Atos is one of the worst companies i’ve ever come across, making money by denying ill and disabled people their benefits. Their for-profit unaccountable healthcare arm regularly overrules claimant’s GPs with their inflexible and simple assessments. 40% of appeals are found in favour of the claimant.
Sick people making money off the misery of our society’s most vulnerable. This story is awful and exactly the reason why these tick-box assessments are not fit for purpose
The ConDem coalition, lead by the Tories, is responsible for all this mess. Most people knew it would happen because they know the Tories haven’t changed. They’re still the same homophobic and nasty ones.
How do you suppose that? Work capability assessments were brought in under Labour. Atos were brought in under Labour. The change from incapacity benefit to ESA was brought in under Labour.
My partner’s severely disabled, and had to suffer these ridiculous “assessments” and the ensuing appeal process long before the General Election!
I feel for your partner, but the ConDem coalition is well ahead of preparations to make life more difficult for the most vulnerable. Many of us have been warning about this. Back in the 80s, they initiated the processes to place us in this financial mess, and are now willfully transferring the debt to affect the sick and poor, with unashamed cruelty.
It’s a problem with contracting work that should be done by the state to companies so blinded by profit and cost-cutting that they don’t give a rat’s arse about the lives of the people they’re meant to provide for.
This isn’t just atos, this is everything from NHS hospital cleaning to the census, and it isn’t just the ConDem coalition, it was done by New Labour before then also. They’re both as bad as each other
Labour managed to promote many years of real advancement and support for the most vulnerable. Only at the very end of their term they lost control. Their ideology intrinsically supports the social structure that protects the most vulnerable. OTOH the Tories historically and ideologically promote their social stigmatisation, and that is exactly what is happening right now.
You are So two faced, it’s unbelievable!
How is that two-faced he is saying that although the Labour Party brought in Tory policies by the end of it, there still better than the Tories who always planned to sh!t on the poor and worship the rich
Sorry but thats rubbish.
It’s so two faced because whenever we havea bad Labour policy the Tories still always get it in the neck.
Don’t be so blind, it does you no favours.
Yet again get your FACTS right.
Atos Assessments was a Labour policy NOT a Tory one.
ATOS was certainly brought in by the Labour government that is factually correct
It was also Labour that made getting people off benefits with cash rewards to Atos.
It was also Labour that put those people to do the assessment without any medical training.
Something the Tories are “supposed” to be changing.
Under Labour Cancer patients having Chemo we stripped of benefits telling them they were fit to work. Appeals and more stress to an already ill patient.
It was under Labour that a friend of mine who is paralysed from the neck down after an accident that was stripped of his benefits and told he should be working.
I don’t mind saying that yes it’s going to be tough esp on disabled but pleased stop being two faced by pretending this Never happened under Labour.
It started under Labour.
Oh yes I know, this makes me a Tory this and a Tory that even though I don’t do loyalty to any party, they have to earn my vote.
But seriously, this is never happened under Labour crap gets Very boring, particularly when it all started under Labour and was a Labour policy.
Taxpayers should Never be paying for the fit and the healthy who don’t want to work.
It should only be for those who genuinely are in need of the extra money and help.
Don’t believe her.
Why? Were you there?
Even so this is a reason why these unaccountable profit-driven people who know little to nothing about the people they’re assessing should be deciding if they’re fit for work. It’s their GPs and regular health care providers who actually know enough to judge.
Exactly. Incapacity benefit is for those completely unable to work.
Nobody is saying that they can’t get benefits, they will just be moved onto Jobseekers’ allowance.
The hundreds of thousands of people who extra money because they say they are anxious or stressed is unbelievable.
Incapacity benefit is about saying somebody is totally unable to work.
I coudn’t give a hoot whether she was a lesbian, as is probably the case with the person doing the assessment.
You’re right, I wasn’t there. But the woman had enough energy to get out there and complain.
a friend complained actually
besides – you wasn’t there so you can’t say whether she couldn’t or could work
also – the person doing the interview was shown to be homophobic so he did give a damn about sexuality
Charles, I can see that you are about as sympathetic to this case as a “Hand in Box of Rattle snakes”, but really !!!, I think you are some what missing the point.
Misconduct, Homophobia, etc
Remind us not to conduct you if we have anxiety or depression.
