ATOS Complaint — Scope | Disability forum

ATOS Complaint

wildlife
wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
Please can you advise me how long you think is a reasonable length of time to wait for a reply from a 2nd stage complaint being investigated by ATOS. I am now wanting to move the complaint to independent investigators, would this be ICE and can I contact them while ATOS are still investigating it, if they are. If I ring them to find out what's happening what do I say? Can I give them an ultimatum? I don't want to wait any longer or be fobbed of with an indefinite timescale.  
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Comments

  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
    Hi @wildlife,

    It does depend on the complexity of the complaint but I'd suggest a month. And yes, you can give them an ultimatum. In fact, that is good practice as it then allows you to show ICE that you contacted ATOS and said, for example, 'if you don't respond within 2 weeks I am going to ICE' (I'm assuming here you have already waited at least 2 weeks), so that you have evidence that the initial agency was given a reasonable time to respond.

    The other thing you can do is to ask ICE the very same question. Remember ICE say that you can only bring your complaint to them if the initial agency has said that you can.

    'We will only consider your complaint if the agency or business has told you, in writing or by phone, that you can bring your complaint to us.' (ICE guidance to complainants)



    But there must surely be situations where this isn't possible because that final response never arrives. I'd give ICE a ring or email to discuss:

    0345 606 0777 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited June 2017
    Thanks Will This is extremely helpful. MOH first wrote to ATOS on my behalf to make an official complaint early in February, so 3 months ago. We got a quick reply refusing to investigate on the grounds that what happens in the assessment room cannot be proven. I wrote again on 8 March making the letter more about the assessment report which is in writing for all to see. I got a reply on 13th March accepting the complaint and saying it was at the 2nd tier stage. I've had no reply since then but I did send an update to the person named on the letter after my PIP was increased to tell them it was a lot of evidence that the assessor should have used and which she blatantly ignored that finally got my mobility changed. However there is still a problem with evidence being ignored for Daily Living still at standard rate. So it is over a month since ATOS have written to me. I will carry out your advice and let you know what happens. As I keep in mind that whatever I'm doing may help others as well.. 
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    Update: Have just rung ATOS and been told they are going to hurry along the complaint and get back to me soon. I gave them 2 weeks before I go to ICE. Has anyone else been through ATOS complaints and what was the the outcome? 
  • aries
    aries Member Posts: 46 Connected
    Hi there, so pleased you have put this up. I've received a letter today from CAPITA acknowledging my complaint of the conduct of the assessor and the content of the assessment report. She ignored information given to her at the assessment. She threatened me with a physical examination ( not explaining what she meant by this) she threatened that I would have to go back for another assessment if I did not answer all her questions. She was aggressive throughout. She ignored the fact that I had been abused. But still threatened me with a physical examination!  
    My first question is what is ICE? 
    They have said they will investigate and contact me in 20 days? 
    Any advice please
    Aries 
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited June 2017
    Hi @aries It sounds like you're doing OK just make sure you get a reply but remember they probably mean 20 working days which is a lot longer than 20 days. ICE stands for "Independent Complaints Examiner" and they are the next stage to go to if CAPITA don't investigate your complaint properly or give you a satisfactory outcome. Hope that helps..x
  • aries
    aries Member Posts: 46 Connected
    Hey thank you and yes it does help. Thank you for replying. Your situation sounds very much like mine and your posts and advice has been very useful. Please keep us up dated on your progress as this helps to know that you are standing up to these agencies. 
    They are now stopping my carers income support so he will have to claim JSA but how can he say he's available to work when he cares for me. They are making this as difficult as they can!! 
    X
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @aries Sorry to hear that, I don't know a lot about working age benefits as I'm retired except I have a disabled son on ESA and PIP. Hope you can sort it all out. I will stand up to these people, I've said all along my assessor chose the wrong person to do what she did to. It's just taking so long to get answers from everyone but I'm getting there slowly. Will keep everyone updated as I'm hoping what I learn from this can be passed on to others to help them...X
     
