I received a letter from Atos Healthcare advising that a “Doctor” will be coming to my home on Saturday for a home visit and assessment following a request from DWP that is linked to my appeal for DLA.
Obviously, I’m worried as I read all the publicity about how rubbish Atos are and some of their “Doctors” are not registered but I could really do with some advice/guidelines. I don’t want the “Doctor” to just treat me as another commission he/she will earn, regardless of whether he completes a questionnaire on my health etc in my favour or not.
Thankfully I am a member of the benefitsandwork.co.uk website and I’ve downloaded the guides regarding appeals and Atos visits etc but I was wondering if anyone on here has had a home visit for DLA and the outcome.
Looking forward to reading your replies
Hi Pen I have a friend who was refused DLA and she appealed they sent a doctor out from Atos last Sunday to see her she had the assesment at her parents as she had just suffered a mini stroke this is on top of her waiting to be diagnosed with MS which at the moment is all but confimed. All he did was ask her about her difficulties, how she managed stairs etc then examined her reflexes, asked her to walk accross the room and did tests of her strength pushing/pulling away etc. he said it wasn’t down to him to decide but would do his report on his findings and she would hear within 2 weeks. I have to say I think the whole thing is a shambles and I really feel for those been targeted, i personally would tell it how it is for you at your worst and I really do hope this dosen’t worry you too much, it’s bad enough that we have to deal with illness withou having to go through this kind of thing with the Ato**ers. Thinking of you xx
Make sure you have someone with you and let them answer the door,have all your medication to hand so he can see them, if you have any reports from consultants or others make sure he sees them or take photo copys so he can take it away with him, have a list of aids and addaptions so he can get an iea of what you use, dont forget the small things like electric tin openers or jar openers down to long handled shoehorn or pick up sticks every thing counts.
Tell him of your worst days and all the help you need be clear and look out for tricks like him asking the same question but phrased in a different way.
Good luck Barbara.xx
I had home visits for DLA but it was years ago – long before ATOS. I had 2 different drs. One was brusque, the other one very nice.
It is hard sometimes to think of all the little adjustments you make in order to live your life. It would be a good idea to spend some time just running through in your mind the way in which you do things that a healthy person would not. Something as simple as sitting down to put your trousers on! This will help you to give a full picture of your abilities – rather than just say, “yes I can do that”
You will be able to say ‘”yes I do that but…………”
Hi, I had a doctor visit me from DWP, when I first applied for DLA. This was back in 2000. he did a neuro test and a general examination. I did have to strip to bra and pants and felt a bit awkward. I did have hubby with me, so didnt feel too bad.
My claim was successful.
I hope your`s is too.
Thanks for all your replies
Do you think it would be too much to ask the “Doctor” to show his GMC registration number? I don’t want to go through all this (which is stressful enough, particularly after working full days this week) and to find out he’s not a practicing doctor?
Thanks again (and I’ll be glad when it’s this time tomorrow evening to be honest hahaha)
so if a dr isnt registered on the gmc website, it means he is not a dr at all? hmmm ill have fun with atos now then
Someone put something on twitter today regarding Atos assesments if you look on you tube at Simon Hickmans Atos Assesment it makes you question if any of them are qualified!!
Pat is spot on a doctor to practition has to be registered, as i see it that means to do assesments but the pen is mightier than the sword. So wouldn’t be surprised if they are allowed by the gov to do the examinations for atos.
Something is very wrong if they allow unregistered “doctors” to practice medicine in anyway, but then again they pay a private company to do a gp’s job.
…and they say the country is broke?
i wonder how atos would react if i could prove the dr i saw was not registered to practice therrefore was not allowed to do the assessments that they will be threatened with bein sued, as they say in the booklet that you will be seen by a registered dr, ill be looking intio this closely
Following this with interest as waiting back for my 1st DLA claim. So glad I found this forum - had more info from here from real people
Hi everyone - just googled Atos for more info (know your enemy) and found this link about their healthcare profressionals
it basically states that " All Atos Healthcare doctors, nurses and physiotherapists have at least three years post-qualification experience and are registered with their respective Medical Body"
If unregistered healthcare professionals as working as the above then surely it casts into doubt their ability to assess disability??? I am a medical professional - but only if I keep paying my annual royal college registration fee and abide by code of conduct/Bye laws etc. If I didn’t do this, I would lose the right to practice/use letters after my name.