Your clearly not taking into account how anxiety and depression affects different people.
Who are we to decide on people we don’t even know.
The fact is you don’t know this woman so you truely have no reason to disbelieve or even mock as to who should or shouldn’t be working, or recieving extra help financially.
How much energy do you think it takes to work out that something is wrong,and then talk about it!
It seems that you may be very low on energy Charles!
Clearly you have little or no knowledge or understanding of mental health issues.
one thing for certain charles is one day you will be ill, thats a certainty. But when you are admitted to hospital, and you can speak , smile , walk eat etc etc etc , and do all the things that you have comdemed this woman without being there or knowing her. I hope they show you the same compassion that you shown her, and they point to the door. Now piss off and go a read the daily mail,where you will feel at home there.
I wasn’t there (and unless you are the alleged doctor or the nurse – then neither were you).
However, I certainly do know doctors who have held attitudes like this which are inappropriate and frankly wrong.
The issue in this case has less to do with the actual assessment process or the entitlement to benefits – although there is plenty there to debate on both sides of the argument. The issue is homophobia, inappropriate discussion from a health care professional, lack of empathy etc etc
The evidence is that Duncan-smith said three quarters were not really needing Incap. with no evidence and no backing. such statemetns show how dishonest this is, and only really about saving money at the expense of some of the poorest in society, which in the eyes of anybody half-civilised means that htis government are abunch of vile, persecuting troggledytes, to thick to properly understand anything, but rubber stamped by a corrupt and evil education system, and in a corrupt and backward little country, at about the backside of the civilised world. I suspect Russia are more civilised trhan this. Those people passing judgemetn incidentally are not usually medically qualified and are overruling qualified doctors.
“rubber stamped by a corrupt and evil education system,”
That was introduced by the last Labour government.
The last Labour government left people on benefits with them being worse of if they got a job.
Many of whom would have prefered a job.
So this benefit system needed to be changed and sorted.
Yes some will get caught and have to fight but so many health people on benefits is never good for the country.
Why should the taxpayer have to pay out on people who can’t be bothered?
The best thing to do with people like Charles is to put them altogether on an island with the tory party, and leave them to it. The way things are going that island will be england because everyone else will have left or been killed or died.
his attitude is typical apart from the homophobic nonsense, the system is geared to find doctors who don’t care and will reject people off benefits so to find homophobic ones is no surprise sadly
They are often not qualified doctors, and are overuling qualified doctors!!!
I agree That is the biggest problem although I was under the impression the Tories were going to change that to have proper doctors.
However in many case they are an insult to the many doctors that treat these patients.
A lot of people who are very ill underestimate their illnesses when they describe them and thos Atos people are know to lie and omit important facts.
Do I think the system needs changing:- Yes definitely
Do I think Atos, a Labour party policy company, are the right people:- Definitely NOT!
then the tories would find the most callous and nasty doctors who don’t care and will be willing to kick depressed, suicidal etc people off, all that matters is that the numbers are reduced, no-one cares who gets hurt etc,
Chester, you Labour troll. The nastiest doctors are all ready there, and your beloved Labour put then there
Here! Here! Jose
“A gay woman” ?????????????
Come on Christopher Brocklebank you must be able to get the first line right!
Try using “A lesbian”
Even if yo did just cut and past this from elsewhere, I would hope PinkNews would at lest correct the obvious mistakes.
What’s wrong with the term “gay woman”? I much prefer that to “lesbian”.
Its fine to say gay when referring to both sexualities but its disrespectful like this Its erasure of female sexuality.
Seriously you have too much time on your hands, that is not important. What is is the horrid doctor and when hes going to be struck off.
Oh gosh, no one really cares about things like this. And if they do then they clearly don’t get out enough.
almost certainly not a doctor – all kinds professions used.
For the assessment that is needed (and indeed for many medical assessments) there is no need for it to be a doctor.
As a health care professional I recognise that doctors are good generalists and specialists in particular areas (not always both) but that my field of expertise is different to a doctors but that I also have some clinical generalism and am capable of making many of the straightforward decisions a doctor can. I am a paramedic and emergency care practitioner.
