This company was paid a handsome sum of money to carry out the Work Capability Assessments (WCA) by Labour in 2008. A pilot scheme was set up (after an impact assessment ) and carried out and a review showed serious flaws which Labour were in the process of addressing when they lost office. The Condem Vilification of the Sick and Disabled went into full swing like a drunk in charge of a vehicle under the supervision of Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) . A car crash was about to ensue. The WCA was changed by IDS to the cruel ,biased test we know now.The Atos contract was changed and regulations are being changed consistently to ensure his introduced targets are carried out as exposed by Dr Steven Bick,and Joyce Drummond the so-called ‘Atos Whistleblower’. So the disability community have always thought Atos is their enemy ,when the reality is that enemy is DWP and the Government. They blame Labour for introducing this, which they did,but no way was it as cruel as it is now it was in fact fairer. Were the deaths so high under Labour ..no they were not!
I was lucky to meet with Shadow Minister last week who told a delegation of campaigners (inc myself) what I personally had suspected for some time, Atos are the governments scapegoats for failure, rather than the Government/DWP taking responsibility for an assessment process which was already flawed, being made worse by someone at the helm who threw caution to the wind, ignored the need for an impact assessment and by any means necessary was going to remove the vital support that people needed and who change regulations like they change their underwear. Atos Dr’s ,Nurses etc are not able to use the skills they trained years for,but are now Disability Analysts. The welfare of the Sick and Disabled do not come into it, if you can work one day a week then this is what they will say,this process IS NOT A MEDICAL that many believe it is in fact a programme to work regardless of levels ability to do so,where it is possible. I know many will be outraged by these comments but that is the stark truth,I’m not going to dress it up or give you a sticky plaster for it. It is now costing more in appeals than to implement the test itself, a 9 month wait on DLA alone for appeals.
Atos are no angels they are banned in 15 countries for mismanagement so they are not off the hook entirely and are culpable in the suffering of our community but it seems what they took on, in many places around the globe were factors that lead to their failures also. The Sick and Disabled know it is fair to have assessments to make sure the genuine get the help they deserve, and work where they can,but this brutal regime will only get worse with the coming changes and more cuts next year with the introduction of Universal Credit,Bedroom Tax, PIP.
Now is the time to start laying the blame where it truly lies firmly and squarely on the doorstep of our present government,and realise the fact that unless we get behind Labour the only credible alternative we will be socially cleansed out of existence. I can hear you all screaming ‘what Labour are you kidding me’, actually no I am not,while they made an attempt to make sure disability was taken into account and their original idea was flawed they are not to blame for the last two years destruction,we have suffered under this bunch., or for the harsh changes to the WCA or the constant changes to Atos contract and the hidden targets to get 7 out of 8 off benefits.
On reflection I can honestly say hand on heart that Atos are not the real enemy like any business they are fulfilling a contract what is being asked of them and struggling to do so because the staffing levels are not up to scratch to deal with the volumes the Government/DWP are pressuring then to achieve which is why the whole thing is a catastrophe.
I like many others blamed Labour for introducing it, which is unfair of me,it amazing when you get that lightbulb moment and you open your eyes and realise that Atos also are scapegoats and the Real Culprits are laughing all the way to the bank as they asset strip our welfare system to keep the banks and themselves afloat at our expense. I asked why the deafening silence from Labour, the reality is they do not have majority on committees, the Tories and Lib Dem’s do, hence the lack of perceived progress from Labour, who are fighting our corner in the background with Human Rights Abuses being lodged in EHRC.
I ask everyone to rise up against this let us get this lot out of office ,LETS KICK SOME BUTT!