PIP, DLA and AA
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Complant to ATOS

wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
edited October 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi, This might be useful for anyone else who isn't happy with their assessment. After reading my assessor's report my husband sent ATOS a letter to complain about the lies and inconsistencies it contained. The 1st reply from ATOS was a refusal to investigate on the grounds of not being able to prove anything that was said or done in the assessment room. Also they tried to pass the buck to DWP. Not happy we wrote again suggesting things they might like to look at that claimants are unhappy about like being watched and having personal comments written about you. The letter also included another official complaint about what the assessor wrote in her report which can be proved. Especially the false MSE results and inventing something I didn't do to try and make out I had no problem with my hands. She said I took the label off a bottle of water whilst holding it between my knees. She wasn't thinking straight as why would anyone do that and it is not a reasonable thing to say I did. Also my husband was a witness to it never happening.
         Today we have received a much better reply. A senior staff member is going to investigate our complaint and we will hear from them when that has been completed. I hope by sharing this it will help anyone else thinking of complaining.... 

Replies

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Just popping in with an update. ATOS have turned down the 2nd stage complaint saying there is nothing wrong with the assessor's report. The letter was read out to me this morning by a Decision Maker. However the ongoing complaint which will now go to the next level is helping me persuade DWP to look again at my claim even after the Mandatory Reconsideration. I have to send in yet more evidence. So onwards and upwards.  
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Update: What I thought was a letter from ATOS complaints to DWP has now arrived in the post. It is in fact a PA5 form filled in by a 2nd assessor following a request to ATOS from DWP at the time of my Mandatory Reconsideration for any changes to the 1st assessment report and whether the content was OK. This appears to be a useless exercise as without another assessment there aren't likely to be any changes although she did say she had reviewed all the available evidence. This could explain why so few claims are changed at MR stage. But what was even more irritating was a statement written on the back of the form declaring that "there is no harmful content in the report". This is signed by a nurse who I assume is registered with her appropriate professional body where there are rules about the standard of care she should give to all she comes in contact with during her career. So does this include when she's working for ATOS? When talking about harm. What do you call all the things the 1st assessor lied about which she knew I have would a right to see including the made up story of the water bottle. The desired result the 1st assessor wanted to achieve is harmful to the extreme in making sure I get as little money as possible if any. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Most assessors try to make sure people get as little PIP as possible.  The object of transfer to PIP is to reduce the disability benefits bill.  But we can appeal.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Matilda, I know we all have to do what is best for ourselves. Going to appeal does not appeal (sorry about the pun) to me because of the length of time you have to wait with no guarantee of success at the end of it. You also risk losing what you've already got. I didn't ask for a 2nd Mandatory Reconsideration the DM who did the 1st MR put in her reasons for keeping things to same that if any of the "medical advice" changed from ATOS or if I sent in more evidence she would look at my claim again. I would be crazy not to let this happen. It may result in the same decision and if so I will stick with what I've got until I have more test results or things get worse and go for supersession hopefully with no hassle. Things won't change if all of us just accept the way we've been treated.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @wildlife

    Each case is different.  For me, I think my only chance is to appeal, despite the long wait.  Tribunals are supposed to warn you if they are thinking of taking away the award you've already got and offer you the opportunity to withdraw your appeal and keep what you've been awarded.  So, I think I've got nothing to lose and possibly something to gain as 65% of appeals succeed.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Just popping in with an update. ATOS have gone quiet after sending a letter to say my complaint is now at stage 2 with  a senior manager investigating it. I've sent 3 emails with more info. about my assessor. None of which have been answered or even acknowledged. After contacting HCPC the professional council she should have been registered with it turns out there is someone with the same name on their register but whose age and past work history do not match up with my assessor. She must have thought all her birthdays had come at once when she came across someone she could pretend to be. She's in for a big surprise when she finds out she hasn't got away with this very serious disception. I would advise you all to check with ATOS before hand who will be doing your assessment and what their professional qualifications are. Once you have this information you can check online whether they are registered or not. I am very annoyed that I was in a room with someone who was doing a physical exam. including skin to skin contact and with no qualifications and was extracting info. from me about my personal life and medical history. Information that is supposed to be confidential. HCPC are investigating the 2 people and will confirm asap that they are not the same person. In the meantime I have sent more info. to ATOS asking for an urgent investigation. I've also rung the DWP and logged on their system that I do not accept any reports or letters being sent from ATOS to DWP about my claim until this matter is sorted out.        
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    I put in a complaint to Atos who replied with "she's done nothing wrong". She contradicted herself a lot. You only have to read the report and not be medically trained to know that. She couldn't get her lies straight and called my GP and various consultants and my friend a liar. None have any reason to lie.

    DWP still haven't replied to my complaint.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Hi @Nystagmite, Don't give up. I've used letters, emails and phone calls including a forward booked call back from a Decision Maker to give me time to prepare questions to make my point that my assessor lied. There was a very provable lie on her report and my husband was a witness so finally I feel I'm getting somewhere. Mind you it would not surprise me if I got offered the same again next time a brown envelope comes through the door, but I will keep fighting. I would have to decide whether to go to a tribunal but will still have the satisfaction of seeing my assessor made accountable for her actions. As she appears to have used someone else's registration as a Paramedic on HCPC she will be dealt with in the fullness of time. Good Luck with your claim and to everyone keep fighting for what you know is right. You will not just be helping yourself but others who have yet to claim...
  • sundontshine123sundontshine123 Member Posts: 81 Courageous
    This is what they dont want...
    Good for you @wildlife.
    You are rocking the apple cart and others should also do the same excuse pun,
    LIKE A DOG WITH A BONE.
    These awful so called health professionals need to be named and shamed for putting more stress upon sick people.
    I lost my claim but like you i will not let go as someone with no qualifications except tick box and 3 months worth training can judge me and go against qualified people that is just DISGRACEFUL.
    My assessor had no qualifacations at all. Well she did in telling BLATENT LIES.
    Mine was CAPITA.