That does not mean this assessment process is correct – I would rather clinicians who knew the patient made a significant input to the decision making process. However, the assessment being made I am competant to make – fortunately I do not
stuart as a qualiied medical personage myself i can only say that only doctors will be able to understand the ins and out and implications of ILLNESS properly. It is ludicrous to suggest lesser qualified individuals with almost no training can do a better job.
I don’t understand your logic here – why does it erase the female sexuality? “Gay woman” = “a woman who is gay – i.e. is attracted to other women”. How is the word ‘gay’ erasing this? If it is because (in your mind) it is the term for “male gay” then surely it erases the female sexuality even more when it is referring to both sexualities?
(the funny question mark symbol was an equals sign when I typed it – honest!)
This thread is about homophobic attitudes in the decision making process for health car coverage and disability status – not for a debate about the words gay women or lesbian. There are women who prefer “gay women” and women who prefer “lesbian” – let each apply the label to themselves they prefer and try to respect the same right for others. Lets stick to the subject of the thread.
Oh good grief, Helen, get down off your high horse and stop dishing out your usual brand of condescension for once. Disrespectful to whom? To you? And how exactly does the term gay woman ‘erase female sexuality’? Before spouting this kind of pseudo feminist nonsense perhaps you should go back to queer school 101 and the lessons on the virtually limitless ways one can identify.
I have no problem with gay male or various other descriptions (some in the vernacular) that could be used in describing me – so why should a lesbian have problems with the descriptive phrase gay women … you’re finding victimisation where it doesnt exist.
Surely you mean that it’s an erasure of lesbian sexuality,or have I ms understood you.!
I disagree. If we really want the assessment done properly there should be input (depending on the case issues) from a range of health care professionals. GP, consultants, district nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, CPN, psychologist, social worker and maybe others. Each of these professionals will have different input to give and will be able to make decisions on different issues.
However that is not the system – and for the system that has been brought in (which I disagree with) its not necessary to be a doctor to make the decisions.
Doctors are no longer the demi gods of clinical practice they used go be – no matter how much they try to make us believe it
Also – you want PinkNews to “at lest correct the obvious mistakes” but you can get away with any old spelling you like?
The word ‘gay’ is seen as an adjective to describe men. It’s been adopted more and more as referring to the masculine.
Ultimately I understand Helen. She has every right to prefer the term ‘lesbian’.
However, horses for courses. I call myself a queen at times. It’s all subjective.
If her comment had been “Actually, I prefer the term ‘lesbian’” then I would never have commented at all. She was sneering at both the author of the article and PinkNews for their stupidity/ignorance.
Whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion and preference on descriptive terms that are used – no one should try and restrict the language of another nor imply that there was a motivation behind a particular use of language that frankly was not there – its high handed arrogant nonsense
I agree balloonable.
Should have more to the point.
The Atos “medical” is a joke. My last one was a bored nurse ticking boxes on a computer. Both times I have had to deal with them, I have ended up taking them through the tribunal procedure and winning (judges and doctors and months of paperwork doesn’t actually save any money). Except it means months of anxiety and finding the will to fight when already ill. Without good support, it would have been hard to keep going. And that is the point.
My (now retired) GP had a few choice comments on medical “professionals” who work with Atos.
And, to my surprise, my lesbianism is included in my medical records although there is no particular reason why – I’m not sure who I told or who wrote it down, but it’s there.
As for Atos, only medical “professionals” should be doing the assessment work, and the kind of conduct described is about as unprofessional as you can get. She should complain.
Here is what ATOS stand for (Shareholders):
They work only to profit. Healthcare comes second or not at all, if it doesn’t make a profit.
Here is their corporate commitment blah dee blah:
This same company sent to a friend paperwork addressed to a person that has not legally existed in over 25 years. My friend was diagnosed as Intersex at age 12, had ALL paperwork including birth certificate changed to that of female therefore removing all references to the male name she was given at birth.
However someone at ATOS has trawled through medical records, found the male name and sent out the paperwork addressed to ‘him’ and mentioning the NI number. (The NI number came out at 16 and was correctly showing her female gender.) This is the first time on over 25 years that ‘Mr’ and the male christian name has ever been mentioned.
This is a serious breach in confidentiality laws and trust me ATOS are going to have one helluva lawsuit facing them.
