I've Made Data Protection & Freedom Of Information Requests.

routemaster279
routemaster279 Member Posts: 9
Hello. This is my first post so I thought I'd make this a good one for starters.

Last year I filled in my ESA50 and sent it to ATOS. At no time had I ever had a medical and was being transferred from Incapacity Benefit to Employment Support Allowance. Last week,I had my first JobcentrePlus interview under the 'limited capability for work' as I have bodywide osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.I was lucky to be in 'flareup' mode and it was abundantly obvious to the interviewer I wasn't fit for work. I was 'signed off' by him for the next 6 months. I was treated with great respect and kindness by him which was appreciated.He gave me an appeal form and told me to appeal against the 'limited capability for work' decision which I have already done. I have also written to my GP and he will be giving me a letter saying to the DWP I'm not fit for work and this will be sent off to the DWP as part of my appeal process.

I asked ATOS to send me a copy of the ESA50 under the Data Protection Act but they refused saying they hadn't kept it. I then sought proper information and submitted another Data Protection Act to the JobCentre in Cardiff and they will honour my request in full. At last I will get to see what ATOS Healthcare actually wrote on the form.

I also sent off several DWP 'Freedom Of Information' requests about the ESA50, ATOS Healthcare, and other things. All have been accepted and I can expect answers within 40 days. I want to know specifics about the ESA50 and the attitude of ATOS Healthcare and who can or cannot exam me.

I have made three formal complaints to my MP about ATOS and their attitude towards disabled people specifically myself and asked specific questions about the ESA50. He is also taking up my complaints directly with ATOS about their inhuman treatment of many fellow disabled people.

As people in authority are finding out, my body may be riddled with 'arfur' & fibro from my neck to my feet, and all points in between, but the brain still functions fine. I may not go out for days or weeks at a time, and I may be slow and sluggish in my walking and on Class C pain-relief and other anti-inflammatories, and I've not worked for the past 10 years because of them, but at 59 there is nothing wrong with my marbles.

I will not take any codswallop from ATOS lying down (I wish I could lie down), and have made a one man stand about the whole despicable attitude of government and its ATOS I.T. company towards me. I am not scared off by form-filling, nor meeting anyone in connection with my claims. I say, bring it on!

I will let you know the various outcomes and hope they will help as there are many others like me fed up dealing with pen-pushers and their 'ticked box' syndrome.

Comments

  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Flipping ATOS they seem to be the bane of everyone's life
    Did you know you have the right to have your interview recorded?
    I wish I had know that at the time DWP should inform us about it but don't!
    I wrote to DWP to ask for copy of assessment and it arrived a week later so can't understand why they haven't for you unless they have something to hide!!!
    I hope you get the answers you need
    Best wishes
    Maria
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,106
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello routemaster 279 and welcome to the forum. I'm too old and too decrepit for the ATOS stuff :wink: but you might be interested in Bydand1980's current thread about ATOS on Living With Arthritis.
  • routemaster279
    routemaster279 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello stickeywicket. I'm sure you're quite a youngster! I will indeed have a read of the thread you mention. ATOS Healthcare is a subsidiary of ATOS I.T. and its a French firm. If thats not bad enough, we Brits have to deal with these incompetents via the DWP. Us wobbly ones have to stick together these days :lol: .

    Hello maria99. ATOS is by and large incompetent. I've told them that directly and through my MP in the form of a series of complaints. ATOS won't respond to me, but they have to respond to my MP and probably through the Minister responsible for the ATOS farce. I've not been for a medical yet. But heaven help them if I have to go. Mine will be a 45 minute bus ride and I'll not be in a frame of mind for any claptrap and codswallop from them! ATOS have a lot to hide. They can't supply a copy of my ESA50 but the DWP will plus any letters between them. I currently have an appeal with the DWP as well. My Freedom of Information requests are to do with their staff and who can or cannot examine you. If I get called for a medical, I won't let anyone under the rank of a qualified GP examine me. So if ATOS decide to put a first-aider in to examine me, they'll regret it! The body might be knackered, but the gob and brain still function well!

    Thank you both for your help!
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    The thing that gets me is the person who assesses you 1) is not the one working the points system
    2) they are not trained in an individuals condition
    3) a thorough examination a simple can you wiggle your toes whilst still wearing my boots! And can you lift your knees up one at a time whilst sitting are not thorough to me! My mother can do that and she's had a severe stroke and is bed to chair only!
    I do think a GP or occupational health doctor should perform the examination
    I've been a nurse for 30 yrs and would not feel comfortable assessing people without full knowledge of condition and not completing the examination with out filling in the points system! We have a code of conduct to do no harm so how can a nurse say some one is fit when obviously they are not!
    Two days before I recieved a letter from ATOS saying I had been successful getting tier 1 Ill Health Retirement then DWP letter also Atos saying I was fit for work!!! Unbelievable!
    Keep on fighting
    Maria
  • routemaster279
    routemaster279 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Maria.