  • sundontshine123sundontshine123 Member Posts: 81 Courageous
    Forgot to mention when i was in my f2f well rushed into room,
    The HP just kept telling us it was her day off the next day. I mentioned this in my complaint letter and said check that up.

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    A quick update on my complaint. The manager at ATOS who is dealing with this rang me this morning. The conversation went quite well at first as she told me the assessor's report was with someone else who is scanning it for errors and quality. It was when I said I particularly wanted the lie about the water bottle (see an earlier post) to be investigated that things went from bad to worse. She started saying that nothing could be proved and that my husband who was with me is not an independent witness. I'm afraid I yelled down the phone that we were talking about the plastic label round the middle of the bottle and why would you undo that to drink the water. Also if it was between my knees what she said I did is impossible as the label is inaccessible. She wouldn't listen even when my husband went on the phone and told her he opened it with the screw top in the waiting room and again in the assessment. I told her why the assessor had written this and that I would be taking the matter further to involve my solicitor. All I can do is wait for it in writing that they have found nothing wrong with the report which I fully expect will happen. Then I will have to decide who to get help from next as I'm not giving in.          
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Scope Still no news from ATOS re my complaint. Can you suggest a timescale to wait for a reply if I get one at all as I'm wanting to take it to ICE. Can I do that while ATOS are still investigating it? If I ring them to try and find out what's happening what should I say. I don't want to be fobbed off.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Just posting to bring this discussion to a conclusion. ATOS took 5 long months to send the outcome of their investigation of my complaint. This came as a 6 page letter denying all the points I raised mainly with the excuse that my report met the standards as laid down by DWP. It did say that assessor's did not have to give DWP all the information that you give them at your assessment but they chose what is appropriate for a decision to be made. This, in my opinion, gives them the freedom to ignore anything they don't want to hear which doesn't give a full picture of the person's daily problems. My complaint is now with ICE but will not be investigated till August on 2018 due to the amount of complaints they are currently dealing with.
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    I've just been reading through this thread and I'm so sorry that this has been such a long and drawn-out process for you, @wildlife. I can't imagine how difficult this must have been on you.

    I'm also sorry that you'll have even longer to wait for answers now (the amount of complaints they have to deal with must speak volumes!). If you'd like to talk any further about your experiences, do feel free, and I hope you at least find support in knowing that we're all rooting for you.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @PippaScope Thank-you so much. I'm now with ICO as well who are looking to reject a claim that there were lies on my assessment report which technically should contravene the Data Protection Act. I'm waiting for Debbie at Scope to ring me as she has offered to help. My mental health has deteriorated recently and I need to take it easy for a while. The worst part is having accepted an award 6 months ago that I was satisfied with but that still didn't reflect what I should have had I have been accused twice by HCPC when questioning my assessor's qualifications and now by ICO, although rather more subtle in their approach, of doing all this because I want more money. Nothing could be further from the truth, It's purely a matter of justice for all the claimants who can't fight for themselves and who cry out on forums day on day for help. One day things will change and I would like to feel I had a small but significant part to play in bringing that about. Please can i ask everyone who has had lies written about them by ATOS in particular to report this to ICO. There email to me said that they focus their attention on any company who have lots of complaints about them to use their time to best effect. They can't investigate every case but this will all help us to use the law in the best possible way to protect ourselves. I will start another discussion for this when I feel better. It's all got a bit too much... 
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    For what it's worth, I really hope they can get things moving for you as soon as possible @wildlife. I'm glad you've reached out to @Debbie_Scope and I'm sure she'll have some helpful advice for you too. 

    Please look after yourself: if you're struggling with your mental health or if you feel at risk, the Samaritans are always available to talk to at 116 123. I think it's wonderful that you're hoping to use your experiences to improve the system, and do keep us updated with how this goes!
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @PippaScope, Thanks again, I will keep you posted. I was home alone on Monday and went into a blind panic and I phoned the Samaritans in desperation but it didn't help as the guy wanted to talk about my darkest feelings which makes me worse. I now have my GP helping me with medication and my Hubby is being very kind and supportive. I think he's finally realizing it's not something I can control. I'm calm now and hope to stay that way. I will not give up. Maybe the Scope benefit advisers could help like @Will did for me by suggesting people report ATOS to ICO. That's what I'm going to do if they refuse to investigate my case. The law is supposed to be there to protect every citizen of the UK with no discrimination. (I've just thought of that) so maybe I could accuse them of it if they won't help..
         
  • southwestmikesouthwestmike Member Posts: 6 Listener
    are the assessors pretending to be someone who they are not, are these just norm people out  examining others pretending to be of a medical profession, is that not against the law. if it was me and i felt that i was made to beleaived that the person examining me was a doctor or a medical profession then turns out they wern't i would be going to the Police
  • dottydottydottydotty Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    wildlife   Today I received my reply from Capita . interestingly  they agree with the factual errors  that I raised . ( I did not go into all the grammar  spelling errors . ) I can take the complaint to a higher level within Capita within 14 days or should I take the complaint to a complaints board ,? 
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