I’m glad I don’t suffer from haemorrides if this is this medical response…but honestly it does all sound a bit unbelievable……if it’s true he sounds like an absilute nutcase, why would he come out with all this to a patient he didn’t know…hope she has some evidence etc to back this claim up..
The sort of doctors doing this sort of work are the ones who have been dismissed from the NHS for incompetence. Its the employment of last hope for bad doctors.
Yes, exactly, Helen, and they are exactly the doctors we can expect to encounter in the new private firms that the current government wants to graft onto the NHS. Therefore, all the more reason for us to demand that Lansley’s reforms are DITCHED. I had a friend who died at the hands of “carers” (actually unskilled cheap labour from other countries) who were employed by a private “healthcare company” which had won a contract from a local PCT.
They are not medically qulified usually. Think about the nature of the task – who do you thik they would be able to get to do somethig like this. These are the worst of the worst from thier nasty little tory party. I almost voted for them, but voted green at the last minute – because Labour started this. This is foolish for the coalition and especially the lIbdems as I know of many people in the middle ground who are revolted by this, and will not be voting conservative next time. This plays only to the hard right, and almost nobody likes them. They are the revolting element alien to British culture these are values that have never been seen in our culture before, and i suspect they may fracture it, even beyond independence for Scotland to another 1642.
I have had two assessments with ATOS in the past and both times the doctors could hardly speak any English. They hire in doctors from all over Europe to work for them. When you are trying to explain complexities of the health problems you have they don’t have a clue what the hell you are saying.
Here is the original Guardian article:
Hi Mumbo Jumbo, thanks for the link to the Guardian article.
all the tory voters must be proud. And no mention of gay racist James Brown?
thats because apart from the guy who said it is gay. It has nothing to do with gay news. Him saying racist comments in no way effects me.
Not getting your logic there James!
Atos medical assessment were a thing the last Labour government brought in.
Whilst I do agree things do need to be fairer it was the Tories that started making Atos take cancer patients seriously as well as mental health problems.
They do need to do more esp for HIV patients but it’s no good blaming the Tories for this as, as I say it is something Labour brought in.
There has always been concern about Atos and the way they treat patients.
There were questions over the weither the staff Atos used were trained doctors.
I believe many turned out not to be and I believe that was changed.
I personally know someone who was abused by an assessment person in 2008.
The person fighting their case was denied a response, denied knowledge on the Freedom of Information Act to find out if other complaints had been against this particular person and in the end was told it was their word against the person in question, so not resolved.
So why tory voters muct be proud, I’m sorry I just don’t follow.
James Brown must be mates with the editor. Crap about lady caca gets posted almost daily and this is ignored
Why should it be reported? Do you think his racism has got anything to do with being gay? Maybe the story is on a black news website, where they deal with news about race and racism? And who is he is anyway?
Lady Gaga does more for gay rights than a hairdresser so he’s gay so what so’s 10% of the population being gay doesn’t give you the right to be written about on Pink News doing something of interest to the gay community does
Gay man makes racist comment its in the Guardian Indy metro mail but not here.
Shameful racist editorial policy on this crap site
For a start where because I read the Guardian and I didn’t see any story that mentioned James Browns sexuality, and Secondly even if it does somewhere The Guardian isn’t a gay newspaper therefor would it not be the racist remarks that got him in the paper rather than his sexuality.
I find it disturbing the way these so called ‘doctors’ are allowed to abuse people.
Whilst I do agree that people need to be checked to make sure they are entitled to the benefits, they seems to forget that for many disabled people these ‘tests’ are nothing more than legalised torture.
To add this kind of homophobic abuse just proves the point that they are only interested in getting their commission and not for the welfare of the patient.
The government needs to make sure that these people have a duty to people that doesn’t include being abused, it means with respect.
the doctors have targets so they act like losers to achieve targets, the people who get hurt are none of their concern
We need another English revolution, and scotland wales and ireland should bail out of the sinking ship I think. The desperate nastiness of this shows just how desperate things are getting in this country to prop up a corrupt system. I will be attacking in every expensive way I can myself. I abandoned patriotism long ago, and the sooner this corrupt country is forced to reality the sooned the cleanup starts! We have nothing to loose but our chains = everytjing else has been privatised by Labour!
