100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS


9:50 am - October 3rd 2011

by Newswire    


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Over one hundred organisations, doctors, nurses and prominent campaigners have signed a letter to the British Medical Journal Group, calling on them to end all business relationships with the conteroversial disability and health testing firm Atos Healthcare.

The signatories urge the BMJ to ban Atos Healthcare from their upcoming Careers Fair and to refuse to advertise any more vacancies for the company.

Campaigners are angry at Atos Healthcare’s involvement in the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) which involves sick and disabled benefit claimants in a computer-based testing regime, called ‘callous and cruel’.

Campaigners allege that thousands of people, some with terminal or life-threatening conditions, have been found fit for work and their sickness benefits stopped or refused.

The letter says that Atos ‘kills’ and that medical professionals who lend it credibility give it a ‘licence to kill’.

Signatories include:
Dr Ron Singer, president of the Medical Practitioners’ Union
Dr Jillian Creasy, a Sheffield GP who recently tabled a motion calling on Atos to be removed from the WCA
Dr Felicity de Zulueta, Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Nushra Mansuri, Professional Officer at the British Association of Social Workers

Others include the MP John McDonnell, prominent health and social care professionals and academics, disability organisations, claimant and anti-poverty groups, branches of unions, including PCS which represents DWP and tax staff, and anti-cuts campaigners.

A demonstration was held outside the BMJ Recruitment Fair on Friday 30th September as part of the National Day of Action Against Atos.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

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Reader comments


1. Davud Warner

I had the benefit of an Atos examination at the former Balham Social Security office last year. The “examination centre” was guarded like a fortress with solid 2″ thick wood door firmly closed – entry by video entryphone only.
What I find so depressing about the ATOS system is that staff are hardened to what they are doing (except maybe the security guards who seemed more at ease and helpful at least in Balham).
The doctor who saw me admitted he had no special knowledge of my condition – yet was happy to proceed. I got 0 points (Null point!) – which is quite common it seems. My benefit was immediatley cut off. After a delay of a year this points decision was overturned at an appeal tribunal – which I conducted myself with no specialist legal input.
I thought DOCTORS swore a Hypocratic oath meaning their sole duty was to their patient – not to the department of social security. After two thousand years this seems to have gone out the window.
This situation might be easier to reform if the testing was in-house. Using ATOS is a way of insulating the DWP from complains and scrutiny. DWP and ATOS can blame each other for their abuse of disabled people. The cost in Tribunal time must be enormous.

2. So Much For Subtlety

Over one hundred organisations, doctors, nurses and prominent campaigners have signed a letter to the British Medical Journal Group, calling on them to end all business relationships with the conteroversial disability and health testing firm Atos Healthcare.

I find it hard to believe that any cause could fail to find more than 100 assorted professional radicals willing to sign a letter. This just shows how marginal this protest really is.

Campaigners allege that thousands of people, some with terminal or life-threatening conditions, have been found fit for work and their sickness benefits stopped or refused.

Allege. Evidence is somewhat lacking.

Others include the MP John McDonnell, prominent health and social care professionals and academics, disability organisations, claimant and anti-poverty groups, branches of unions, including PCS which represents DWP and tax staff, and anti-cuts campaigners.

So basically everyone with a vested interest in the status quo? Not surprising. Disability is a billion pound industry. I am sure a lot of people are worried about their mortgages.

In the meantime, the numbers of various forms of disability are dropping. And dropping a lot. This is an unqualified good thing. Good for them, good for us.

3. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

I thought DOCTORS swore a Hypocratic oath meaning their sole duty was to their patient – not to the department of social security. After two thousand years this seems to have gone out the window.

A dozen of them are under investigation, some ‘doctors’ they use aren’t even licensed in this country.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/aug/13/atos-doctors-improper-conduct-disability

“I find it hard to believe that any cause could fail to find more than 100 assorted professional radicals willing to sign a letter. This just shows how marginal this protest really is.”

They didn’t . They got more than 100.

Was the article written in to subtle a way for you?

5. Rob the crip

he’s a Tory what do you expect.

Robert the crip @ 5

To be fair, most of the ‘decent’ Tories have stopped even defending ATOS any more, they leave it to the Nazis* among their ranks. Hell, even New Labour are more than a bit embarrassed by ATOS, and that is going some.

*I use the term ‘Nazi’ advisedly, BTW in the truest sense of the word. This failed human being uses the type of language of hate aimed at the disabled that, as far as I am concerned (if not the moderators) mirrors that of Nazi Germany circa the 1930s.

7. So Much For Subtlety

3. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

I thought DOCTORS swore a Hypocratic oath meaning their sole duty was to their patient – not to the department of social security. After two thousand years this seems to have gone out the window.

Yeah. It also includes something about not doing abortions. You can’t selectively pick and choose like that. Either you support it or you don’t.

Nor do I see how encouraging fraud by patients is in anyone’s interest. Even ni the patient.

A dozen of them are under investigation, some ‘doctors’ they use aren’t even licensed in this country.

Under investigation. Just a dozen. Big freakin’ deal. They are throwing hundreds of thousands off the welfare rolls. There is bound to be some resentment – and some spurious retaliation. That article says that two doctors have been actually judged:

“Two doctors employed by Atos have already been taken by the GMC to an independent panel for adjudication on their fitness to practise. Dr Alexandros Mallios, who it was claimed had not carried out a proper examination of his patient during an assessment, was cleared by the panel last October. Dr Usen Samuel Ikidde, who qualified in Nigeria, was given a formal warning in January, to lay on his records for five years, after he was found to have worked for Atos while on sick leave from an accident and emergency department.”

