Atos the soul less organisation, destroying peoples lives


The Atos assessment process troubled me greatly. originally i felt that i had to somehow prove how ill I was, and in that process I actually made myself more ill and depressed. I stopped doing things that I can do, like stretching my damaged back and getting out when I can to play music, which always takes my mind off the pain for a while. It was like some evil judge was watching me all the time.Once I realised that there was no point in even trying to pass the "medical" as it is so biased and unfair, and went through the horror of trying to accept that, i gradually started understand what i believe now, that this process is at best flawed and "not fit for purpose", and at worst a deliberate policy to effectively rid the country of "the problem" of sick and disabled people.


What I am left with is still incredibly stressful and a continuing process of despair as i look more deeply into what seems to be happening to us. the only thing that seems to help at all is fighting back when I can find the energy to do so. posting all I can find, learning all I can and for the moment doing all I can to "rouse rebels" and encourage others to question and fight back in any way we can, supporting each other in what is looking more and more like a fight for survival.


I went last Friday in a second attempt to comply with this biased and unfair process, having refused to wait an hour for one on Monday. When insisted that I would be recording the interview, the "doctor" became angry, I later realised very scared. I insisted on a copy of THEIR policy, which forbids this and after asking her 3 times to not raise her voice to me, she informed me that it was not available, nor would a paper copy of the submission be available.She then insisted that I leave her office immediately, which I protested against.I asked at reception whether there was a manager available,to which I was told was not.

I said I would complain and was shown a phone number, which would cost me money to call. during this process four other doctors appeared in reception. Intimidation? I asked for a written copy of my records of what had happened that day, which they obliged me with, again looking confused and scared.


This is the company which has been given 100 million pounds by the DWP to assess over 1.6 million people for fitness to work, at a rate of 40,000 per week, plus the enormous cost of the appeals which are being held against the biased and unfair process.

They do not have a copy of their policy, their staff are not trained, they have no discernible management structure and their staff cannot comment on the firm as they have to sign the official secrets act.

They are dealing with vulnerable people and this is simply a "face saving" way to throw everyone off benefit, which we have all willingly paid for when we could go to work.

This is totally unacceptable, it is abuse and cruelty of people who cannot fight back by animals.

It has to stop before more peoples lives are ruined needlessly! 

I am compiling a page of evidence about this and asking everyone to share it to support each other - i can think of no other way to fight back

Face book link



stage 2: letter and email to Atos complaints and anyone else I can think of...



"Atos Health care,

Chatham Medical Examination Centre,

1a Batchelor Street.

Chatham ME4 4BJ 



 Dear Sirs



Your reference - ♫♪▼♥♦♣♠•▼▼ 


I have received an appointment from you regarding a medical examination for Monday 18th June at 11.15.

I feel sure that there has been some kind of mix up since my last visit to the above centre at 08.30 on Friday 20th April, and I am sure we can get things cleared up.

I assume that understandably your staffs is overworked from the lack of continuity I am experiencing, and the obvious stress the lady I spoke to at previous in April.

She was so stressed that I had to ask her 3 times not to raise her voice to me.She would not give me her name, perhaps because she was very upset that I saw no reason to stop my personal recording of the assessment.

I asked 3 or 4 times for a copy of the policy that she was referring to regarding this, which even though it in no way applies to me that I am aware of, she said it was not available to me.

You can imagine my confusion, which was further added to when I asked for a paper copy of the assessment upon completion and she told me that would be impossible, asking me to leave her office immediately.

This was even more confusing to me, as it was my second visit to the centre that week, causing me further considerable pain and almost intolerable stress due to my chronic incurable back pain due to severely damaged discs in my lower back.I am sure that your specialist staff, as one of the conditions of the Atos and DWP agreement states clearly, will be more than aware.

I can only surmise that the level of her stress made her behave in that manner. I am all too familiar with the devastating effects of stress having suffered with mental health problems all my life. I am very pleased that my stress levels were not so bad on this day that I would lose my dignity there. I checked with my companion whether he thought my behaviour was inappropriate and he reassured me that it was not.

