Sunday, December 06, 2009

ATOS flouts Disability Discrimination Act

via Don't get mad, get equal treatment

It won't come as a surprise to many disabled people to hear that ATOS* are flouting Disability Discrimination law by insisting the £60, 000 pa they pay for doctors to assess benefits claimants** only go to doctors who are free of General Medical Council Conditions. There are various reasons for having conditions imposed on your General Medical Council registration but a significant number of doctors on that register have conditions imposed solely because of their disability.

That means unconditional registration excludes a significant number of disabled doctors. As having a disability does not materially affect your ability to assess people for state benefits the advert cannot specify candidates without a disability, without falling foul of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Not that I'm in any way cyncial...but employing doctors with disabilities to assess other people with disabilities might be thought of as particularly sensible if your priority is to ensure those benefits are correctly assigned. However, if your main priority is to deny those benefits, best keep those pesky cripples well away.

*ATOS are contracted by the DWP to provide assessments relating to certain benefits.
**A common misconception is that an individual's NHS employed GP provides this medical assessment. Whilst the individual's GP is typically asked for information by way of a form, the actual medical assessments are carried out by doctors (usually GP's) employed by ATOS.

4 comments:

Achelois said...

Wonder whether benefits & work site will run with this one!

This is discrimination - fact. sometimes it seems to me the more legislation there is to prevent discrimination the more there is. Or am I just getting more & more cynical by the minute.

I am very cynical this week as daughters gp whom we have known for 20 years as just refused to support her request for support for a disabled drivers badge. Gave her tramadol but said the rules had changed and you only got them if you can't walk 50 metres and that she was too young to go down that route. So I am so f'ing angry with him its making me very cynical about absolutely everything. It seems to me that there is a lot of double standards going on right now. Bearing in mind she has just taken a job which she probably shouldn't be doing because of her condition and the pain it causes so as to try her very hardest in life in adversity - the one thing that at the end of a shift when in sheer agony would make a difference was a parking place near the work he has denied her. Stupid stupid bureacracy (sp) oh yes those rules again - she came home and said perhaps it would be better to plonk herself in a wheelchair and just give up before she got any proper understanding about the impact of EDS on her. She has seen the hoops I have gone through with DLA & is too scared to apply because she feels her age would be held agaisnt her and she may have to endure a medical such as you describe. A sad sorry state for a 19 year old who has lived with pain of EDS all her life to not believe in the system. With discrimination within the system such as described here who can blame her for being so. I am really really angry about disability EDS doctors institutions right now - really angry and this just about takes the biscuit BG.

It would not surprise me if the world was being run right now by a computer programme titled - Planet Earth Destruct Thyself with a virus hell bent on getting rid of all the disabled first as a matter of priority.

Sorry for long comment BG but on top of the news after B's gp appointment from a gp who I had thought understood us EDSers plus that shit bit of information I am ready to explode. Can you tell.

Dr. Liz Miller said...

Thanks for the Link BSS. I suggest
1 - take a note of the name and GMC number of the doctor who examines you for ATOS
2 - Request a copy of your medical report from the doctor/ATOS before it is sent to the Benefits Agency.

The guidelines concerning confidentiality, from the General Medical Council advise all doctors to inform patients as to the contents of their reports before disclosing the report to a third party.

If you disagree with the report, you can challenge it.

Should you be concerned about your consultation or the report, you can complain to ATOS, but more importantly, you are free to raise your concerns about that doctor with the General Medical Council.

This is not a nice thing to do, but where there is evidence of real or apparent bias in the report, discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, gender, religion, disabilty, sexual persuasion it is a valid action

See www.dontgetmad.org.uk

Marla said...

Good points.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xB7rerltmo