Tag Archives: atos healthcare

Freud Must Go! Urgent Call Out, Monday Oct 20th Caxton House 12.30pm Or On Twitter #FreudMustGo

lord-fraud-freudAnyone who thinks Lord Fraud ‘mispoke’ or was just ‘thinking outside the box’ when he made the shameful comment that some disabled people are not worth the minimum wage has really not been paying attention.

This is the man that helped devise the despised Atos benefit assessments that have driven disabled people to suicide and ill health in the name of strippping their benefits or forcing them into endless ‘work related activity’.  The same Minister whose department introduced the Work Programme, on which sick and disabled people can be sent on workfare, potentially for months on end.  Lord Fraud was simply saying what he, and his colleagues in the DWP believe, that disabled people lead ‘wasted lives’ and as such do not deserve the same rights as other workers.  That is why this Government has introduced scheme after scheme aimed at coercing – and in some cases forcing – sick and disabled people to work without any pay at all.

There doesn’t need to be a conversation about what Lord Fraud said, as some commentators have suggested.  A conversation that is unlikely to include disabled people or claimants themselves if this week’s news coverage is anything to go by.  The man is a nasty and vindictive piece of shit.  And he needs to go, now.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) have called an emergency protest calling for his resignation tomorrow (Monday 20th Oct) at 12.30 pm outside the Department of Work and Pensions in central London.  In the words of DPAC:

“Freud is the architect of the government’s noxious welfare reform programme that is pushing disabled people off benefits and causing untold distress and misery, in too many cases leading to suicides and avoidable deaths.

The policies Freud designed show utter contempt for disabled people. His latest comments made to a Tory councillor at a party conference fringe meeting confirm this …  join us to demand Freud resigns or is sacked. Monday October 20th at DWP head office, Caxton House, Tothill Street, 12.30pm til 2.30″

If you can’t make it to the DWP you can still get involved in online action with the #FreudMustGo twitterstorm, details at: http://dftr.org.uk/Songbird.php?TweetFile=FreudMustGo

Time is short, please share, tweet etc and help get the word out.

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Sack the Co-op Until They Ditch Atos

The Co-operative Bank’s claim to be an ‘ethical investment’ company – as if such a thing exists – are looking increasingly dubious after it has emerged that in 2009 they signed a four year contract with disability denying poverty pimps Atos Healthcare.

The company claim to have been unaware of the activities of Atos who carry out the government’s notorious Work Capability Assessment aimed at stripping benefits from sick and disabled people.  An increasing number of people have ended their lives after stress and poverty inflicted by the Atos testing regime whilst a recent investigation found that 32 people a week die after being found ‘fit for work’ by the company.

The Co-op claim they have ‘contractual  obligations’  to Atos but have announced they will take customer’s views into account when deciding whether to renew the contract.  You can tell them how you feel at:  http://www.facebook.com/TheCooperative

Malicious, Unsubstantiated and Tasteless – the post that led to Atos attacking the Carerwatch forums

Due to the annual festival to celebrate the murder of a hippy 2000 years ago, I’ve been a bit late with this.  The Guardian recently featured a revealing film made by Jon Ronson about the attempts of disability denying filth Atos ‘Healthcare’ to censor any criticisms of them published on the internet.

Atos carry out the notorious Work Capability Assessment, a computer based test designed to strip benefits from sick and disabled people by declaring them not sick or disabled enough.  A recent Daily Mirror investigation has revealed that 32 people are dying each week after being found ‘fit for work’ by the company.

Last year several websites were shut down after Atos issued legal threats to web hosting companies. One of those sites was the Carer Watch forum which was discussed in Ronson’s video.  The Carer Watch forum was closed due to a link to this site which Atos claim in a statement featured a post which was malicious, unsubstantiated and tasteless.  This site never received any communications from either Atos or wordpress.com where this blog is hosted.

There is no law which states global corporations can shut down and censor websites over content they consider to be tasteless.  You cannot be malicious to a corporation.  It is not a human being.  As for unsubstantiated, well it’s reproduced below, decide for yourself.

