In full: Atos Healthcare statement
- 25 May 2010
- From the section Scotland
Statement in full from Atos Healthcare which carries out work capability assessments in relation to the new Employment Support Allowance.
"We would like to reassure your viewers that all of the doctors and nurses working for Atos Healthcare to carry out the Work Capability Assessments are fully qualified professionals trained in disability assessment and approved by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on behalf of the Secretary of State.
"In line with the Government guidelines, Atos Healthcare works with the DWP to provide independent, impartial medical assessments and advice, so that the DWP's Decision Makers can make informed decisions about applications for benefit.
"Atos Healthcare is continually monitored and audited by the DWP to ensure that it completes the highest standard of assessment and that medical advice is correct.
"Atos Healthcare and its employees are not advised of the result of the assessment and the outcome has no bearing on Atos Healthcare targets or remuneration.
"All of the doctors and nurses employed by Atos Healthcare are individually accountable to their own relevant independent regulatory bodies, such as the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
"The medical assessment for every patient was developed by the Government in partnership with experts and representative groups which support disabled people.
"It covers physical as well as mental, cognitive and intellectual abilities, ensuring that the disabling effects of mental health conditions are fully considered.
"The duration of each assessment varies from person to person, depending on individual circumstances - there is no time limit.
"Remuneration to Atos Healthcare is in no way dependent on whether a customer does or does not receive benefit nor if a customer returns to work within a certain period of time.
"Atos Healthcare also has a number of contracts in the UK to provide occupational healthcare services on behalf of private and public sector organisations.
"The medical assessments for occupational health and for applications for benefit are two different types of assessments with different objectives and criteria.
"The occupational health assessments are designed to assess if somebody is fit for a specific job whereas the Work Capability Assessment has been developed to assess somebody's capability for work in general."