overturned by the tribunal system were not just wrong, they were illegal. 

The DWP have asked for "clarification" but in fact, they simply have to know the law. The tribunal judges have no need to explain their decisions, it is all there for ministers to see. 

By introducing a totally new benefit, ESA (Employment and Support Allowance, the replacement for the old Incapacity Benefit) ministers hoped that they were able to wipe all precedent from the decision process. What does this mean? It means that if you qualified before, you need not qualify under a totally new benefit. Not that you are a fraud in 2012 where you were not a fraud in 2005, simply that governments moved the goalposts. Or hoped they had. 

However, if it was dangerous to employ someone in 2005  (due to medication, inability to mobilise etc) it is still dangerous to employ them in 2012. Under the law. If someone's condition clearly limits their ability to work in 2005, it still limits their ability to work in 2012. Under the law. If someone's disability made them a danger to themselves or others in 2005, nothing has changed in 2012. Under the law. 

I would like to say very clearly that whatever ministers may attempt to undermine the tribunal system, however many times they remove this MoJ video from the internet, aimed at helping claimants with the appeal process, however much they harp and grumble, even the DWP cannot change the law.

They can remove legal aid from benefit claimants to make it harder for them to access justice. And they have. 
They can stop a person's benefits while they wait up to a year for a  tribunal to be heard. And they are trying to do this too. 
They can refuse to set a limit on how long that wait for a tribunal might be, effectively meaning a claimant might wait indefinitely for justice with no funds to survive. And they have. 

But they can't change the law. The simple fact is, that over 40% of Atos decisions go to appeal. The horrifying truth is that many more do not. Many more people simply give up. Beaten down by the horrific system designed to fail people in genuine need, desperate illness or constant exhaustion, they disappear from the figures, fall off the edge of the system and no-one knows what happens to them. 

Anecdotally, I hear every day of people selling their homes, going hungry and worse. I try to encourage them to appeal, but many thousands of people never will. Good honest people, they will believe that they are unworthy, believe that they must struggle into debt and poverty, believe that they do not have the strength to fight. 

So Atos, DWP, the descriptors you use to determine fitness for work are unfit. The system is unfit. You know it is unfit, you have been told by every major study into it. You cannot make the law bend to your flawed system, you must bend to the law. 

And I predict - because it is the only way - the law will not bend to you, you will bend to the law. 

It is only a matter of time, however you twist and turn and cheat. 

** Great thanks to Tom Greatrex (@tomgreatrexmp) for taking this route to expose the inadequacies of WCAs and to Liam Purcell, from Church Poverty Action Group for providing yet another copy of the infamous MoJ appeals video which has, YET AGAIN been removed from the internet on the instruction of the DWP. If you are facing an appeal, it is very helpful and I urge you to watch it. I imagine it will be censored from my site again fairly shortly. 


  1. I suddenly feel a glimmering of hope. Thanks, Sue. Hope you feel a tad more chilled out today with this good news. %)

  2. Sue after reading this i sincerely hope some high ranked solicitors get involved who have a heart and belief in helping the disabled.I really hope you are ok now and getting better.

  3. Tom Greatrex MP was interviewed on the Radio 4 Today programme re National Audit Office report on ATOS WCA. Catch up here: @ 1hr23m

    1. is there a transcript? I can't get iplayer in France

    2. Google "How to Access the BBC iPlayer (and TV Like Doctor Who) from Outside the U.K" and you should get a solution.

  4. Ih any high-ranking lawyers do happen by, they might want to take a look at what gwenhwyfaer has already ferreted out about the legal aspects... "Stec & others v United Kingdom [2005], found that noncontributory benefits counted as possessions under Article 1 of ECHR Protocol 1 – the protocol which guarantees the right to peaceful enjoyment of one’s possessions. As this summary explains, previously the Court of Appeal had ruled (in Reynolds [2003]) that noncontributory benefits could not be held to be property, but the ECtHR’s judgement elegantly sweeps that reasoning away in a single sentence.
    On its own, this judgement has considerable signficance; whilst the ECtHR has repeatedly found that the ECHR creates no right to welfare provision, a state which designs one must respect all articles of the ECHR. More significantly, it would appear to make retroactively changing entitlement very difficult indeed – as that would involve depriving a person of their property, and thus infringing their Art 1(prot 1) rights.

