A note for Atos.
Nobody is libelling you here but, equally, we, in the disabled community, have every right to criticise and question what we perceive to be a deeply defective system, and one which has a staggeringly malign influence on our lives. Atos – you are NOT exempt from criticism. Nobody is.
Sue Marsh, towards the end of the first part of this blog post says vis-à-vis disability assessments:-
“It didn’t used to be like this. There was a respect, a sense that you deserved a little dignity.”
When I applied for my Mobility Allowance (which pre-dated DLA), in 1986, I asked for a home assessment – and I got one. By a genuine, if retired, GP, with the experience and knowledge not to care that I still had the arm-muscles of someone who’d been a biker since his teens, or the leg muscles of a former rambler, backpacker and cyclist – muscles take time to waste.
He gave me such a rigorous going-over it put me in bed for three days. He also tried to take me for a walk, but abandoned the idea after a few yards as totally unfeasible.
A few weeks later I got the Higher Rate, awarded until my seventies (changed, with the introduction of DLA, to indefinitely).
And, at the risk of attracting the ire of Atos, I would far rather risk being put in bed for a few days by somebody who actually knows what he’s doing, and cares enough to make a thorough and competent assessment – I almost said “honest” but apparently that’s not allowed now – than submit to some box-ticking numpty who, in all probability, holds the unfortunates whose lives s/he screws with in the utmost contempt, as has been revealed on Facebook of late.
We must surely have a pool of retired GPs on which to draw, so why isn’t the DWP utilising their experience, instead of paying hundreds of millions to an IT company? IT, for pity’s sake! Not even a medical organisation – since when did a facility with computers translate into medical competence? Then, at least, we would have medically competent assessments that aren’t constantly overturned on appeal (because there would be less need for appeals), and genuine accountability. Probably much better value for money, too.
A somewhat different version appears in Sue Marsh’s blog comments.