I was feeling very confused and fearful by now as I could not understand the lady behaving this way towards me.  My surprise at this further appointment in June is also compounded by the fact that upon being asked to leave I requested a written copy of what had transpired as another side effect of my mental illness is cognitive, something your medical staff will I am sure be very aware of again due to it being a condition of the DWP contract mentioned earlier.

This letter, signed by your medical staff and countersigned by me, clearly state my request for confirmation of the policy regarding recording of the assessment, and an indication that this would be sent to me forthwith.

I have received nothing since then, which again has added to my anxiety and stress considerably, but there is a chance it has been misplaced in the post, perhaps?  

I have made a FOI (freedom of information) request regarding the dreadful rumours that Atos receive more money for every person who is denied benefit, as I am sure that this is not the case.It would not fit with the statement on your website "Our clients come first. We respond to and anticipate client needs and expectations. Working in partnership we aim to write business history together.“ As it would seem to be incongruent with those aims.

I am deeply concerned that my experience with yourselves seems to be at odds with that, and can only put this down to stress and overload within your organisation. I only have experience at Chatham, but sadly there appear to be others claiming similar experiences on the many websites and bulletin boards that I am able to access when my back pain and depression allow me to.

This I am sure you will agree is extremely undesirable, and could lead to more public scapegoating and perhaps even loss of contract for yourselves in the current political climate.Something that is no-ones desire, in fact I look forward to being as instrumental as I can in alleviating these misunderstandings very soon.

I heartily agree that the wellbeing of all concerned, especially the very ill and disabled vulnerable people who are referred by the DWP for assessment must be above concerns of money and anything else, something I am sure that will be uppermost of concern to you at the moment.

There would appear to be more criticism levelled at yourselves at the moment due to the BMA convention voting for the WCA to be scrapped.   I believe that we can work together to start to show publicly Atos Health care to be the caring and professional company that it is. 

 As the FOI request and your policy copy may take longer to reach me than the 18th of June, I would suggest the following - re scheduling the appointment.  I will record the assessment myself, and request that you also record for your own purposes. This will be evidence of the open and caring nature of Atos, and show that there is nothing to fear when I make it available for public perusal. 

I will also video the whole process at no extra cost to you, from entry to the centre till leaving. Again once this is on line it will assure the many doubting people of Atos' genuine concern and care for its vulnerable and very sick assessees. 

 I would like the full medical qualifications of the doctor who will be carrying out the assessment including BMA number and work history including the areas of special mention in the DWP agreement, mental health and muscular-skeletal specialties. This will again show the great levels that Atos are prepared to go to, to ensure patients wellbeing.

If you require access to my medical records prior to this for more accurate diagnosis, I believe I can have them made available. There will however be a cost involved to yourselves, but I am sure that this can be authorised as we are creating a great positive publicity opportunity here.  

I have invited, by way of copying this letter to them, members of the press,(local and national), radio media (local and national) MIND the mental health charity, Shelter, my local MP, the BMA, my  GP and community lawyers, Neves Scott of Dartford; and will be sending copies to the Rt hons Chris Grayling and Ian Duncan Smith.

I hope together we can all work to reassure the public that any fears over the WCA and Atos  are greatly exaggerated and any confusion is down to pressure of work from above.  

May I further suggest a way that the ongoing training and internal awareness within Atos can be added to, something I am sure that you as a company will be more than keen to do.

There are many millions of people who, like me are "experts" in their own illnesses who would be a great resource to help clarify the obviously diverse and literally millions of ways in which chronic illness can manifest it in us.We could establish a working relationship, perhaps as consultants?

This would work on many levels as all people like me are unable to commit to full time work due to the complications of chronic illness, but would greatly love to be able to help out and get paid for that.This again would be a fantastic opportunity to show that Atos Health care really do care about their role in the wellbeing of all the people it works with.  I look forward to a long and mutually rewarding working relationship with you. 


Paul Barnard  (Enc)C.c.-Maidstone DWP office, malling health- Gillingham, BBC, BMA, Guardian lifestyle et al"





next step - appointment from Atos - 3rd July.



3 days later, letter arrived saying that due to "unforeseen/unavoidable" circumstances my appt had been canceled...go figure? 



Thanks for taking the time to read this.stay strong.