    But its significance becomes overwhelming when considered alongside the findings in another case, Kjartan Ásmundsson v Iceland [2004]. In that case, a man in receipt of disability benefits on grounds of incapacity to do his previous job was reassessed in the face of a raised threshold of eligibility, found to be not sufficiently disabled, and stripped of his entire pension; the Court found that this was excessive and disproportionate, especially in view of the fact that whilst 54 people had been stripped of their entitlements, 689 people claiming the same benefit continued to do so at previous levels. And they awarded Ásmundsson €78,000 overall. The grounds on which they based their finding? Article 1, protocol 1 – yep, the same one that was declared in 2005 to extend to noncontributory benefits."
    Sounds kind of interesting, doesn't it? I already passed it along to Tessa at the PIL lawyers. Perhaps those nice people at Unum and Atos together with Grayling, IDS, Freud, Miller, Purnell et al will find themselves before the beak on charges of (at the very least) trying to diddle people out of their lawful benefit entitlements. Think of the damages people could be getting for stress alone, eh?

    1. Bill, Oh I hope so, I have wondered for AGES why no PIL lawyers had taken the DWP to court.

      What about contributory benefits IB ~ ESA where migrating to ESA after years on IB people are suddenly deprived of benefit? (UK and EC residents)
      Is it legal to remove Contributory Benefits after 365 days, (or at all) for people who have paid, 20, 30, 40 years of National insurance to 'insure' against disability/sickness then find all these NI contributions count for NOTHING. This would be miss-selling if an Insurance Company had pulled the same stunt and the people affected would be entitled to compensation.

      What about resiprical agreements not covering ESA (like they did IB for some countries)at all and ESA only being a 'portable' benefit if one is in the Support Group or ex-pats living in EC countries for the 365 days in WRAG ??

      What about the Free Movement of Labour regulations and the DWP effectivly stopping the disabled/families of disabled being able to study or work in another EC country due to most CB-ESA awards and any Income based ESA?? Also PIP will not be portable unlike DLA (Care only)

      Any Lawyers want to comment on the Human rights and EC regulations for those of us not residing in the UK? The DWP are on record as wanting to make it as hard as possible to claim ESA abroad.

      I'm a 48 yo 'trailing spouse' of a working age husband not a gin swilling early retired Ex-pat!
      Tls :-)

    2. I passed it all along to Paul, I think it is, at PIL and er, he's on holiday too :-)

  5. This is great stuff Sue but ,as always with my particular view of govts, on the one hand a brilliant development and on the other not so.It is great that the NAO take this view with Atos but i really dont think they have social justice at heart here its more about balancing the books and getting value for money out of the contract..which is i suppose what we bloody pay em for.BUT now we come to the law.. part here i think is the real danger.This govt or any other does not like having the law used to usurp thier plans do they.How many times have we seen legislation put in place at short notcice to interpret the spirit of the law as they have said in the past which means changing the law to favour either them or someone favoured by them.
    YES people MUST appeal and it should be in great big bold letters on sites like Benefits and work and all the other sites.IT IS a right set in law that you have a right to appeal.
    Now the ministers have been stung by this watch out for some slippery practises here to change the rules yet again and we must be on our guard.The price of freedom it is said is eternal viglilance and this applies equally to your govt in that the price of freedom and justice and the yoke of tyranny by your elected officials is indeed eternal vigilance from the top right down to the grass roots level.
    Every slippery trick they can pull they will pull and remember here it is all done under the saving the txpayer money banner when it is anything but the bloody sort.Apart from the likes of ids (the quiet man.. ALWAYS watch the quiet men)spouting his arbiet macht frie bullshit ,albiet slightly reworded, which does kind of give away HIS views more than anything else he has said it is all about the money...NOT saving it but awarding it to who ever shall fill the donation coffers or provide lucrative employment for the CLUB....So yes GOOD news today and it is good news but colour it not gold just yet eh and keep watching and the new mantra is appeal appeal appeal.