  • SeanRyan
    SeanRyan Member Posts: 66 Connected
    What are your thoughts about this. Any ideas or suggestions ? 
    You can request to audio record your consultation by calling our Customer Service Centre, but you will need to provide your own equipment.
    Inform us beforehand that you wish to record your consultation, which can be done by calling our Customer Service Centre. Please let us know as soon as possible, as we may not be able to accept requests made on the day of your consultation.
    Your recording equipment must be able to produce two identical copies of the recording at the end of the consultation, either in audio cassette or CD format. You will need to give one copy of the recording to the Health Professional undertaking your consultation, at the end of the consultation. Devices like PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones or MP3 players are not acceptable recording devices.
    You will need to sign an agreement that sets out what you are and are not allowed to do with the recording.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
    @SeanRyan This reminds me of a phone call I had from my GP one evening around 8pm. I was surprised she was still working. After discussing an X ray result  showing a possible stress fracture in one of my toes, PIP was mentioned. She immediately launched into telling me how the Government had told DWP they had to believe what disabled people were telling them to cut down on the amount of letters GP's have to write taking up time they need to treat people. It would make far more sense for all medical conditions with supporting medical evidence to be believed along with the effects on that person's life then there'd be no need to record assessments. I'm still fighting for justice after my assessor lied about something I did to try and show I could use both hands with no problem. Recording the assessment would not have stopped this as no words were spoken... 
  • SeanRyan
    SeanRyan Member Posts: 66 Connected
    Hi There @wildlife I am just about to go for my third assessment. My PIP has been stopped and I now have to live after bills on £50 a week. The healthy diet I was eating is gone. The pain and medication get even greater and they still dont get it. MS they think is a shop where you buy underwear and posh food. Stay strong dont let them grind you down. With you all the way
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
    @SeanRyan I feel for you, don't forget how you travel there will affect the mobility score and that you are watched even before you get into the assessment room. Also you should be sat so that you can see the computer screen and can correct anything falsely written (sample video on ATOS website). I have strong suspicions and info. that my assessor wasn't even qualified so if you want to be sure who you're dealing with they should introduce themselves and tell you their professional medical qualification. You can even ask for their registration number as all assessors have to be registered with their appropriate professional body.  Someone else did this and shocked the assessor into going off to find it. Anything that will give them the message that you're not going to tolerate lies written about you. If someone is going with you they can take notes. All my MSE results were either changed or made up. I'm expecting to hear about the final outcome of my ATOS complaint anytime now. I've accepted what PIP I've got as far as DWP is concerned but will keep fighting to get my assessor dealt with properly. I've got a review in only 2/3 years so have to make sure they don't use the same lies for that. That's what's keeping me going..  
  • SeanRyan
    SeanRyan Member Posts: 66 Connected
    edited May 2017
    Thanks for the advice @wildlife This will be my third one, I know how it works quite well now Your right they have made their decision before you even get through the door. I was talking to a barrister about this very thing yesterday and He was quite shocked. I have written a blog about my experiences as a way of keeping me alive. I am staggered that as a nation we still to this day look away in shame at the disabled. like we dont mater anymore. Mates you thought you had dont want to talk anymore. Friends on face book ignore you and dont read what you write. This is by far the hardest part of being disabled having to deal with all the **** dished out by people who think your just a work shy burden to state. I would like to see anyone of them try and survive
     .
  • Justice
    Justice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @Aries, @seanRyan, and @Wildlife. Hello to those of you I have not replied to before. wildlife I see you are still plugging away. It is disgusting that you have to go through all this, on and on, but you WILL get there in the end. I know it, please hurry up because my fingers have been crossed for you for so long they are beginning to hurt :-). 
    I have not posted for a while, things been not too good here, then I wasn't too well myself. All better now , and pleased to be back.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
    @Justice, Welcome back on here. Yes I am still plugging away but it's difficult to maintain the same determination I had at the start. I am still on here as if I can prevent one person going through what I did it'll be worth while. I also only have PIP for 3 years so need to keep up to date with what's happening. Sorry to hear you haven't been well but glad you're feeling better. I rang ATOS a few days ago and they said they're pushing on with the complaint so it will be interesting to see what they come up with. I have a letter ready with attached info. about my assessor's past job history to send to DWP when I've heard from ATOS. I may also go to ICE if necessary. Talking of hurting fingers. I went to the Dr's last week as my left hand keeps curling up overnight and I can't open it out for a while in the morning. She just said something about the tendons in my arm and it wasn't serious, no treatment, tests or follow up. Once you get to 60 if it's not life threatening they don't want to know. That doesn't help with PIP as having  access to my records online I checked later and all she'd put on there was the lowest of 3 BP readings I took as I have to do it at home to stay calm. Nothing about why I'd gone to see her. Oh well the battle must go on. How are you getting on with your husband's ESA? X 
  • Justice
    Justice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    edited June 2017
    @wildlife