To right we do need another revolution. We’re ruled by politicians who everyone agree’s are lying scumbags yet noone has kicked off yet where’s our back bone
Revolution from what? Freedom? Democracy?
If this report is true, the woman concerned should write to the General Medical Council giving details of exactly what happened and what was said by the doctor. The GMC will investigate the doctor who could then be involved in disciplinary procedures. The address is:
General Medical Council,
350 Euston Road,
except it won’t be a doctor, and quite probably not even a nurse. Just a tory party turd.
GMC do use doctors to hear disciplinary hearings as all health professions should use peers to review
No the atos guy won’t be a doctor, usually an occupational therapist, and therfore not subject to the GMC.
Sorry I misunderstood where you were directing your point – thank you for clarifying
“Just a tory party turd”
Erm what now?
I do not know what to make of this story.
What is the doctor’s name?
Who has he been reported to?
IF this story is truwe then clearly he needs to be struck off?
Has he been reported?
If not then why not?
as said almost certainly not a doctor. if he is he will have been trained in timbuck two eighty years ago, when training was bought.
I hate head hunters designed to rubber stamp agreement for the companies who hire them.
Disgusting that this still happens.
If he doesn’t like it he should go to another country, maybe Africa wherre his views would be more at home.
not english – he go back to where he commes from if he doesn’t like england and it’s culture.
This kind of thing is happening all the time and what we need is for everyone to be brave and to TELL THEIR STORIES, as Clare Allan has apparently done for her friend. We need to expose, expose, and expose homophobia until it squirms into a corner and dies.
In recent years I have suffered the most appalling prejudice (born of ignorance) from the doctors and nurse at my own GP surgery.
Back in 1989 I was left sitting in a dentists’ waiting room for two hours because, they said, they had lost my records and, they said, did not believe I had ever been a patient at that clinic! Yes, they had “lost” the records of all single men over 30, as that time was the height of AIDS-phobia and fear. (I stood my ground and FORCED the head dentist to treat me! But I suspect less steely gay men simply gave up and tried to get treatment elsewhere.)
No, time for another 1642. Democracy has had it, the poor have nothing to loose any more, time to destroy and create havoc.
That is so sad Hannah that you are so disillusioned that you will damage the fabric of society which you are irreverently proclaiming isnt being protected … creating havoc makes it worse
No stuart, you don’t have enough knowledge to understand it properly, it is really corrupt, the more yuo search the more you will find. It will not be corrected because we don’t have the necessary political system so it is time to do what our great great g gggggg grandparents did in 1642.
I dont have enough knowledge – where did you form that opinion – a touch arrogant I would suggest …
You sound as fixated as some of the trolls on here about religious homophobia – you are convinced your opinion is right and anyone who disagrees with you is wrong and your answer is they dont have insight … very grown up and insightful …
Although she isn’t putting her point across very well she is right we need true revolution to get us out of this rut at the moment we are just trying to prop up a corrupt and unfair system for no other reason than we are scared of change. Everyone excepts politicians are lying and greedy but noone does anything about it why??
As others have said, this ‘doctor’ should be reported to the GMC as soon as possible if he hasn’t already been reported.
We need to whistleblow on this crap.
almost certainly not a doctor = occupational therapists and nurses used.
You say it “not a doctor used” as if it is a bad thing that other health professionals can make health assessments – I find that attitude offensive
You would trust me to carry out emergency care on you in a serious road accident where lots of decisions are involved but not to make a decision as to whether you are able to walk or not … (one of the questions on this assessment)
medical qualification myself, this is about ILLNESS and it is ridiculous and corrupt to say that a doctor is not best to decide on what are often complicated and difficult MEDICAL problems. Roll on the next 1642.
So I make a comment suggesting that other health professionals may be competant in assessing the abilities of a person to work and their difficulties in living which many practitioners are experts in dealing with on a daily basis and that makes me corrupt … strange understanding of corruption
Doctors are not demi gods and dont know everything. I will not accept that they are best simply by being a doctor. I believe in decisions being made on grounds of clinical evidence not clinical eminence.
Anyone reading this should note that Atos can be extremely good in logging everything you say EXCEPT when it comes to the most relevant information. Remember you can appeal their decision if you think it is wrong. Trust your own doctor – not Atos.
rebel and be as difficult as you can. pirates show more mercy!
