We have previously covered the antics of private company ATOS Healthcare who carry out ‘health-checks’ on behalf of the Dept. of Work & Pensions. Job Centres are making daily decisions on huge numbers of people currently on disability benefits (Employment Support Allowance) with the aim of tranferring them on to Job Seekers Allowance if they are deemed fit enough, using a very contraversial computerised testing procedure owned by ATOS. Secret filming of ATOS ‘training’ by a GP has revealed that there is an implicit quota to pass recipients of benefits as fit for work. ATOS is paid a vast sum to carry out the tests.
Dr Steve Bick, a GP with 20 years’ experience, applied for a job as an assessor with Atos to carry out the work capability assessment (WCA) and secretly filmed his training for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme. […] The trainer tells trainee assessors: “If it’s more than I think 12% or 13%, you will be fed back ‘your rate is too high.'” When Bick questioned how the company could know in advance the precise proportion of people who needed to be put in this category, the trainer replied: “How do we know? I don’t know who set the criteria but that’s what we are being told.”
Notts activists have taken action against ATOS locally. The story of one part of this can be found in the excellent pamphlet: ‘Too much of this sort of thing’.
More about opposition to attacks on benefits and some history of ATOS’s testing software: End of the Social Wage? Radical responses to the Welfare Reform Bill
More about benefits on Notts SOS: http://nottssos.org.uk/tag/benefits/