ATOS are the French company employed by the British Government to provide medical assessments of those who are signed off sick and in receipt of benefits while they are unable to work.
They are notorious, allegedly having managed to certify a guy in a coma as ‘fit for work’.
Other comments on their competence (from within the system) include
‘If you can get there, you’ll be seen as fit for work. If you can’t get there, they’ll assume you’re on holiday and put you back on Job Seeker’s Allowance’
‘Their doctors get £50 for each person they certify as fit for work’
Far from encouraging stuff. Added to which, Husby’s complicated medical problems were assessed by an ATOS-employed ‘Healthcare Professional’, which could mean anything from a consultant neurologist (probably not) to a nurse (possibly) to a healthcare assistant (they change bedpans and wash people).
So now we’re waiting an unknown length of time (could be two weeks or a month) to find out what the verdict is, based on what the ‘Healthcare Professional’ took from Husby’s reams of medical notes, bag full of medications and his testimony of his lack of quality of life at the moment.
Fingers crossed that the ‘professional’ lives up to their name and does a thorough job of it.
Of course, they don’t get to make any recommendation – they merely report back. So then it takes another (untrained?) person to interpret what they say.
Talk about a system designed to punish those who’re already suffering by laying on the stress and anxiety with a trowel!
In positive news, my work experience placement were kind enough to give me a little ‘petrol money’, so we have enough to go out on a cheap date tonight. Thank goodness! I think we need a little ‘getting out of our own heads’ at the moment. This should be just the distraction we need. I hope.
Sometimes I truly wonder about our system! They make the ill and incapable jump through hoops to prove their unfitness for work, whilst the total amount in fraudulently obtained benefits is outweighed by the amount which goes unclaimed by those who are uninformed of their eligibility for them. Meanwhile large companies like Vodaphone are let off millions of pounds in tax for no apparent reason.
I sense a return to the ‘serfs and lairds’ era.