I was not treated so badly at my assessment, though I did get my benefits stopped after being asked few relevant questions and then having my answers lied about on the assessment. Luckily, I appealed and was able to get my benefits reinstated. I am privileged to have a decent support network of family & friends that could help me with all that. Still, when will the government realise that this is in no way working to either help the ill and disabled or to help the unemployment figures, since there’s no work anyway.
You might be alright Jack, but as the BBC reports today, leading charities have said this has caused the suicide already of many. That should save some money!
It sounds like this guy was going through her medical notes on his computer, came across a reference to her being lesbian, and reacted to it.
Either that or he had just had a patient who upset him (for some bizarre reason) by being homosexual and he inadvisedly decided to share his bigotry with the next patient …
People are committing suicide (see letters from leading charities), and I don’t find that funny.
Nor do I ….
No it needs looking into.
Not an excuse..
That comment was for Ooer missus
Protect us from these sick minded Bigots,
who shamefully call themselves doctors.
Not usually doctors, usually occupational therapists or nurses who are so bad nobody else wants to employ them. They are often overturning the reports of trained doctors. We have gone backwards as a country.
Trouble is they’re not usually doctor so really not qualified.
Isn’t “Lesbian woman” redundant”
Are there any lesbians who aren’t women?
Yes, that reminds me of the rediculous expression, “male penis”. This term only makes sense in the context of explaining that one is a “lesbian woman” as opposed to a “straight woman”.
I wish this rag would give up the journalese and incoherent waffle and explain what the fcuk ATOS is.
Where did these people learn journalism? The Dandy?
They are the name of a company providing medical support to the DWP
Thank you Stu.
It would make a lot more sense if these people didn’t make assumptions and thought we all hang around dole offices.
or read papers or watch/listen to the news…
I am worried greatly by this.
I have Asperger’s and I am classed as disabled and have DLA.
This is worrying me, as I cannot face social situations, and have not worked for about 10 years, as I suffer agraphobia, depression and other mental problems.
They wouldnt give me a great deal of DLA so I appealed and its now at the Tribubal Stage where they say they can increase, lower, or take it away altogether.
Do these people actually think to view life from the eyes of us people? NO!
My past dealing with Atos involve them losing the documentation regarding my first assessment (performed by other agency before they won the local council contract) this meant that I had to have another assessment performed by them and funnily enough came to a completely different conclusion that the first assessment – I was not disabled…
This then meant that I was forced to pay £1800 to visit a Harley Street doctor to ‘prove’ my disability (despite the fact that I am registered disabled and indication on my application form that I was disabled.
My struggles with Atos and my then employers went on for nearly two years before my employers decided to settle the day before the tribunal hearing.
At last Atos are being exposed for what they are. A year ago I lost my mother to breast cancer. The harsh and draconian treatment I received from Atos (and my employers) led to me being signed off work for three months with depression. After nine years dedicated service, I did not go back. I preferred to resign. I managed to avoid the anti-depressants my GP offered, and I am ok now.
People like Charles make me angry. Fact is that we have no facility in our system for people who might be able to work part-time but cannot cope with full time. The only benefit they can get are the incap benefits. JObseeekers allowance demands that you are fit and able to do full-time work, any response other than you are able to do ful-time work and those people will get nothing. That is the shame of Britain. A dishonest country that hides it cruel and uncivilised behaviour behind bureacracy. Anybody not able to do full time work will simply be left out on the street to die or starve as they were last time the Conservatives were in power. I suggest personally that those left in that position find numerous small ways to break the law, at least then they will be able to get some warmth, a bed, and some food. That it would be hugely expensive is really the fault of this nasty evil country.
Incidentally given that the country cares nothing about the people that it is doing this to, they should likewise not be expected to worry about any cost to the taxpayer. The taxpayers and the state have shirked their responsibilities, those with an illness owe then nothing nor any duty or responsibility.
I agree with Spanner. Pink News is great, but this is poorly written. The article should have explained who ATOS are, and then the (health policy) context to this story.
I didn’t know what this was all about until i read the reader comments on here which explained the context. A journalist shouldn’t be relying on readers to explain his story for him!
Horrific. There is no other word for it.