    ATOS Healthcare is in fact a French company dealing in computer and information technology and has branched out into 'healthcare'. If I get called for a medical, the person who gets me has to at least be a GP or a Rheumatologist. I will not allow anyone less qualified to examine me and will terminate any such appointment on the grounds that their working knowledge is infinitely inferior that of said GP and Rheumatologist. I am not prepared to be examined by anyone else.

    ATOS is a 'profit before people' company. Its sole aim is to get as much money as it can from the DWP and their so-called 'health experts' are nothing of the kind. The form is full of trick questions, biased questions, one-sided question and far too simplistic and in many cases banal and pointless. ATOS have no interest in us as people. We are just 'cash cows' processed through a system as fast as possible and without any proper medical observance and interest.

    ATOS have no code of conduct thats for sure. I think many examinations are carried out by office staff pretending to be medically qualified (one of my multiple Freedom of Information requests to the DWP). That way, they avoid having to have a code of conduct. You really do have my sympathy dealing with ATOS! I've got many Freedom of Information requests running at the DWP about ATOS on every aspect of their so-called 'healthcare'. These are on top of several formal complaints to my MP about ATOS.

    Whilst my old body isn't great, my mind and brain function well. Nobody at ATOS will treat me like dirt! This firm disgusts me with every fibre of my body! I'll carry on fighting!
  • routemaster279
    routemaster279 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Update. Updated. Update. Update. 21/3/13.

    The DWP sent me my ESA50 and adjudication paper from my Data Protection Act request presumably from Atos but you'd never know from it all. It would seem I was diagnosed in my absence by the 'Mystic Meg' approach of psychic crystal ball, lots of white smoke, a silly hat and creepy music - a.k.a an Atos Nurse who doubles up as a Disability Analyst :o ! Astonishing isn't it :o ! This Nurse isn't either a doctor or rheumatologist and has no right to write so much rubbish when he has not been trained to at least GP status or even that of consultant rheumatologist status. His Atos opinion is of no consequence whatsoever and I have already challenged this via my MP. How can anyone diagnose someone in their absence is beyond me. The diagnosis by a supposedly qualified Atos Nurse-cum-Disability Analyst is nothing short of scandalous.Some analyst eh? Couldn't diagnose a pimple on a pigs a**e!

    Never have I read so much claptrap and codswollop in my life about me! I've fired off a four page complaint email to my MP and copied this 'diagnosis' file so he can see for himself what a load of trash Atos have written! I want Ministerial involvement and answers now. I've also waived my right to anonymity and sent the same to my local newspaper and asked them if they would like to publish a letter about it.

    My body might be knackered, but my brain isn't as Atos and my MP are slowly finding out :lol: !
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Atos should really use a medical professional who is specialised in the field of your condition but they won't do that as it will cost them more to employ the specialist :roll:
    Did you know Atos are costing the DWP THREE HUNDRED AND NINETY MILLION POUNDS to try and save what about four million pounds getting people off benefits :x
    Unbelievable
    Hope you are still fighting
    I'm going to tribunal with mine so bring it on :x
    Take care
    M
  • routemaster279
    routemaster279 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi maria09 and thanks for your reply.

    I totally agree with you Atos are a waste of space and time. I've currently got four lengthy complaints against Atos sitting with my MP. He has sent all of them to Iain Duncan Smith the Minister for reply. Naturally over a month since the first one and nothing so far which doesn't surprise me one little bit. I've made two complaints directly to Atos one of which still awaits a response.

    My GP has also waded in with a letter saying i'm not fit to do any kind of work. He wasn't amused that I had been diagnosed by a nurse in my absence in what I described to my GP as the 'Mystic Meg' approach used by Atos to give to the DWP. I've sent that letter off to Cardiff as part of my appeal. He said he would support me if the claim went to tribunal.

    I'm not done with Atos yet, nor my MP, nor the Minister. I'm lucky that my MP is also a Minister so hope it might help. Nobody is going to get off lightly and I'm considering legal action against Atos.

    I really do wish you well in your appeal. With respect to you, may I recommend you enlist the help of the CAB in helping you prepare any appeal.I do feel sometimes that someone who is set apart from this can cast a fresh eye and thoughts over the processes. May I suggest you enlist your GPs help as well, and lastly, make sure please that you are represented by CAB at the appeal.

    I hope all will go well for you.

    All the very best.

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