#ATOSuni update no. 5: Derby U. sleight of hand

The Masters of the Universe running French IT firm Atos Origin are quite an ambitious lot.

Atos is an international information technology services company with annual 2011 pro forma revenue of EUR 8.5 billion and 74,000 employees in 48 countries. Serving a global client base, it delivers hi-tech transactional services, consulting and technology services, systems integration and managed services. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, it works with clients across the following market sectors: Manufacturing, Retail, Services; Public, Health & Transports; Financial Services; Telecoms, Media & Technology; Energy & Utilities. Atos is focused on business technology that powers progress and helps organizations to create their firm of the future. It is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market. Atos operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting & Technology Services, Atos Worldline and Atos Worldgrid.

source: 4-traders.com

The organisation is better known to those of us in the UK as Atos Healthcare,  the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) partner of choice for UK governments past and present to deliver public healthcare services. The IT firm has also partnered with Derby University to deliver accredited courses and programmes in Disability Analysis (Nursing) and, more recently, Information Management.

Someone on Twitter has been operating under the impression that I was mistaken about the Disability Analysis programme simply because the only information the university has ever made available has been removed from the their website.

Despite this, a search on the Derby U. site reveals that the press release was published there.

Search for “Disability Analysis” - Result no. 1 to 20 - University of Derby

 

A Google search revealed a cached copy of the first press release dated April 2011:

noodls® › gateway to facts _ Atos Healthcare Training To Receive University Accreditation

noodls® › gateway to facts _ Atos Healthcare Training To Receive University Accreditation (click to view)

 

Whatever the reason for the deletion by the university, Atos themselves still make note of the Derby U. partnership on their website:

All doctors and nurses are provided with comprehensive training in disability analysis. For the work capability assessment for employment support allowance this includes an eight day course for all doctors and a 17 day course for nurses, which is accredited by the University of Derby.

source: Atos Healthcare

Healthcare Professionals - Atos Healthcare

Healthcare Professionals - Atos Healthcare

 

After I raised my long-standing concerns about #AtosUni with Dr. Margaret McCartney of the BMJ, (the GP who sensationally added to the Atos maelstrom with her British Medical Journal feature “Well enough to work” ), she wrote the article “Atos and changes to disabled people’s benefits” where she states:

Already this has caused distress among disabled recipients, who have little faith in the present medical assessments done by Atos. Currently these are carried out by doctors, nurses, or physiotherapists and are reported through a computer. However, Atos has not published the assessments or evidence it uses, impeding peer review and open discussion. The University of Derby’s corporate training and development division has “teamed up” with Atos to offer “a certificate of achievement—disability analysis,” which gives credits towards a nursing degree. In 2011 Atos said that 300-400 nurses would be expected to complete this each year. Atos told me that the training was “designed by Atos Healthcare and reviewed and approved by the Department of Work and Pensions.” The University of Derby would not disclose its fees for hosting the course, and Atos would not show me course materials.

source: BMJ

 

All over the internet, links to the original announcement yield a 404 (not found) result and even a generic Derby U link now reveals a Google Map.

The clumsy magician’s tricks with the press release on the part of Derby U., combined with their reluctance to make Atos-related course details and the related Nursing Programme Prospectus easily accessible online, raises even more alarm than the original press release did. Even more baffling, and disappointing, is that not once has this “Certificate of Achievement – Disability Analysis” been discussed in Parliament, The House of Lords or in the media despite my efforts and those of other campaigners. Silence from the relevant professional medical organisations themselves is particularly damning.

I can only draw the conclusion that many of the right people don’t see #ATOSuni as a problem.

 

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