PIP, DLA and AA
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ATOS Complaint

wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
edited July 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
At last after 5 months I have received a 6 page report as a result of the complaint I made last February. I am utterly disgusted that not one of the very relevant points I raised was upheld. There were many references to the following of DWP guidelines, the lack of evidence or ability to prove what went on in the assessment room and I quote, "It is very difficult to reconcile what was said or not said at the assessment; in the most part we have two contrasting versions of events."
     This reinforces the advice I give to people on here that ATOS will not accept anything is wrong with the way the assessments are carried out as corrupt practices and downright lies cannot be proven therefore did not happen. Not in their world anyway.
    A comment from my actual assessor regarding the MSO results "all observations were then recorded accordingly". Elsewhere she used the word "accurately" but I note she is not prepared to admit to accuracy in her results. They were all false.
  Some of you will remember me investigating my assessor's past working history and qualifications. Their response to that was that I have been investigating the wrong person. What they don't know is that HCPC have confirmed that I have been investigating the right person in fact the only Paramedic on the HCPC register which HCPC have confirmed in writing was the same person who assessed me. This will form the basis of any on going complaint from now on along with transferring the whole complaint to ICE. Has anyone any experience of what ICE are prepared to deal with? Do they accept a claimant's word as to what took place in the assessment itself especially if it is backed up with medical evidence? Any help or advice would be appreciated.  

Replies

  • ourvoicesourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected

    This is disheartening to read.  I will also be sending in a complaint to Independent Assessment Services (ATOS) having noticed that there are several problems with things that have been recorded incorrectly.

    It sounds like I will be following in your foot steps, so it will be useful to know how you get on with  the ICE.

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    @ourvoices That's an interesting name. Are you an individual forum member or do you represent other members? Be prepared for a long wait for your complaint to be investigated and note the futility of getting IAS to accept any of it. They won't even accept I didn't remove the label of a small water bottle whilst holding it between my knees which is virtually impossible and a totally ridiculous for anyone to claim I did as they accept I have no cognitive impairment. Most people unscrew the top but not in their world. (I'll adopt that phrase for anything to do with PIP assessments it might lighten my very dark mood). I will ring ICE first to try and find out what information they need as it's a whole lot of copying to give them all documentation so might be worth fine tuning the complaint to save extra work. Will update as I go along..   
  • ourvoicesourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected
    edited July 2017

    My experience so far of this process, has made me angry - not only about my own struggle with this, but for everybody out there who is being forced to go through a process that isn't fit for purpose, it's shambolic.

    Guidelines are being ignored and people are being made to suffer.

    I have asked the Community if anyone else has been asked to attend an assessment centre which would involve travelling times of more than 90 minutes on public transport to get in touch with me.

    I wish to take this matter up with the DWP and my MP and I want to do this on behalf of everyone to stop the guidelines being flouted.

    Hence the 'ourvoices' - on our own, we can't shout loud enough, but as a group we can (I hope).

    Atos - will be next on my list of organisations to shout at - and I think this group is a 'BIG' one.

    The DNS have published an interesting article about complaints over dishonesty at assessments:

    Disability News Service

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    @ourvoices Thank-you I will have a look..
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @ourvoices After spending a day trying to get my head round where I go from here when IAS have rejected my complaint to them after such a long wait. I rang ICE who have given me a way forward. Firstly I have to write to them with some background to the history of my complaint and enclose copies of all my complaint letters and their replies. This is all they need to decide whether to take it on. It's all ready now to be sent off to them. They will then ring to discuss things further, give me a case number and I may have to send more documents but most of what they need they will get directly from IAS or DWP as ICE is part of DWP. I feel a great sense of relief at handing this over to them and we'll see what happens..
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Hi Everyone, Before I send my complaint documents to ICE I will post some of the reasons given by IAS for rejecting the complaint. You may wish to ponder on these before any of you make your own complaints. 
    1. Any complaint about what happened in the room: "It is extremely difficult to reconcile what was said or not said at the assessment; in the most part we have two contrasting versions of events".
    2.Complaint about descriptor choices. "the report meets the guidance set by the DWP and is within the scope of the activity.
    3. Complaint about being asked to recall job history from leaving school (I am 66). "it is important to gain as much information as possible to enable the case manager to make an informed decision". (Case managers do not decide on points awarded!)
    4.HP comments: All assessments are carried out to the standards of conduct and proficiency set by my regulatory body HCPC, DWP IAS and Corpore-TTN" (who is that!!!)
    5. "All information conveyed by the claimant is recorded accurately as are answers to all cognitive tests" (they are even lying when challenged about their lies)
    6. Complaint about the false MSO results. "all observations are recorded accordingly". (she was not prepared to say accurately here.)
    Then back to the investigator writing: Complaint about the false informal observations "I am unable to comment on the accuracy of the informal observations as this would be difficult to reconcile".
    7.Complaint of how can the assessor know the level of pain " observed observations are signs/presentation of pain.: (This sounds like they are trained to ignore what you tell them about pain and make their own decision by watching you).
    8. Complaint about facts being recorded incorrectly, "it is not necessary to record details of every aspect of a claimant's medical history or the interview in order to provide fair and impartial advice to the Decision Maker. The HP will not simply put word-for-word what the claimant has told them regarding their restrictions; they take all the information available to make their own medical opinion". (a medical opinion over and above the claimants own Doctors and the claimant themselves!)
        To sum up. Everything on the report is believed without question and used as an argument to reject the complaint. Sorry about the long post but this may help some of you to make your own complaints. 
  • ourvoicesourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected

    @wildlife - I found some interesting statistics from the National Audit Office in 2016..... Only 13% of assessments met the required standard:

    https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Contracted-out-health-and-disability-assessments-Summary.pdf

    I have also written my first blog about my PIP experiences so far.


  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited July 2017
    @ourvoices Hi Alex, I've just read your blog. I was immediately drawn to the article about Mental Health. Ref: my discussion on Scope about my "sort of" but genuine diagnosis of Complex PTSD called "Complex PTSD and no help available". I say "sort of" as this was a diagnosis readily given to me at the end of a very emotive assessment at IAPT, but a diagnosis that never reached the GP letter sent afterwards, a copy of which I requested for PIP evidence. I went back to my Doctor as instructed to be referred for further treatment only to be told there was no funding for this and all she could suggest was that I refer myself to a Private local counselling service. 
          Back to your blog which describes a very similar experience to my own. I would like to send you my story but just a couple of questions. How long does this have to be and what are you going to use it for? Also will names be mentioned? Looking forward to hearing from you..    
  • ourvoicesourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected

    @wildlife your story can be as long as it needs to be - at this stage, I'm only looking to take general points to MPs for debate, but I will use specific examples of the problems people are facing with the PIP process.  Any information supplied to www.ourvoies.org.uk will be kept confidential and anonymous. 

    I want to address the quality problems with the PIP assessments and the failure of the DMs to apply the legislation when making their decisions.  They are acting on behalf of the Secretary of State but appear to forget this and place too much reliance on the opinion of the Health Professionals.  Following a Freedom of Information request, I have obtained a copy of the DM training guide which states (CM refers to Case Manager):

    The CM considers each descriptor chosen by the HP based on all the evidence, rather than simply accepting the HP submission
    The CM will:

    on careful consideration of all evidence, make a legally correct decision on claims to PIP on behalf of the Secretary of State;

     provide robust supporting reasons for their decision;

    ensure that the claimant’s individual circumstances have been considered and that they have been treated fairly and given a chance to voice their side of the story.

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @ourvoices OK I'll send you some information..
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