Should Atos fancy an expensive, embarrassing and protracted McLibel style legal battle then do please get in touch.

(after Atos’ legal onslaught last year many websites openly defied their legal threats, with re-designing the Atos logo becoming an online sport)

Atos Macht Frei – Atos Origin Team Up With Gas Chamber Firm!

Atos Origin, the poverty pimps currently pocketing hundreds of millions harassing people who are claiming sickness or disability benefits have teamed up with manufacturers of the holocaust’s gas chambers Siemens.

Siemens will contribute its Siemens IT Solutions & Services for €850-million to Atos Origin and become a shareholder of Atos Origin with a 15% stake.

Siemens are most famous for their use of slave labour during the holocaust.  Prisoners were utilised by Siemens to build the gas chambers in which they would eventually be murdered.  Siemens ran factories at Ravensbrück and in the Auschwitz subcamp of Bobrek, whilst the company supplied electrical parts to other concentration camps.

Atos Origin should fit right in with these former eugenicists as they carry out their state funded program to strip both benefits and dignity from those in society deemed to be unproductive.

Some have criticised the use of nazi imagery by some disability and claimants activists recently.  However the parallels between the current Government’s attitude to disability and the early days of the Nazi regime in 1930s Germany are increasingly hard to ignore.  The above poster is directly based on Nazi propaganda at the time which attempted to use fears about the economy to stigmatise disabled people (the original poster can be viewed here along with many other examples).

The present day smear campaign against those with disabilities or illness is relentless.  The right wing press spew out daily lies about benefit fraud and scroungers whilst Disability Minister Maria Miller has claimed the cost of disability benefits (and therefore presumably disabled people) is ‘unsustainable’.

As early as 1933 the Nazis passed a law passed ordering enforced sterilisation of the disabled and long term sick, something that today might be seen as many Daily Mail columnist’s greatest fantasy. Later came the infamous Aktion T4 euthanasia programme when hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities were murdered.  The medical profession notoriously facilitated many of these deaths.

Atos Origin are currently recruiting healthcare workers and doctors across the UK.  Plans to retest everyone on sickness benefits and apply similar tests to those currently claiming Disability Living Allowance will require a lot of doctors.   GPs, consultants or other experts with an in depth knowledge of their patient’s condition will be ignored however.  These health professionals are not trusted to make a decision on their patients ability to work (yet strangely are going to be trusted to control the NHS budget).   Only Atos doctors,  nurses and other unspecified ‘healthcare’ workers are involved in the decision, which is based on a short test and interview.  With huge numbers of those denied benefits having them re-instated on appeal it appears that in a ‘target driven environment’ Atos doctors simply work to rule, regardless of the long cherished medical idiom of ‘first do no harm’.

Disability message boards and blogs have been inundated with people threatening suicide due to these plans.  It is impossible to know how many suicides have happened already as a result of Atos Origin’s medical tests.  Enforced euthanasia may not be the intention of this government’s policies, but in many cases it is likely to be the result.

In Nazi Germany the disabled and sick were seen as surplus to the task of building a mighty Reich.  In Cameron’s Britain the disabled and sick are seen as surplus to the task of ‘bringing down the deficit’.  What counted in Hitler’s day was whether you were a good soldier, industrialist, scientist or labourer.  Under Fascism people were judged purely on their ability to contribute to the goal of German imperialism and genocidal savagery.  Under capitalism we are judged purely on our ability to create wealth for those at the top.  If you ain’t making the rich money, then they couldn’t care whether you live or die.  Nazism it ain’t, we’re a long way from that.  But if it takes being a little bit nazi to continue to line the pockets of the filthy rich, well then it takes being a little bit of nazi.  Now fuck off and get back to work.

Poster design from http://gimphag.net/

Atos on the Run – the PIP contract is a poisoned chalice

Back when the con-dem government weren’t elected, few people other than benefit claimants had heard of French IT firm Atos Origin, the company Labour shamefully employed to carry out the Work Capability Assessment.  This  health and disability assessment was designed to strip sickness benefits from as many people as possible and has caused untold suffering with some people driven to suicide by the process.  Over the last year this has led to countless protests around the UK outside Atos’ offices and online as the infamy of the company has soared.