    Thanks for the reply, strange that your GP has only put that, but I guess that's another story! We have sorted the E S A . The MP's office were very good all the way through it, they must have called DWP at least ten times to try to chivvy them up. I think I told you that I had written to CHDA to complain about the way the assessment was carried out. I also followed up the letter with a call a few days later. I must say after some initial " Snootyness" from their end they were very good. Kept us informed by letter, and within about three weeks they called me, very contrite, very pleasant. They upheld the complaint, took on board all that we had said, told me that the assessor was now to have a disciplinary meeting with his manager, and would have a record against his name which would stay there. They had another " Health Care professional" go through it all, and they sent a copy of her report to us, and to the DWP. 

    The annoying thing was though is that the DWP still wanted yet another Decision maker to look at things. Our MP said it was an injustice, and ridiculous, but on it went. My whole point to them by now was " How can you make any decision based on an assessment which has to all intents and purposes been declared as not fit for purpose.

    To cut a long story short they invoked article whatever( Can't recall which one without digging out the file) which meant that Hubby would be a danger to himself and others both in any workplace, and travelling to and fro.
    So he is back in the support group where he belongs!, and they have paid the money back which they had stopped. I was concerned that they said they agree that he does not meet any of the descriptors regarding care, or mobility. To us it looks like a decision has been made in a " How do we get out of this **** up without losing face" kind of way. Anyway we have the end result that we hoped for.
    I have however sent an official complaint to D W P about the way this was handled from start to finish. The lack of communication, the lack of respect, lack of attention to detail. I could go on and on. They broke just about every rule they have in their own Customer Charter. We have had a curt letter back to say they have received the complaint, and that they will try to deal with it in the next fifteen days. Will keep you posted.

    Book coming along nicely by the way, loads to out in it thanks to so many of you willing to let me use your stories.
  • aries
    aries Member Posts: 46 Connected
    Hi there justice, so good to hear more people are putting pen to paper an standing up to these so called health professionals. Your writing a book that sounds so inspiring good luck. 
    I'm just about to post another letter to CAPITA adding to my complaint and going into more detail about the ignorance, aggressiveness and hostility of the so called health professional who didn't know about or what trigger finger is? She said my hand was shaking. Trigger fingers do not make your hands shake. They lock into a claw like position and are very painful. Very common in diabetics and come under the umbrella of diabetic neuropathy. 
    Yet another false statement of many she made....
    good luck all I'll keep you posted 
    Aries x
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @Justice, Maybe I'd be better going to CHDA rather than ICE? I need someone who will investigate my assessor's qualifications as well as the lies she told. I'm still trying to get HCPC to take on the fact she may not be qualified. The latest is on a different discussion "Assessor's Qualifications". However their Fitness to Practice dept. have said they might investigate her if I provide them with evidence of her malpractice. I have asked if this applies if they're not working in the profession they're registered in otherwise it won't be worth going the trouble of going through her report. At least it's not taking up my whole life as there's no timescale involved. Will keep you posted. @aries I wondered if my finger problem was trigger finger but it only happens at night and there's no clicking as it opens out. But it does seize up and my middle finger is so painful. I've had a bad car crash and another one with whiplash so X twice and have upper body nerve damage. Things just fly out of my hands so could be anything. DWP won't accept any of this as the assessor said my upper body strength was normal Urg!!
  • Justice
    Justice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @ Wildlife. it may be a good idea to go to CHDA first. I think ICE are for when all else has failed as they are an  Independent examiners as I understand it. 
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @Justice, Thank-you for that. But it makes me wonder if CHDA are connected to DWP or are they independent as well? Anyhow I'll try them first. Do I have to finish with ATOS first or can I complain to them anytime?  
  • Justice
    Justice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    edited June 2017
    @wildlife wildlife The CHDA which I complained to were based at the place we had to send the original form into, the one you fill in before your appointment. They seem to run that side of things. They are not, I think like ICE who look at the whole thing independently, but rather the ones in charge of the assessments, so part of the contracted out companies I suppose. I thought Atos were out of it now? If I were you I would check the address where you sent your original form, and maybe give them a ring. They should have a complaints procedure, and can hardly refuse to tell you.

    have you had your MP on board? Mind you we don't have any MPs at the moment lol.
    Good luck I hope that helps.

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