Views: 5610

Comment by Deborah Williams on August 1, 2012 at 23:28

Thanks for putting this up Paul. Is there any update on this and also a couple of members are interested in joining you in your campaign,

Comment by paul barnard on August 2, 2012 at 2:47

Hi Deborah, thanks. yeah i have decided to go for the jugular and written another letter to my mp after watching the  two documentaries on monday about atos.

try this:

if that doesn't work, please send me a mail and i will paste it in here.

yeah it would be amazing to get together and share ideas and support each other - this stuff is huge and terrifying!

take care.

Comment by sand on August 2, 2012 at 10:24

Good work Paul. These evil criminals are increasingly being exposed for what they are. Apparently the Telegraph recently ran a poll amongst it's readers concerning benefit "reform". About 85% voted against the inhuman measures. Having not got the "right" result, they ran the poll again; this time about 90% voted against it! More and more people are realizing the depths of the injustice, cruelty and corruption and that it won't be long before it will effect them or their loved ones

Comment by Deborah Williams on August 3, 2012 at 14:45

Half a million disabled people may lose benefits under reforms

Charities reacted with horror as the Government announced that ATOS and another private company, Capita, had won three contracts to run a new work-capability check for disabled people being brought in next year.

The Government has suggested that half a million people could lose their benefits as part of the reforms, which affect working age disabled people from April next year. Children and pensioners will not be affected.

The companies will assess disabled people for a benefit to help with their higher costs of living, called the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which replaces the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Atos, which has been criticised for carrying out inaccurate assessments on the unemployed, will be responsible for tests in Scotland, London, the North-east, North-west and South of England, while Capita will administer Wales and central England.

There have been huge concerns about Atos's existing scheme, with criticism of the "tick box" nature of the tests and accusations of a high rate of inaccurate decisions, with 40 per cent of rulings being overturned on appeal.

Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson's UK, described the news as "another bitter blow for sick and disabled people".

In a letter to The Independent, Mr Ford wrote: "It is hugely concerning to see that Atos have been given the green light for the Personal Independence Payment contract.

"Assessments carried out by Atos have led to many people being forced to appeal against decisions that are plainly wrong. How can someone with Parkinson's – a progressive neurological condition – have an assessment report that implies they will be ready for work again in six, 12 or 18 months?"

Gillian Morbey, chief executive of the deafblind charity Sense, said: "We are concerned that the Government has awarded another contract to Atos," she said. "Their track record of poor initial Work Capability Assessments is costing more in the long run."

Hayley Jordan, co-chair of the Disability Benefits Consortium, a coalition of charities representing disabled people, added: "PIP will be a lifeline for disabled people and it is essential this difficult process is managed well."

The Government yesterday described the DLA – worth up to £131.50 a week – as an outdated benefit and said the new assessment would "ensure that, unlike in DLA, disabled people will be able to have a detailed discussion with a health professional about how their impairment affects their everyday lives".

Ministers have expressed concern at the rise in the number of people claiming the benefit, which has gone from 2.5 million nine years ago to 3.2 million this year, at an annual cost of £13bn.

Sourse The Independant Friday 3rd August 2012

Comment by paul barnard on August 3, 2012 at 19:22

we can only keep fighting - 1% of them, 99% of us!

Comment by Henry (Aitch) Cox on August 3, 2012 at 21:16

Atos is an international (French-based) information technology services company with annual 2011 pro forma revenue of EUR 8.5 billion and 74,000 employees in 48 countries

Also now owner of KPMG, and delivering IT services for the Olympic Games

Good Luck!

Aitch :)

Comment by Deborah Williams on August 3, 2012 at 22:51

DPAC Request – Help expose Work Capability Assessment

DPAC and Black Triangle have been working with a TV company to make a really hard-hitting documentary exposing the WCA and ATOS assessments. We are confident that this programme will help expose the ATOS atrocities. Unfortunately one of the people who had agreed to be interviewed has had to pull out at the last moment due to impairment related problems.

We urgently need a couple of people who would be willing to be interviewed and named on TV who have undergone a WCA and are or have appealed against the decision to take part in this programme or it may not go ahead.

If you have won an appeal and then been re-assessed or you have cancer then we would particularly like to hear from you if you are willing to talk about how you’ve been treated.

