This excellent post from Same Difference explains how the DWP set targets for ATOS for the outcomes of the Work Capability Assessment. The DWP and Iain Duncan Smith have been able to use ATOS as a blaming tool and remove themselves from responsibility – but it IS the DWP setting the targets, demonstrating that this process is ultimately a culture inside government which needs to be removed. Labour may have promised to sack ATOS, but unless they halt the processes and target setting from inside government, then the problems will continue with another healthcare contractor.
Cross posted with the permission of the brilliant campaigner Kaliya Franklin, who wrote the report.
Why are so many sick and disabled people being failed by the Work Capability Assessment and who is to blame?
1. The contract between DWP and Atos Healthcare specifies all costs and solutions MUST be based around an artificially imposed ‘statistical norm’ for the Support Group of 11% (which has since been allowed to rise slightly). This ‘gears’ the whole WCA system to deliver that ‘desired result’.
2. The manner in which the audit system is used within Atos Healthcare, including whistle-blower evidence of ‘punitive auditing’, means there is insufficient latitude for assessors to freely use their professional judgement about an individual’s true fitness for work.
The Work Capability Assessment (WCA), used to determine eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which replaces Incapacity Benefit, has been dogged with problems since its inception. Department…
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