  6. Ah... Im one of the ones who gave up. I cant get ESA and Ive tried 4 times for DLA and simply do not have the strength to appeal. I know Im eligible - event he ATOS Dr said I was - but it was still refused. Its the fact that no matter what you write the "decision makers" simply write the opposite. I cannot stand to cook a meal- they said I could. I cannot bend down - they said I could. I have to use crutches on my worst days and am house bound in the winter - they ignored that. If you live where I do in a rural area, my CAB has closed down and there is NO support for appeals. So you give up. Maybe, one day, I will try again but for now - I just exist... Tisme

    1. if you give up they win, get support from your GP, Get to see consultants get support from somebody, do whatever you can, just take someone who really knows you to the tribunal, have look at the MoJ video on youtube only appeal, you do have a case, most of all please be determined, I've been where you are and I'll be going through it again in 11 months but I won't let the Bast$%**&ds grind me down, come on take a deep breath and just do it you can beat them.

  7. That's just for starters. The Coalition's justification for all these cuts is that we can't afford it - The UK's run out of money, said Osborne, in headlines back in February. Many people would suggest that was always nonsense. The country's deficit, while larger in terms of pound notes than before, was considerably smaller as a percentage of GDP than it has been umpteen times in the recent past without affecting the country's economic wellbeing unduly. A lot of people are beginning to understand that. However,a lot of folk don't realise that by practicing QE the way we have been, one can easily and practically suggest that that deficit is now a lot smaller anyway as when the BofE buys up debt, debt 'we' owed to other people, it becomes debt we now owe to ourselves. Personally, I'm for letting us off that debt we owe to ourselves, and I think if it were presented to people in those terms, so would they be. The government however relentlessly misrepresnts the situation. Isn't this a collossal fraud on the public of this country, the one they're supposed to serve? Isn't that illegal in dozens of ways? Further, if the country's skint then, Gideon, what's this £31 billion quid doing just sitting there in a quiet little backwater of the BofE where no doubt you hoped no-one would notice it? I mean this £31 billion here I'd say it was a rainy day right now, wouldn't you? So, why aren't the government spending it? Why are they still pretending we're broke and on that basis depriving us of facilities, many of them effectively life-supporting facilities, when there's ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT?

  8. hi sue, great piece. i have been busy on yahoo, as the article came up ,tho it vanished as quick as it came . big up to tom greatex ,may be he can encourage the careerists with in labour, to help with this blatant oppression by the condoms. i hope you are feeling a little better today ?i went down hill when i got my esa50, from the dwp i was so happy to get the result only then for that to be shattered when i was then sent a dla 80, pretty much the same thing in essence trying to rob me of my rightful benefit, after that was filled in and i had another interview at home, i was then assessed to the support group, i was elated that i now had the benefit, i and a series of professionals across the medical world thought that in their opinion i was entitled to. tho short lived, as another stressful cryptic one sided unfair set of forms fell through the door, the esa 50. i have filled that form out and have now been waiting for an answer for 3 months , very stressful and upsetting . it rely brought me down, it seems it has made me even more angry and determined to see this through, do you have any idea sue ,how long the decision takes to receive an answer to the esa50 questionnaire ? steve

  9. This is very significant news, but without an effective opposition to challenge it in Parliament it won't have that much effect, has the LP put a P/R out?, I know it was a L/P MP, Tom Greatrex, who has also called for a welfare debate on the 4th Sept, who called in the NAO, but Liam Byrne attacking it, not a chance...

  10. Excellent post, as ever... And yes, the NAO is interested in value for money - but in some ways that works in our favour. As a taxpayer I don't want my money spent on paying ATOS for a poor service then spent again on an unnecessary tribunal process. Neither do I want money spent on back to work companies who harass people and waste their time and energy. It will actually be cheaper for the Government to treat people properly; those who can get back to work need appropriate support that works, to help them find employment within their capabilities, if possible, and those who can't should get enough money to live, rather than wasting it on pointless and stressful reassessments! I've been thinking for a long time that the Government is spending far too much money on making peoples lives a misery, and if the NAO report can help change this, so much the better. But I also agree that the DWP's perpetual whining about the reasons for appeal success just makes them look foolish... Anyone could tell them they only need to look at the law!! In fact, the most important thing that must be preserved, for all of us, is the rule of law. Without that, we will be in a far, far worse position than we are now... That would be truly frightening. That's one reason why all of us who campaign must also stay within the law.

