“We wouldn’t allow a private contractor to let us down on the Olympics, we can’t allow one to let down disabled people.” – Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice CEO

Citizens Advice today renewed its call for the government to impose financial penalties on Atos for every inaccurate work capability assessment report that they produce.

The call follows National Audit Office criticism of the Department for Work and Pensions’ failure to penalise Atos – the private company with whom it has a contract to carry out ‘fitness for work’ medical assessments – for under-performance.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“We wouldn’t allow a private contractor to let us down on the Olympics, we can’t allow one to let down disabled people. Mistakes by Atos have a human cost and a cost to the tax payer. Getting medical assessments right first time is absolutely essential to ensuring that seriously ill and disabled people get the support they are entitled to, and cutting the number of unnecessary appeals.

Private companies on government contracts must be accountable to the public. Government should act now to put in place regular, independent monitoring of the accuracy of work capability assessment (WCA) reports and look at imposing financial penalties on Atos for every inaccurate report that they produce.”

CAB advisers helped with more than 97,000 ESA problems in the three months January to March 2012 – up 71 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, making ESA the fastest growing advice issue seen in bureaux.

In the same three month period, bureaux recorded an 82 per cent increase in advice about appeals against ESA decisions. Over a quarter of all advice given by bureaux about ESA concerns appeals. Latest official DWP figures say 32 per cent of appeals against an ESA decision are successful and CAB advisers estimate the success rate at appeal where someone receives specialist CAB advice and is represented is around 80 per cent.

Oh this is FAB Sparkledust!!!

Thanks for posting,

Pat x

Let’s hope the MSS get involved in this …

I think we have to start asking them to instead of hoping/expecting that they will.

I hope something is done fast before we all die of stress!



Let’s hope this makes something happen. Teresa xx

After reading that truly shocking “horror story" post, I think a prison sentence for the Government Minister responsible would be more appropriate.

Agree Whammel !!! How in hell are they getting away with it!!!

Pat x

I think thet’re getting away with it because not enough people know about our plight, and not enough people are complaining loudly enough.

It’s scary - circa Berlin 1940’s scary.

And let’s face it, when the rest of the world knew for sure what the Germans were doing to people, they stopped them.

Time more people knew about us.