Skip to main content

“Why I blew the whistle on the government’s disability assessments” from former ATOS analyst.

We have argued in other articles on this Blog that ATOS work capability assessments are unethical. Now a former Navy Doctor and disability analyst at Atos reveals why he chose to blow the whistle on the government work capability assessment, on bmj.com today.

Dr Greg Wood explains that he made the decision to publicise his concerns about the Atos work capability assessment (WCA) because of interference with reports which he felt “encroached on my professional autonomy and crossed ethical boundaries”, in his BMJ opinion piece.

The system’s implementation, he says, makes it unduly hard for claimants to quality for benefits and therefore overlooks a number of limiting factors of the assessment method that might suggest otherwise.

Dr Wood argues that reports were finalised despite one in five lacking key written evidence, and also reveals that Atos auditors instructed clinicians to change their reports without having examined the patient themselves.

Contrary to the purpose of the WCA – to save money from the taxpayer being awarded in benefits to those who are in fact capable of working – Dr. Wood believes that the cost of successful tribunal appeals against the DWP from those unjustly forced to work was an additional waste of taxpayer money.

“Medical knowledge was being twisted [and] misery was being heaped on people with real disabilities”, he argues.

Since Dr Wood blew the whistle, the DWP made the decision to retrain all Atos assessors and call in external auditors to ensure accurate work capability assessments would take place in the future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Maternal depression can impact child mental and physical health

Maternal depression has been repeatedly linked with negative childhood outcomes, including increased psychopathology.  Now, a new study shows that depression in mothers may impact on their children's stress levels,  as well as their physical and mental well-being throughout life.

In the study, published in the journal  Depression & Anxiety,  the researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years.

At 10 years old, the mothers’ and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)—markers of stress and the immune system (see below)—were measured, and mother-child interaction were observed.
Psychiatric assessment  The mothers and children also had psychiatric diagnoses, and the children's externalising and internalising symptoms were reported.



Internalising disorders include depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and loneliness. They are often how we 'feel inside', such as  anger, pain, fear or hurt, but may not show it.  In contrast, externalising symptom…

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Clear blue lakes turning murky in USA

New research reveals that many lakes in the continental United States are becoming murkier, with potentially negative consequences for water quality and aquatic life. These are the findings of a study published in Limnology and Oceanography.

From blue, clear lakes to greenish brown In the 5 years between 2007 and 2012, the dominant lake type in the United States shifted from clear, blue lakes to greenish-brown, murky lakes. Blue lakes declined by 18% while murky lakes increased by 12%. 



Overall, “blue” lakes decreased by ~ 18% (46% of lakes in 2007 to 28% in 2012) while “murky” lakes increased by almost 12% (24% of lakes in 2007 to 35.4% in 2012).  So, the majority of lakes are now murky.

Regionally, murky lakes significantly increased in the Northern Appalachian, Southern Plains, and Xeric ecoregions.

In the Northern Appalachians, blue lakes decreased by 41.4%, brown lakes increased by 17.8%, and murky lakes increased by 26.8%. In the Northern Plains, green lakes significantly increas…