  11. Don't expect too much from the labour party though, they're too busy on the school fields merri-go-round

  12. the law will not bend to you, you will bend to the law. <--- Well Said

  13. I'm one of those who DID appeal and won: I was placed in WRAG but judged to be incapable of work-related activity because of the harm it would cause to my mental health.
    Please, if you get a decision that will make you ill, appeal.

  14. great post, very informative, as always.
    whilst there seems to be a little ray of hope here, I'm hesitant in rejoicing as I'm all too aware that the DWP and the government in general are in the habit of ignoring what the nation has to say...and sadly, I doubt very much that the NAO will get anymore respect than the rest of us.

  15. I am curious what Liam Byrne has to say.
    I saw him on TV the other day saying the government should extend and push the Work Programme even harder. Why?
    We know it doesn't work and is costing £5 billion that could be invested in CREATING jobs.

  16. Exactly, he didn't say why he wanted it, did he? They never do. Maybe it's because John Reid signed the G4S contract and now he's a director! David Blunkett signed A4E and now he's a consultant for them! Gee, you think there could be a connection? plus of course if they can do away with the benefit system altogether it clears the way for companies like Unum to step in and sell insurance to everyone, a billion billion pounds market. I'd think Byrne is angling to create a system where everyone unemployed is forced on to the Work Programme so huge amounts of public money can be funnelled to them. The WP providers would be really grateful, wouldn't they? Right now you've got leading figures in both major parties fighting over who can rob most from the public purse. They couldn't care less about anything else.

  17. Just to clarify the tribunals do give reasons for all their decisions (they have to by law), but.... of course... the DWP do not bother to track read or analyse the results of these overturned decisions let along use that information as direct feedback to the decision maker and/or the Atos "professionals" who were responsible for the original unlawful decision in order that they "learn" from their mistakes.

    All this is a matter of public record as the Select Committee carried out an inquiry of the decisions and appeals process in 2009 -2010 and published a report of their findings highlighting this very issue but clearly the DWP have ignored that too. (I actually provided evidence for this inquiry which is shown in the annex of the report itself.

    Footnote re my own saga with the DWP regarding my 2008 DLA renewal is that after a referal to the higher tier tribunal the appeals service have now managed to not just lose but deliberately destroy all the evidence. LOL

    As you may guess this matter will not end here so watch this space the sociable brit called Peter is on his way back and looking for a fight or two. :)

    1. I would say 'how can they get away with that', but sadly we all know then can, and do.

    2. Peter - the DWP and Harrington have repeatedly said that the tribunals won't give reasons for overturning decisions?

    3. Sue if you have access to Rightsnet -under the discussion forum for ESA - there is an item titled "Tribunal reasons & reassessment date" and a post by a Welfare rights worker based at Oxford Community Work Agency. This SUGGESTS that Tribunals have a menu of 5 reasons for a decision favouring the appellant which apparently are as follows:-
      1 The tribunal received cogent oral evidence
      2 Different conclusion substantially same facts
      3 Cogent documentary evidence
      4 Misapplied relevant law
      5 Report contained significant error

      There is additionally a suggestion that tribunals are making recommendations about reassessment periods (I'm not aware that these are in anyway binding). As yet there is no further posting by rights workers exchanging info on the site that the five reasons listed are being widely applied . It has to be said that the one response I read from another advice worker was that he had only seen one of the five mentioned. regards Sam

    4. Tribunals have always had to give reasons for their decisions. A tribunal has a "judge" and just as a court case, they have to provide a reason for their decision. They can't just change verdicts because they just feel like it that day or someone slipped them tickets for Lords or the Opera.
      Certainly for DLA Tribunals in the past, (can't speak for most recent) the Judge gives a writen reason and the claimant gets a copy of the decision too. When it was a 3 panel tribunal with a disability member as well as the judge and doctor, it would also state whether the verdict was unanimous. Well, mine did anyway.