If anyone is interested in knowing more please email or directlt to



Comment by Deborah Williams on August 3, 2012 at 22:56

The ATOS scam

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The truth about ATOS

Hi everyone,

I have become a little bit of a researcher into the history of ATOS.  I am a retired community nurse and have been very unwell for a few years now.  I first became interested when I was asked to go for a healthcare assessment with ATOS.  I researched them online and found that many claimants found that the ATOS medical practitioner either lied outright about them on the report or just produced a shambolic report.  I heard stories of people with brain cancer being told they were fit for work and likely to get better within 6 months.  I saw that many of these medical practitioners were from overseas and wondered why they did not have more British practitioners.

I finally went for the medical and actually passed, although I did ask for the Polish lady's name and GMC number.  For some reason she gave me an incorrect number, although I'm not sure why.  I also commented at the time to the receptionist that in my years in the NHS I had never heard anyone speak to someone like she spoke to my husband.  She did apologise.

Time passed and with the approach of a DLA medical I began to research ATOS more.  I found that they originated with a company related to the ENRON scandal in America (UNIM) and had been sued in America due to being a "disability denial factory".  I wondered why the labour government which I had helped vote in had contracted this company which had as it main objective merely to cut the number of claimants.  I then found that its parent company had wined and dined ministers at its conference.

Never mind, I thought, the new government knew there were big problems with ATOS and that the tribunals were being overwhelmed with appeals.  I was sure that as the ATOS contract was due for renewal Autumn 2010 they would not renew it.  Surely they would see that it would be morally wrong to engage a company who couldn't employ decent practitioners due to their bad reputation and their unwillingness to pay the going rate.  Well I was wrong.  Last Autumn the conservative renewed the ATOS contract.

By the time of my at home DLA assessment (two days before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis) the 'doctor' poked me all over as if I was an animal and spent 17 minutes exactly in my home.  His report said that he had been here 48 minutes and that he had tested my eyesight (I think I might have noticed!).  I painfully walked 1 and a half metres and from that he deduced that I could walk at 3 and half kilometres per hour (I wish!).  He wrote on the form for the decision maker that my painkillers were for use only at night (untrue as I have to take them twice daily) and also that my antidepressants were only for occasional use. (I am on a very high dose as anything less does not work).  The decision maker is not a medically qualified person and has to rely on ATOS for the report.  They wrote to my GP and said that they no longer needed the report from him.  As you can imagine the decision they came to was rather perverse and we have asked for a reconsideration.

We received this morning a letter saying that they would pass our complaint to the medical complaints team for ATOS.  Of course there is not much chance of anything happening there as ATOS employ their own cronies to investigation their complaints.

I have written to my MP about this and received a reply along the lines that the government do not want to employ unnecessary organisations.

So anyone who is genuinely ill has to face the stress of dishonest medical assessments by ATOS whether for IB, ESA or DLA.  In addition anyone who works for the NHS or education will usually have ATOS as the medical practitioner used to decide whether they qualify for ill health retirement.  Needless to add, most applications are refused on the lack of evidence of 'permanence' and go to the second appeal and ombudsman.  ATOS here merely act as loss adjusters for the insurance companies who provide the pensions.

I was unsurprised to recently learn that ATOS had team up with its sister company KPMG.  Birds of a feather stick together!
Comment by paul barnard on August 3, 2012 at 23:56

that sums it up, thanks - once i started nosing about Unum came up and they were also banned from trading in 6 countries. they have since changed their name - that old chestnut!

thats when i got scared and came up with my current view, which led on to the bigger picture of the whole govt/corporate/ media alliance, which as another post said - profit, pure and simple!

or as i now believe - wrong, pure and simple!


paul x

Comment by Henry (Aitch) Cox on August 4, 2012 at 11:10


My advice would be to write back to ATOS declining their offer of an appointment on grounds of publicly available information which shows them to be involved in criminal fraudulent activity, and you are exercising your right to not be complicit in their fraudulent activities.

If, however, they are prepared to send you an affidavit stating that the public information is false, and they are not involved in fraudulent or any other criminal activity, or that you are lawfully obliged to attend, and they will guarantee you your fair health assessment, then you would, possibly be willing to have further communication with them, conditional upon ongoing investigations

Just a thought....I wouldn't go, personally, and might muster evidence for an injunction/criminal proceedings

Aitch :)

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