Feb 072012

6th Feb 2012
Subject – Recording your Atos WCA
For quite a while now I have been campaigning on the very important issue of recording ones Atos WCA (Work Capability Assessment), through repeated FOI Requests, dozens of letters to Ministers and MPs I feel something has been achieved.
A specific reply to FOI Request from the DWP has now confirmed that claimants can now have their WCA assessment recorded If they request it, this has also been confirmed by Chris Grayling during a debate in the Westminster Hall on the 1st Feb 2012, to my way of thinking this is a victory for all those undergoing the Atos assessment process.
If you look at the FOI Request you will see the answer the DWP give –  http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/revised_wca_handbook_revised_edi#incoming-246487
I understand that many of you will already know that Atos/DWP carried out a pilot study into the viability of Audio recording of assessment’s last year, this process I believe was a farce from start to finish, how can a pilot study be regarded as a true study when only 230 people took part, only 10 Atos HCPs agreed to participate also, this to me shows what we have always known, one the HCPs don’t wish to have assessments recorded and secondly the DWP are also not keen, Chris Grayling said as much in the debate last week, as far as I could glimmer from what he was saying, it sounds like the  decision NOT to roll out the Audio recording of WCA assessments nationwide has already been decided, claimant’s will have to REQUEST their assessments be recorded.
I have been in touch with Tom Greatrex MP and he is going to put down some written questions on this subject to further clarify some questions that need to be answered.
Some people have already asked me questions like “When will we get a copy of the assessment” “In what form will we get the copy in, CD,DVD,Cassette” “What about people who have home visits, how will their assessment be recorded”, these and other questions need answering plus one other important issue surrounding this I think is imperative?
How are people meant to know they can have their assessments recorded unless they are given this information, I have suggested to Tom Greatrex MP that this information is put on DWP websites, all relevant materials, “Forms, leaflets, JobCentrePlus”, this information needs to get out, I would ask all those who have websites, blogs, groups etc to publicise this information, everyone should now request that their assessment be recorded, take a copy of the FOI Request and put it in with your ESA5O form and request you assessment be recorded, give a copy to the JobCentrePlus office also, keep a copy for yourself for when you go to the assessment, I’m sure there will be problems but I think this will help us all a tremendous amount.
I will keep you all updated when I get some new information.   
Paul Smith (Atos Victims Group)


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 Posted by at 19:29

  5 Responses to “passing on an important message about Work Capability Assessments”

  1. what about PIP assessment can audio be used there?

  2. We have also had, with others, a keen interest, in pursing this right for WCA claimants. Setting the “pilot’ to one side. The issue hasn’t been just permission to record a WCA but the costs to the cliamant of doing so. That is in paying for suitable recording equipment etc to be made available for the recording at the claimants expense. I am grateful you have engaged a MP who will clarify matters further but where a request is granted will this still be as a cost to the claimant or does the request place a duty on the DWP/ATOS to meet the costs of such a recording? If the burden remains with the claimant then matters are as they, in the main, have always been.

    • In answer to your question about cost of the recordings to be met by the claimant, I honestly cannot answer you that question at the moment even though it’s a very important point, I do know of several people who have requested their assessment be recorded and who have NOT been asked to pay for it, I am even aware of people having requested their assessment be recorded who are having HOME VISITS.

      The situation is not the same, we have never had a government Minister admit in public that claimants can have their assessment recorded before If requested, the DWP have also admitted this in FOI Request, they mention nothing about customers/claimants meeting the costs, I agree this is something that needs to be clarified and it’s something I’m looking into?

  3. I really welcome your report on taping Medicals for the DWP, i will tell you for why. i have had several medicals over the years and none of them seem fair. For example i was at a medical were the so called Doctor reported that i was sat for all the time i was there without moving in discomfort and also reported i squated on the floor to pick my clothes up, which i didn’t but as you can see i can’t be doing two things at once. My latest medical was for ESA, now i am receiving Disablled on high mobility and middle rate care and take on average 35 tablets a day and i am in severe pain. Yet at the medical i scored 0 on there test and the Doctor also missed some of my medication i am taking and to add insult to injury when i turned up at the medical centre there was nowhere to park, because the Doctor who wasn’t Disabled was in a Disabled parking bay. So when they start testing for the new PIP there will be thousands upon thousands who will lose out on a whim of Doctor who sees you for 30-45 minutes, we are all doomed, there is an upside to all of this, we are all in this together.

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