    5. Hi Peter. Good to see you back. Hope you are doing better and will/can keep fighting for what is right. I remember you posting about having to risk geting clamped just to make sure you could get on the train in your wheelchair for the protest march.

      I think we need another one of those,only this time less polite!

    6. Peter,What happened about your fight with the Council over your care funding?I hope you got it?

    7. As others have stated tribunals do give reasons for the decision in the decision notice and if asked to will even supply a more detailed "statement of reasons" if this is requested by either the claimant or the DWP and in fact this would be an automatic precursor to any further appeal to the higher tier tribunal.

      What is acknowledged by the DWP and confirmed by Harrington is that there isn't any formal system of recording let alone making use of the information available about the decisions of tribunals by the DWP and/or Atos as all the DWP do is action the revised decision and make any required back-payments and absurdly often in almost the same post will often then send out a fresh ESA50 form to the claimant as the period taken waiting for the appeal decision often means the claim is already then due for reassesment by the time the appeal is heard.

      On the Care Charging case I took to the High Court the answer is yes I now get the care funding I need and an agreement charging is not appropriate in my specific circumstances and what is more important they have also now instigated a more formal and compassionate appeals process which has already done the same for others since I brought the original case so it was well worth following through with the case even though it eventually took years to get a hearing. LOL

  18. The MOJ video mentioned by Sue is still available at

  19. Light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel?

    Thanks Sue

  20. if you download iLivid to your computer, you will be ab;e to use it to download and save the MOJ video to your computer, then should it vanish you will always be ab;e to re-post.

  21. David Cameron and co are not above the law and those cases that do go to appeal normally win as the decision maker can see quite clearly from the evidence that the person concerned is not fit for work

    Quite why the government and the DWP hound people and in some cases to their death is not clear as they know full well that stress is a killer but they plough on regardless and act as if they know nothing what problem they say in all innocence

    As i have sated before their will always be a small minority in the civil service and government that will get their kicks knowing that someone somewhere was in a distressed state and that their mind was shot and that they could die and as throughout history this has always been the case

    What we need to do is to make sure that at elections we only vote for decent and honourable people only

    It will take at least if we start at the next election at least 20 years to get to the position of trust between the people and the politacal party's

    What seams to happen is like at the last general election the three leaders got up and spoke a load of waffle and the public seamed confused as to why I'm not sure as it was indeed waffle that the three leaders spoke but the public got drawn in and the rest is history

    Now it could well be that the majority of the public have only ever known lies and deception in their lives and that could well indeed be the case so that the waffle is just going in through one ear and out the next and will just vote willy nilly on the hoof and not be thinking at all about what their supposed to be doing and that's voting for a strong and decent leader a person of great integrity a person that you can all rally behind a person even if you don't agree with his or her view you know that the leader is truthful

    does it make any difference ? it make a hell of a lot of difference and brings harmony throughout the whole country in ways that have seldom been seen before and an uplifting of peoples spirits and that at the end of the day they know that their not alone and that someone does genuinely care and that person is the prime minister

    This is not rocket science a person who cares will always show it in his or her face and by the way they talk and is very easy to spot and people shouldn't need any help in spotting greatness in others

    I've been very lucky from a young boy i have only ever known great kindness my father only ever knew great kindness and his father like wise

    When my wife met me from the sudan 25 years ago it was that same quality that she saw in me only and not my illness that will last a lifetime and likewise she had the same qualities about her in her face as is unmistakable and a constant joy to be with

    so i do pray and hope that the public wake up and seek out the truly great people that the uk has to offer and not like in the past just vote on a wing and a prayer for a loser as all that does is drag everyone down into the gutter in which many are then unable ever to escape from

  22. I had my ATOS medical this afternoon, patronising bitch asked her stupid little questions and kept giving me a poor excuse of a sympathetic smile. At one point I explained that I was really struggling with remembering stuff as my wife was also being admitted to hospital today and I was more pre-occupied with worrying about her, my self concern is negligable in comparison. She again made some patronising quip and I replied with 'just ask your stupid little questions, pretend you care and shaft me when my back is turned. I hope you sleep well at night'. Probably end up costing me money and I don't recommend doing it to anyone else, but it did and still does feel good to tell them you can jive me all you want, but I aint gonna be scared of you!