The world must be a very different place in Atos’ Public Relations Offices these days.  ‘Atos’ is now a dirty word, synonymous with the worst of corporate cruelty.  As well as demonstrations outside their offices, the internet is awash with websites and stories of people’s experiences at the hands of these bastards, who have declared people with terminal illnesses as ‘fit for work’.

Atos fought back, with legal threats demanding the closure of some websites, which only served to further disseminate information about their activities around the world.  When Atos objected to their logo being used in satirical images budding digital artists came up with new and increasingly creative uses of their corporate identity, based around such  phrases as ‘Atos Kills’, ‘Atos don’t give a Toss’  and ‘Atos Macht Frei’.  A google image search for ‘Atos Kills’ reveals the extent of the anger aimed at this company who have been dubbed the Euthanasia and Racial Purity Arm of the DWP.

Atos’ involvement in the Paralympic Games should have been a PR victory for the company, instead quite the opposite happened.  Poor old Steve Cram, who was appointed as the Atos Olympic Ambassador, has virtually disappeared from view after hundreds of people contacted him to ask what he thinks he’s fucking playing at taking money from these sharks.  Already one demonstration targetting Atos has been held outside a Paralympic Test event.

With demonstrations set to continue Atos appear to have backed off on their aggressive legal campaign to silence critics.  A disabled man and a pensioner were arrested and charged with ‘aggravated trespass’ for peacefully entering one of their assessment centres at a Nottingham protest before Christmas.  After a well supported solidarity campaign in support of the arrested it seems to have been Atos who made the decision to have the charges dropped.

None of this looks like the actions of a company that is confident in their activities.  This is hardly surprising for a firm which was previously largely unknown and is now having to manage the ‘corporate challenge’ of being despised by millions of people.  Atos insiders have claimed morale is at rock bottom and they are finding it increasingly hard to recruit medical staff to carry out their assessments.  The PR damage to the company for taking on this contract is incalculable.  Of course they could hand the contract back any time they want and this would all go away.

The Tories are ploughing ahead with the flawed process regardless as they re-assess benefit eligibility for 2.6 million people claiming Employment Support Allowance.  Should the Welfare Reform Bill become law then they also plan to re-assess over 3 million people claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with the stated aim of stripping benefits from 20% of disabled claimants.

Behind the scenes however the whole system is a shambolic mess.  Atos are staggeringly behind their contract commitment to assess 11,000 people a week, having only completed around 20% of that figure.  40% of people appealing against Atos’ decisions are successful and the appeals system itself is in meltdown due to the number of cases.  Citizens Advice have pointed out that many people losing their benefit at their assessment are simply re-applying and going through the process again.  More and more Doctors and other medical professionals are raising concerns about the medical ethics of the scheme.

This is bound to impact on Atos’ other healthcare business interests, such as the Occupational Health services that are increasingly inflicted on public sector workers and used to dismiss staff for health reasons.  After all Atos boast on their website that they specialise in ‘Headcount Reduction’.  Atos’ healthcare professionals may now recommend you are laid off your job for health reasons whilst finding you fit for work when you apply for sickness benefits.

That the situation is unsustainable is obvious.  Even if Atos are managing to make a profit the damage to their reputation this contract has inflicted is enormous.  When a protest was held outside the BMJ’s annual recruitment fair last years many doctors stated they would not dream of working for such an unethical company.  With medical assessment positions going unfilled it seems that Atos literally can’t get the staff.

All of this should serve as stark warning to Atos or any other company thinking of bidding for the contract to carry out the assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).  A more poisoned chalice has rarely been offered by a government.  With 3 million more people now set to be forced to undergo these brutal and flawed tests, which ignore the opinions of GPs in favour of a short computer based assessment, the resistance to the process is likely to be fierce, and more importantly, to prove expensive.