In other words, one offense was made up. The other was not medical.

4. Richard

They didn’t . They got more than 100. Was the article written in to subtle a way for you?

No but I see my point was for you. Their level of support is trivial. Ask people to sign in support of the death penalty for jay walkers and you could get more than 100 signatures just by asking people on Oxford Street on a Friday afternoon.

6. Jim

I use the term ‘Nazi’ advisedly, BTW in the truest sense of the word.

No you don’t Jim. I am afraid all you show is how weird your opinions are.

This failed human being uses the type of language of hate aimed at the disabled that, as far as I am concerned (if not the moderators) mirrors that of Nazi Germany circa the 1930s.

Then perhaps the problem is you and not me nor the moderators? Or are you right and all the rest of the world wrong?

8. David Warner

Why lecture us on double standards and then defend a doctor who is working for ATOS whilst on the sick?
{Dr Usen Samuel Ikidde, who qualified in Nigeria, was given a formal warning in January, to lay on his records for five years, after he was found to have worked for Atos while on sick leave from an accident and emergency department.}

If Dr Ikidde was a claimant he would no doubt have ended up on “Saints and Sinners” as an awful warning to the plebs!

9. the a&e charge nurse

ATOS is a good example of the corrupting effect of money when applied to our health or well being – more of the same will be unleashed once Lansley’s “any willing providers” (aka health corporations) get their teeth into the cash once spent on the NHS.

The marketeers must be thrilled?

10. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Under investigation. Just a dozen. Big freakin’ deal.

You really are a terrific simpleton.

Can you even begin to understand the two major flaws in your claim?

I suspect not.

11. Leon Wolfson

@7 – The version of the hippocratic oath used today doesn’t have any statement against abortion. As you know, and you’re just arguing to disrupt the conversation again by making it about another issue.

And you are of course a national socialist, like your Government boss.

12. So Much For Subtlety

8. David Warner

Why lecture us on double standards and then defend a doctor who is working for ATOS whilst on the sick?

I didn’t defend him. I pointed out the dishonesty of the original claim – which was that unqualified doctors were being used. Even though there is no evidence of it. This doctor is actually typical of the sort of fraud disability has become.

9. the a&e charge nurse

ATOS is a good example of the corrupting effect of money when applied to our health or well being – more of the same will be unleashed once Lansley’s “any willing providers” (aka health corporations) get their teeth into the cash once spent on the NHS.

Oddly enough even though various forms of Disability hands out billions, you never seem to condemn that spending as corrupting. Go figure.

13. the a&e charge nurse

[12] “various forms of Disability hands out billions” – I don’t understand.

Are you saying that providing disability benefit is “corrupting”?

Perhaps you should stick to the point, namely the performance of ATOS which by any reasoned judgement is putting lives at risk.

14. So Much For Subtlety

13. the a&e charge nurse

Are you saying that providing disability benefit is “corrupting”?

Well it is but I am not saying that. I am saying that the status quo is a billion dollar industries that some groups are clearly deeply invested in protecting.

Perhaps you should stick to the point, namely the performance of ATOS which by any reasoned judgement is putting lives at risk.

You raise it, not me. I fail to see how they are putting any lives at risk. At risk from what precisely?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  2. MerseyMal

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  3. BendyGirl

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  4. ComCareAdults Journo

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/3lApOfNM via @libcon

  5. Scott Redding

    RT @libcon: 100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/jb1mWgeo

  6. Stuart White

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  7. TheCreativeCrip

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  8. VirtualResistance

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  9. Pamela Heywood

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3I1rCG4E

  10. Shaun

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  11. Kyron Hodgetts

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/zzfiMyAi via @libcon

  12. Tia Junior

    Useful PR. Derby University is accrediting Atos HCP training. Object via their PR dept on Uni website
    http://t.co/nmji5qf4

  13. Debbie Jolly

    RT @Tiajunior Useful PR. Derby University is accrediting Atos HCP training. Object via their PR dept on Uni website
    http://t.co/8rHWQ7It

  14. Lisa Chalkley

    RT @Tiajunior Useful PR. Derby University is accrediting Atos HCP training. Object via their PR dept on Uni website
    http://t.co/8rHWQ7It

  15. DPAC

    RT @Tiajunior Useful PR. Derby University is accrediting Atos HCP training. Object via their PR dept on Uni website
    http://t.co/8rHWQ7It

  16. Jules Clarke

    RT @Tiajunior Useful PR. Derby University is accrediting Atos HCP training. Object via their PR dept on Uni website
    http://t.co/8rHWQ7It

  17. Nell Epona Bridges

    RT @Tiajunior Useful PR. Derby University is accrediting Atos HCP training. Object via their PR dept on Uni website
    http://t.co/8rHWQ7It

  18. CLARE SAMBROOK

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS support http://t.co/3Vmvu4Rt

  19. Black Triangle

    The national dailies ignored our letter. Thanks to Liberal Conspiracy for publishing it! http://t.co/4XbR8x5G

  20. Barbara Hulme

    The national dailies ignored our letter. Thanks to Liberal Conspiracy for publishing it! http://t.co/4XbR8x5G

  21. liane gomersall

    100 groups urge BMJ & RCN to drop ATOS | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/WwG5YMZY via @libcon





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