Just replied to a comment on my blog from a disability campaigner now owning that his focus is on “lifestyle change rather than political change” (I’m one of more than a few people with criticism of the BioPsychoSocial mantras being rammed down our throats).
This is my response:
“Again – lifestyle change for disabled people not born into privilege will not happen without political change.”
“There’s a great irony in telling someone to feel positive
whilst ensuring that they feel negative.” Nell Bridges, 2012
Life online brings out the best and worst in people and often when you least expect it, with Social Media copping more than its fair share. Every day is a struggle being in pain or feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. It’s hard enough to explain to someone who really has no clue just how debilitating chronic pain and invisible illnesses are. It’s even worse when the person that needs convincing is another person with disabilities, a Carer or self-proclaimed disability advocate passing judgement on that which they have very little knowledge of, if any at all. Continue reading →
Image by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty via Flickr
As promised to me in my last ATOSUni Campaign Update, today on Twitter @mgtmccartney has sounded the klaxon calling for nurses who have taken part in Derby University-Atos training to speak to her in confidence.
Margaret McCartneyis the GP who sensationally added to the Atos maelström with her British MedicalJournal feature “Well enough to work”in which she investigated the ethics and fairness of the disability assessment process. #ATOSuni will be part of a planned follow-up and Dr. McCartney can be contacted privately via e-mail at email@example.com.
The Coalition’s Secretary for Work & Pensions Iain Duncan-Smith & Disability Minister Maria Miller have been conspicuously quiet on this matter as have the Liberal Democrats and Labour Opposition. Again, only The Green Party has specifically addressed the growing concern of ATOS’s questionable practices and called for the French IT firm to be completely removed from benefits assessments.
The ATOS-Derby press release implied that ATOS Healthcare is fully in control of the methodology by which ESA & DLA medical assessments are carried out.
How is it that what really amounts to little more than corporate “in-house” training (namely medical “observation” at ATOS centres & getting to grips with the ATOS LIMA computer system ) can be
professionally accredited and
comprise 25%of a BSc (Hons)nursing degree (30 of 120 credits)
If the Department of Work & Pensions is in total control, then surely the process should be opened up to more than a single “Provider”, as with there other government-outsourced healthcare services? Proposed NHS reforms specifically come to mind along with existing Back To Work programmes (ESA WRAG & JSA)
On the basis noted above, would other Providers
have to adhere to ATOS methodology (including LIMA)
be required to have the ATOS-Derby Certificate
As ATOS has mandated this Certificate as a requirement for their nursing staff, who covers the cost of the programme – them or their employee?
Conversely, how would the same apply to other Providers and their employees if lumbered with ATOS as the official DWP overseer?
Even with the proposed amendments to the WRB, the deck is still being stacked against people with disabilities with this ATOS-Derby alliance and the related nursing certification. This in spite of Harrington himself finding ATOS-driven benefits assessments “unfit for purpose”. It is interesting to note that many universities around the globe offer either specialist disability training as part of a nursing degree or as a standalone specialist nursing qualification, so far not one them has partnered with a profiteering IT corporation influencing government policies which themselves are driven by anti-welfare disablist ideology.
Thank you to Mark Brown (@MarkOneInFour) for his feedback on Twitter and kotaatok for their comment. on my original post. I attempted to raise this with several media contacts; will be vigorously pursuing to raise awareness.
Concerns have been raised over the company’s suitability to conduct assessments, ranging from the lack of disabled access at their assessment centres to the shocking fact that 40% of their decisions have been found to be wrong on appeal .