Whether it will even be physically possible to find enough healthcare workers to carry out this testing procedure is in doubt.  Like much of the Welfare Reform Bill, it is the implementation of Iain Duncan’s Smith’s crazy schemes that will see their undoing.  The changes proposed to Housing Benefit and disability benefits, along with the roll out of the doomed Universal Credit, will be disastrous as the numerous contradictions in the bill emerge in reality.

This will be of little comfort to people whose lives are set to be devastated by the changes.  Just like coppers, just because this Bill is stupid it doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous.  It will be the most vulnerable in society who will suffer as the system breaks down.  One thing’s for sure is that when the whole thing goes tits up the government will seek to blame anyone but themselves.  Whether it’s Atos or prison company G4S who take on the PIP contract, they are very likely to be hung out to dry as soon as it becomes politically convenient.

No matter what Iain Duncan Smith attempts to ram-raid his bill through parliament, opposition to his plans will not stop just because the bill becomes law.  In fact it is likely to intensify as more and more people are forced into a fight for their very survival.  Poverty pimps like Atos risk becoming collateral damage in what may yet prove to be the undoing of this government.

The heroic action by DPAC and UK Uncut which brought the West End of London to a standstill on Saturday shows a new militancy on behalf of campaigners.  Despite Atos and the CPS dropping the charges against the Nottingham protesters, a demo is being held anyway this Friday 3rd February.  In London protesters will be paying a lunchtime visit to Atos Headquarters in Triton Square in solidarity on the same day.

There will also be a vigil/protest against the Welfare Reform Bill on both January 31st and February 1st outside parliament meeting at Old Palace Yard from 1-3 pm.

The fight to save the Welfare State is just getting started.  The likes of Atos could do themselves a favour by getting out of the way.

Atos Vs A4e – Process Not Adequate Claims Emma Harrison

The poverty pimps are at each other’s throats if the recent comments made by Emma Harrison, Chief Executive of workfare scum A4e, are anything to go by.

Responding to questions from a claimant about the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which French IT firm Atos are paid hundreds of millions to administer, Harrison claims the current process is not adequate and is  perceived as ‘punishment’ and needs ‘fundamental change’.

Speaking (probably) from her tax payer funded mansion Harrison states:

“It is quite clear that there are issues with the current WCA process and I would urge you to speak to your JCP advisor about any treatment that you feel has been unfair in this process. As I mentioned in response to your earlier question, I strongly believe that we have a duty to capture the potential of everyone and I am strongly opposed to writing people off due to what they cannot do due to a health issue.

Clearly the current process is not adequate and at A4e we working with the DWP to see if there is a better way of designing this process that allows the individual to have more of a role in identifying the work that they would like to undertake. We need to fundamentally change the culture of this process – towards empowerment and away from what is perceived as punishment.”

The Work Capability Assessment has led to thousands of sick and disabled people being denied vital benefits, forcing people, many with mental health conditions, into a strict and demeaning health testing regime which tragically has driven some to suicide.  According to the BBC the number of successful appeals against Atos Healthcare’s decisions is still rising.

Obviously it’s not compassion which is driving Harrison’s desire to change the current process.  Under new rules workfare providers only get paid if they are able to place people into employment.  If the DWP keep referring people who are genuinely to ill to work, but have been found fit for work by Atos’ flawed testing,  then workfare contracters like A4e stand to lose a lot of money.  This represents a big fucking hole in the government’s continued harassment of benefit claimants.

On top of this Atos have been falling behind drastically in the number of cases they administer.   Atos has completed only 56,000 Work Capability Assessments since the commencement of the full national roll out in April.  This is against an expected figure of 11,000 cases being assessed each week in order for the government to process 1.5million cases by 2015.   Workfare providers are sitting twiddling their thumbs whilst Atos get their act together.

Not that workfare providers are any better.  With no disabled people to bully into forced labour it appears many have resorted to ripping off charities to keep the gravy train afloat.  Volunteer agencies report that some workfare sharks have been secretly attempting to use charitable organisations to carry out the work they are paid millions to undertake.

Back to Emma Harrison and she also concedes that Workfare programmes failed many people in the US and led to increased child poverty.   She hopes that A4e will do better.  Few people who have experienced the sub-standard training and pointless job search offered up by A4e will agree.

