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ATOS Would Fully Support The Recording Of PIP Assessments

January 17, 2018

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

In written evidence to the work and pensions committee, Atos have said that they ‘would fully support’ the recording of personal independence payment (PIP) assessments. They also revealed that an average of one third of their health professionals leaves every year and that 40% of requests for medical evidence from GPs and consultants are ignored.

Capita failed to return any evidence to the committee within the deadline.

Recording assessments
In a written reply to the work and pensions committee last month, Atos – now known as Independent Assessment Services – explained to the committee the current regime for recording medicals. This includes:

  • Giving three working days’ notice that you intend to record the assessment;
  • Signing a ‘recording agreement’ which seeks to limit how you can use the recording;
  • Providing your own simultaneous recording equipment which can produce two copies and which must not include laptops, tablets, smartphones or MP3 players.

However Atos went on to say that they “would fully support introducing a simple, straightforward process for the recording of assessments if the DWP select to introduce this facility”.

The chances of the DWP agreeing to this seem exceedingly small, however.

Staff turnover
Atos lose a lot of health professionals every year

In January to December 2015, out of 803 staff a total of 298 (37%) left.

In both 2016 and 2017 a total of 33% left.

This means that, on average, the entire health professional team has to be recruited and trained all over again every three years. It’s not surprising that the quality of assessments is as low as it is.

Further medical evidence
Atos do sometimes request further medical evidence from GPs and consultants in the form of ‘factual report forms’ as well as sending out DS1500 (terminal illness) forms.

However, in 2015 just 59% of these were actually returned.

In 2016 62% were returned.

In 2017 the figure had dropped to just 57%.

Given that DS1500 forms are always likely to be returned, the failure rate for other requests is probably much higher than 40%

Home visits and paper based reviews
The percentage of PIP assessments done just on the paper evidence is falling year on year, but home visits are rising.

In 2015 19% of assessments were done on the papers alone. This fell to 17% in 2016 and 14% in 2017.

In 2015 13.5% of claimants had a home assessment. In 2016 this had risen to 14.5% and in 2017 it was 16%.

You can read the full written submissions on the work and pensions committee web page.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2018 6:40 pm

    I’m confused why no one is looking at the state of the UC IT system rolled out when ministers were fully aware it wasn’t working, wouldn’t work and is already almost obsolete. I share this committee meeting with many including this blog but it never gets a response or even questioned. Lord Freud stated clearly. ‘I think what I didn’t know or what anyone knew was that It was a monumental mistake for ALL of government to outsource their IT here and in the Western world’

  2. January 17, 2018 9:02 pm

    Here’s a small part of what those criminal work and pensions committee MPs (Labour Majority) are ignoring (covering-up)


    UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Articles

    UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

  3. Colin Wilson permalink
    January 20, 2018 12:10 am

    They don’t fully support the recording of assessments if the claimant has to provide a simultaneous copy for Atos too – they could record their own if they wanted one that much – without impinging on the right to a vulnerable client who may be under too much stress, to make a copy for their own reference.

    … And they want you to sign a recording agreement when all you are doing is protecting yourself against a company proven to lie consistently ! I’d be writing my own criteria on any such “agreement” that a report which does not reflect the assessment extinguishes any rights referred to in the agreement, including the right to name the assessor.

  4. Julie Sweeney permalink
    January 29, 2018 1:41 pm

    Does anyone know we’re I can get a recording device that they allow

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