I’m very new to this as my MS has only affected me this badly for the last 18months (RRMS 5 yrs) and so I apologise if this has been noticed before.
This shows up another point - the English language is not good (like useless) at handling the difference between a Doctor and a doctor.
In most of the world a Doctor is somone who holds a Doctoral degree
In the US, this includes most practitioners - so there is no problem.
In Germany a practitioner is an “artz”. The brass plate outside a GP’s surgery would read something like:
Dr LUGER Hans, artz
assuming he was both a Doctor and a doctor (GP)
Similarly a dentist is a “zahnartz”
The French words are “medecin” and “dentiste”.
In Italy, they call someone with a lesser degree “dottore”, and someone with a Doctoral degree “Dottore”.
In England, we don’t have the difference distinguished, so we end up with the silly situation of a Consultant Surgeon who is both a doctor and a Doctor calling himself Mr to set himself apart from a mere doctor.
However, when dealing with the ATOSsers, as others above have pointed out, anyone who has not got a current registration is not a healthcare professional, (though they might have been once) and should certainly not touch anybody’s body.
Ask for the registration number, if they do not give it, have nothing more to do with them (see the item posted by “Anonymous”, above). If they give it freely, make a note of name and number.
Ideally, have a companion/carer/witness with you (preferably with a recorder running).
Above all, no matter what they call themselves, remember what their job really is - to fail people.
ok i just called atos in wolverhampton and they said they are not allowed by law to give out the gmc number of any doctor, they are not allowed to give out any kind of dr’s details to anyone and he cannot understand how the dr’s name is not registered on the gmc website
I can understand that an office could not give out personal information on any of their staff.
This does not prevent the interviewee asking a person who represents themselves a “A dr from ATOS”, to identify themselves in a manner that permits this representation from being validated.
A guy comes to read the electricity meter - he presents his ID card when he knocks on the door. There is nothing to prevent me from taking the number from the card and phoning the energy supplier. Government advice is that you make sure of anyone who wants to enter your home.
Well, my appointment stated “an appointment AT 10am - 1pm”. I (and my friend who is a newly qualified mental health nurse and who was at my home for the appointment too) read that as a 3 hour assessment.
The doctor arrived at 12.15pm and immediately asked my dad to ensure my dog was locked away otherwise he wasn’t coming in!!! He came downstairs where I was sitting (in my pjamas looking not particularly attractive I have to admit) and explained he had a phobia of dogs.
I said that I had been expecting him to arrive at 10am as per the letter, to which is stated the appointment is FROM 10am - 1pm. He then asked me for some identification and (this is where I think he’s gonna fail me now) I asked for his GMC registration card as the office wouldn’t give his identification number to me. I have to confirm he did have a valid GMC registration card and he is a legit doctor.
So he asked a few questions, asked to detail a normal day from start to finish, read a sheet of paper from a distance, lift limbs as high as I could then lastly to walk to my tv and back again (during all of this I was in a lot of pain and mainly shuffling rather than walking and it’s only about 5 normal steps but took around 9!!!). He also asked if I’d been on holiday (?) to which I said my boyfriend had taken me away for a relaxing week in the sun for Valentine’s Day week to chill out after having another brain MRI scan and before my next consultant’s appointment to discuss DMD’s (but that’s another post).
At the end of the assessment he said that I would hear back in the next 4-6 weeks (oh goody - isn’t this when PIP comes into play???).
Thank god my friend was here as she’s been with me when I’ve had really bad days so could confirm how it affected me from a friends and also a medical point of view.
BUT … what really annoys me now is that, although he seemed pleasant enough, he’s now going to complete the assessment “in his own opinion” using the notes he took while he was at my home. Hence why I think he’s going to say I don’t need DLA because my cognitive function was clearly ok for me to ask for his ID as well as me referring to the grammatically incorrect appointment letter!!!
Anyway, thanks again for all your replies and I’ll let you know the outcome once I know.
I was right …
I’ve received the pack from the DWP advising of the forthcoming tribunal!!! The Atos doctor well and truly dismissed everything I had said to him (thankfully my friend was there as a witness and she will be writing her account of the meeting for me to include in my letter to DWP).
I’m now in the process of writing to the DWP highlighting that what the doctor had put on his form was not what was discussed. In his opinion there’s no significant disability and my cognitive function was normal!!!
How can the DWP take what these people write on their forms, especially when they have neglected to inform them of what was actually said!!!
I’m not a happy bunny