A Festive Month of Action Against Atos, the Welfare Reform Bill and poverty pimps everywhere including A4e has been called throughout December 2011.  You can also sign a petition against the benefit cuts at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

National Day of Action Against Atos – 30th September!

That’s tomorrow folks (assuming you’re reading this today).  17 cities so far and online.  Please help spread the word.

Here’s the latest news.

Cities around the UK are mobilising for the next National Day of Action Against Poverty Pimps Atos taking place on Friday 30th September.

Disabled people and supporters, claimants groups and anti-cuts groups will be gathering outside the offices of Atos once again demanding an end to the demeaning health testing which has seen thousands of people stripped of benefits.

Details of all the protests, pickets and events  so far below.  If you are organising a protest then please leave details in the comments or email us to be added to the list: notowelfarecuts@yahoo.co.uk

Birmingham
Friday, September 30 · 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Five Ways House, Islington Row, Middleway, B15 1SF

Demonstration and Leafletting Outside the ATOS Assesment centre Five Ways house is just next to Five Ways train station and we will leaflet there as well. We may decide to move to the city centre for more visibility but a decision on that will be made on the day.

Action supported by Birmingham Against the Cuts, DPAC and Enable: http://birminghamagainstthecuts.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/national-day-of-action-against-atos-friday-30th-sept/

Brighton
Friday, September 30 · From 12:00pm
Churchill Square, Brighton

Performance of Dick Whittington & His Work Capability Assessment – join in & shout at the computer!
Funeral procession for those who have died because of Atos. Wear black!
Leafleting & picket of Atos Healthcare testing centre in Upper North Street.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124505187651081

Bristol
Friday, September 30 · 11:00am – 2:00pm
Government Buildings, Flowers Hill, Brislington, Bristol BS4 5LA.

Welfare as we know it is under attack. Those claiming disability benefits are facing severe pressure as record numbers are being assessed as fit for work when they aren’t. ATOS, the company doing the tests, seems to be paid by results and the tests are carried out in such a way as to make them extremely underhand and unfair. Join the protest, all welcome: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=277024365654583

Chatham
Friday, September 30 · 12:00pm – 3:00pm
ATOS Assessment Centre Batchelor St Chatham (Next to Jolly Caulkers)

Medway Against Cuts will be holding a picket outside the Chatham Atos centre from 12pm – 2pm: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=137896926308042

Chester
Friday, September 30 · 12:00pm – 2:00pm
1 & 2 Grosvenor Court, 151 Foregate Street, Chester, CH1 1HG

JOIN US outside Atos Healthcare, Chester to protest against this multi-national private company who “make profits by stripping severely ill & disabled people of their benefits: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=297310983616812

Edinburgh
Friday, September 30 · 11:00am – 1:00pm
Atos building, 44 York Place, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Atos Protest – please turn up and show your support: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177407589003798

Glasgow
Friday 30th September 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Atos Medical Assessment Centre, Corunna House, 29 Cadogan Street, G2 7RD

The National Day Of Action Against Atos event will happen in Glasgow outside the Atos Medical Assessment Centre.

They will be handing out leaflets to those attending sickness assessments on how to deal with the medical: http://thecrutchcollective.blogspot.com/2011/09/anti-atos-banner-making-and-meeting.html

Hastings
Friday, September 30 · 10:00am – 12:00pm
7-8, Queens Rd, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1QP

Organised by Hastings Against Cuts (HAC): http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=276592769031650

Leeds
Friday, September 30 · 12:00pm – 12:30pm
Atos Origin Leeds, MWB Business Exchange, Whitehall Quay, Leeds

Leeds Protest on Day of Action Against Atos. Organised by Youth Fight For Jobs: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=224411990947204

London
In London people will be gathering outside the BMJ Recruitment Fair where Atos will be attempting to recruit yet more ‘disability assessors’: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/protest-atos-outside-the-bmj-recruitment-fair-30th-sept/

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125516627524734

Manchester
Friday, September 30 · 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Albert Bridge House
Bridge Street
Manchester M60 9DA

Organised by Manchester Against Benefit Cuts
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=280945048585059

Norwich
Friday, September 30 · 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Atos, St Marys House, Norwich

Local poet Vince Laws will be protesting outside Atos, St Mary’s House and invites people to join him: http://www.vincelaws.com/

Nottingham
Friday, September 30 · 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Pedestrianised area of Hockley, outside Jugglers at the crossing of Broad St/Carlton St/Stoney St

A protest against ATOS and the their unfair capability assessments, designed to strip claimants of their disability benefits.