    1. DOn't you think that ALL human beings deserve to be treated politely, or do you think that your situation somehow entitles you to call someone a 'patronising bitch'? Do you really think your behaviour will help our cause at all?


    Hard Right Tories describe the British as 'idlers' argue for even more welfare reform and for us to be more like the Asia economies which of course have no welfare states, massive poverty, crime, etc..

  24. Don't get to excited because we are dealing with an outright dishonest, evil, lying Tory Led Coalition.

    You still have to come together as one and speak with one voice. Do not stop uniting and fighting until this entire matter is dead and buried otherwise this evil Tory Led Government will do everything again by more lies and the back door. Do Not Rest !

    1. "Do Not Rest!"

      that's the problem. I need to rest. I saw that story of the 57 year old guy who has had both legs amputated cos of diabetes. He's been asked to tell the DWP why he can't work. FFS!!!!

      I can't process anymore of the injustice, violence, hatred and inhumanity - i can't do it and I don't see why I should have to do it. This is my country and nobody has asked the government to maime and kill disabled people to save fucking money. I am so angry I am in despair ..........

  25. Taken from the UK Uncut website:-) Please share....

    Journalist from Independent wants to speak to people about WCA and ATOS experiences.
    Action, All Posts, Atos Add comments
    Aug 172012

    We are really keen to focus on Atos throughout the Paralympics,so any help from DPAC would be great.
    I am really keen to speak to disabled people who have had the following experiencing with the WCA:

    Family member who committed suicide as a result of being found fit to work
    someone who turned up for their assessment to have it cancelled because no health professional around
    someone who has inaccurate information recorded by the assessor

    I am totally open to anything new – so please do keep in touch and pass on my details (work number please).

    Many thanks

    Nina Lakhani
    The Independent
    News Desk
    0203 615 2103

  26. This Tory Led Coalition has acted illegally and it is time for everyone to come together as one and speak with one voice. Then you can raise money/funds through donations or charity events to pool the money together to get good legal advice with the view to taking this Tory Led Coalition to court.

    The evidence is now mounting and the case is becoming stronger. This Tory Led Coalition is discriminating, persecuting, bullying, robbing, inflicting deliberate harm, including misery and in breach of human rights.

    Why the hell are people hanging around ! Unite and fight because together you are strong. This Tory Led Coalition is clearly guilty, any fool can see that. Just do it.

  27. What former disabled athlete Ade Adepitan (now TV presenter) thinks of cuts to DLA:

    What do you think about the government cuts to the disability living allowance?

    It's a difficult situation with the deficit, deciding what to spend money on. I think you've got to look at things from a human perspective. I think the Olympic and Paralympic Games will do exactly what we, as athletes, want them to do because they'll bring sport back into the consciousness of the British public. Sport had really lost its status, especially school sport, and the government didn't want to spend a great deal of money on it.

    I think, with grassroots sports, it's a win-win situation. Sport's given me goals, it's given me discipline, and it's meant I've managed to achieve stuff outside sport because of the life-skills I've learnt through sport. That's what the government has got to realise. Sport helps you to become more confident about who you are, and it teaches you to surprise yourself.

    the elites really know how to avoid the 'real issues' hey? thanks for your support Ade, NOT

  28. What deficit? As a percentage of GDP the deficit isn't a big deal at all, we've had worse before and it's not been an issue. The government appear to be cutting our quality of life from sheer spite, apart from doing away with the benefits system so they can let their Unum buddies (Google for Unum scandal to learn more) offer a private insurance model instead, at vast profit to them and very much to our detriment.

