ATOS - officiasl request for evidence

I don’t know if anyone has posted the details of this on the site before, but I don’t think that it will do any harm to post it again.

On another site (not MS related) I saw mention of this on the DWP website:

As part of his third independent review of the Work Capability Assessment, Professor Harrington has launched a call for evidence.

He is particularly interested in views and evidence about the implementation of his recommendations and any changes to:

  • communications.
  • face-to-face assessment.
  • decision making.

Who this call for evidence is aimed at

This call for evidence is aimed at individuals and organisations who have information that is relevant to how the Work Capability Assessment is operating and what further changes, if any, are needed to improve the process.

We have sent this call for evidence document to a large number of people and organisations who have previously been involved in this work or who have expressed an interest. Please do share this document with, or tell us about, anyone you think will want to be involved in this call for evidence.

See the page on the DWP site here:

It doesn’t seem that it is limited only to “official” organisations so, if we have anything relevant to contrubute WE SHOULD CONTRIBUTE and add our voice to the charities and campaigning groups that I am sure are submitting lots of evidence too.


Let me state at the outset that I am not concerned about ATO as - right now - they do not assess the Old Age Pension (and I am too old for any of the work related benefits. Having said that:

I would be concerned that Prof Harrington’s previous “Independent Reviews” have not addressed the fundamental flaw in the ATOS Assessment - namely, that the statistical basis for the descriptors is not scientific, and cannot produce, therefore, any valid results. I am precluded from offering Prof Harrington any evidence (and I not that his review panels do not seem to have anyone who would question the theoretical base (funny that). If anyone here who is qualified (by reason of a pending assessment or one in the recent past) who does want to give evidence, can quote from the words that I posted in a different therad on Aug 4th:

If one accepts for the moment that ATOS have to work with what they have ben given, then the very crude scale should be an obvious target for protest - as being too crude and too prone to error. A 4-point scale FFS. Even worse, it is an unequal interval (and one that does not fit any of the basic types of scale used in statistics).

Even worse, the scale uses discrete variables (0, 6, 9, 15) to try to label a person somewhere on a continuous variable (disability), so as to assign them to a dichotomous variable (fit or not fit).

So, how about an attack on the theoretical basis of the assessment descriptors, as well as on the people who are applying them?

I would be inclined to copy any such evidence to my local MP as well - just a thought.