Assemble in Hockley to head over to protest at the ATOS assessment centre on Stoney Street: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278089295537408

Oxford
Friday, September 30 · 1.15-2.15 pm
Outside 59 St Aldates OX1 1ST.
(past the Magistrates Court, on the corner with Thames Street.Opposite Thames Valley Police Station)

All Welcome. Please bring placards, banners etc: https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/09/485326.html

Plymouth
Friday September 30 · from 11am
Argosy House, Marsh Mills , Plymouth

Keep pressure on Atos profiteers. Join the national day of action FRIDAY 11.00am. Organised by Plymouth Claimants Union.

Sheffield
Friday, September 30 · 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Hartshead Square, Sheffield

Come and give ATOS some food for thought. But you won’t find any teddy bears at this picnic. Because ATOS certainly aren’t kind and cuddly: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=174718342607226

York
Friday, September 30 – 12:30pm – 2:00pm
St. Sampson’s Square

In line with the national call-out for actions against ATOS on 30th September, York Welfare Campaign are organising a protest and speak-out at St Sampson’s Square: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=235204036528355

Online
Online Protest Against the Atos Enablers – they’re all in it together!

As part of the next National Day of Action Against disability deniers Atos, being held on Friday 30th September, join in the online protest to inform people doing business with Atos exactly where the money’s coming from.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=199018570168931

More to come – watch this space for details!

For the main facebook event page for the National Day of Action visit: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=181940165210541 or the website is at: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/

In related news over 100 people and organisations have signed a letter urging the BMJ and RCN to no longer publish Atos recruitment advertising.

Derby University Accredits Atos Disability Denial Courses!

Derby University have agreed to accredit Atos Healthcare’s training in ‘disability assessment’  meaning that it could be used as part of a qualification towards a degree award.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Corporate Sales for University of Derby Corporate, has said:   “Accreditation of Atos Healthcare’s Disability Analysis Training is an important development as it demonstrates that the course is meeting the higher education quality standards set by a UK university. We are delighted to be working with Atos Healthcare to support their delivery of training and wish the nurses every success on the training programme.”  more at:  http://www.atoshealthcare.com/UserFiles/File/in-the-press/2011/pr_dwp_university%20accreditation_april%2011_web.pdf

Atos’ disability assessments have led to thousands of sick and disabled people being denied vital benefits and tragically led to suicides.   Several Atos doctors are already facing being struck off the medical register over their treatment of vulnerable claimants.

Atos Healthcare’s  flawed assessments have been repeatedly over-turned  with over 40% of cases winning an appeal against Atos’ assessments in the courts.  Atos staff, which Derby University claim have been trained to  higher education quality standards, have assessed people with terminal cancer and other serious and life threatening medical conditions as being fit for work.

Disabled activists, claimants groups and supporters have been holding regular protests against this organisation whose health testing regime has been dubbed not fit for purpose.  The next Day of Action is being held on September 30th.

Derby University Corporate sharks can be contacted at:  Simon Redfern, Deputy Head of Corporate Relations
Tel: 01332 591942 or 07748 920038
Email: s.redfern@derby.ac.uk

Why not tell the bastards what you think.

LATEST: The person on the end of the email address above appears to have jumped ship (see comments below).  The head of Corporate Relations at Derby University is Peter Gallimore and he can be found at:  p.gallimore@derby.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1332 591942 | Mbl: 07748 920038 |

More contact details are available at: http://www.derby.ac.uk/corporate-relations/about-the-press-office