  29. You blog:

    "Yep, some advocates have successfully challenged ALL Atos decisions that went to appeal"

    But they are not Atos decisions!!! It's the DWP who are the decision makers, no matter how they choose to dress it up

  30. Atos doctors could be struck off

    Twelve medics at the disability assessment centre are under investigation by the GMC over allegations of improper conduct

    most doctors WORKING AT ATOS are only doctors that have failed in life as all they do is use a tick box system no proper doctor would touch this company with a barge pole

    a doctor is a person who has to have his own premises today with many partners or he works darn hard in a hospital

    he does pen push for peanuts at ATOS a genuine doctor would not go down that route under any circumstances as for the simple reason he is not treating the patient so therefore he is not a doctor

    a genuine doctor would not study for many years only to find out they was no work for him apart from ATOS

  31. I believe that all Approved Disability Analysts who state they are a Registered Nurse or registered Professional Practitioners/Healthcare workers who have not fully discharged their Duty of Care towards clients of the DWP should face criminal proceedings if as a result of their negligence in wrongly assessing clients leads to harm or death of the client. These people should not be able to act so irresponsibly towards clients who come for Atos assessments and walk away at the end of the day with their couldn't care less attitude. If they thought they could end in Court charged with manslaughter or whatever they would soon change their attitude to the clients who turn up for these so called assessments. We need one of the bigger organisations to take a look at bringing a private prosecution against one of these so called Approved Disability Analysts and this will make the rest of them either take their job more seriously and take a more responsible attitude when it comes to assessing people or better still consider leaving Atos, one way or another something must happen to threaten the security of these people or nothing will change and they will just carry on mis-diagnosing people and throwing them of the benefits they should be getting. By the way the name of the Approved Disability Analyst will be on the ESA85A - Employment And Support Allowance - Medical Report Form, Atos have to send you this if you request it under the freedom of Information Act. This is the report that is filled in by the so-called Analyst to mostly deny people their benefits. I am on ESA and they say they will get me back to work in 18 months. I am over 62 with COPD, Chronic Bronchitis, Dsypnea (had all these since infancy) plus I have serious walking difficulties and other serious conditions I will lose all my benefits in 11 months unless I can stop them which I am in the process of hopefully doing with the help of CAB and a SRN I know, I will happily send a few £ to any organisation that will start up a fighting fund to prosecute one of these Approved Disability Analysts for negligence or whatever, these people nor the DWP can be above or beyond the reach of the Law. Oh and by the way I can't wait to meet this manager down at the so called jokecentre+ sorry I mean jobcentre+ who is going to get me back to work in 18 months, I can only presume his name is Jesus because it would take a miricle to get me back to workI forgot to mention as my so called benefit runs out after 11 months that means I won’t receive any more benefits as my wife bless her works 30hrs on minimum at a local supermarket and we will have to survive on her meagre wages until she retires in 2013 and then we will have to survive on her pension, it’s really fortunate when the politicians tell us we are all in it together . ps: I’m sorry to have used the wording clients, I would like to have used the correct term Patient but the DWP treat us as clients and not as patients who require careful medical consideration. I really mean it we do need a fighting fund to take on these people.

  32. indeed they should face criminal proceedings because if they don't the government will stop all the benefits and kill off many in the process and get away with it and that I'm afraid is causing me many sleepless nights

    I'm alright but my mind is in turmoil thinking about everyone else these deaths that have come about so far are certainly playing on my mind day in day out and it cant go on

  33. well dwp stoped my benifit after a medical after my atos medical i asked for apeals form and copy of my medical and with no reply in the post of such i contacted a local charity theyhave sent me the form which i sent on the 1st june i been awaitng a reply till now the 21 i called them again this morning the 21st and they said we have no recived it we have looked threw the ones waiting to be done and yours has got lost some were in the post this isnt the first time they have lost my sicknotes and stoped my benifit without infroming me till i call them no letters forms etc ever get sent out so now i been with out money for 2 months and iam not elible for anyother benifits unless i sign on fit to work i refuse to do that cause even my gp says iam unfit for work and i trust my gp and have put all my faith in him as a doctor i dont trust atos in the slightestafter reading all the blogs forums on line i cant leave the house unless iam acompied due to fear and atos refused to do HOME VISIST AFTER MY GP ASKED FOR ONE 3 TIMES good luck everbody a ver disheartned brit