Did anyone see the two programmes on TV regarding Atos last night? http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3388055 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lldrc/Panorama_Disabled_or_Faking_It/. I found the channel 4 one particularly interesting as a GP went undercover to be trained in conducting the assessments. He uncovered that although both the government and Atos deny there are targets as to how many people they want thrown off ESA, in fact there is just that. Atos employees who pass too many as unfit for work are called up and asked to re-asses and alter their findings. Many of the criteria used for these assessments were shown to be fundamentally flawed and frankly laughable (if it wasn’t such a serious matter). How Chris Grayling could sit there, clearly lying through his teeth, is beyond the notion of any decent moral human being. The disgusting treatment of vulnerable people at the hands of Atos and this government is despicable. One man from my home county Derbyshire, had a heart attack and died 39 days after he was declared fit for work after undergoing 2 ESA assessments in a short period of time. It seems if you can sit behind a checkout and pass things over a scanner then you are fit for work. No consideration is taken as to if anyone will employ you with health problems that may mean you taking considerable time off.
People with mental health problems are also misunderstood under this system with people in hospital, sectioned under the mental health act declared fit for work! It was also mentioned in the channel 4 programme how one sufferer was asked why she wasn’t dead as she had taken several overdoses. What a way to treat someone already under stress. And the best thing yet Atos are on the shortlist to examine people for the new PIPS which will replace DLA so disabled and vulnerable people can expect more of the same.
The government is happy to shovel money into the pockets of Atos and the like, rather than pay genuinely sick people what after all many of them have paid tax for in the past and is only a meagre sum in real terms. I don’t know how they sleep at night!!