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Atos try to stop you taking notes at WCA

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(Thanks to Kelcou for suggesting new thread):

 

When I went to my WCA on 19/03/10 they tried to intimidate me into not writing notes - even just the name of the 'Health Care Professional' who assessed me. It put them in a right tailspin when I insisted on writing things down. They aborted the WCA using some lame excuse. Since then they have spewed out a string of silly lies to DWP and myself, taken 10 weeks to refund my travel expenses and got the DWP to stop my ESA. Luckily DWP listened to me and paid me last week ( a day late). I requested sight of their official policy document on note-taking and they lied about that too. They reckon that we can tape record

At the WCA they explained that claimants may tape record proceedings, but only if we use a double tape deck, make 2 simultaneous copies and give them one copy. This brings up images of ITV's 'The Bill' - but do they seriously expect someone on £65.40 per week to go out and buy such a machine? I have seen a brilliant website detailing the shocking experience of a brain tumour sufferer at the hands of Atos, and his very brave and erudite fight against the Atossers: DWP Atos Healthcare Medical Services Contract.

 

Good luck to all fellow "ESA Club" sufferers

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Hi there and welcome to CAG. Thanks for your message to me on a different thread here.

 

I thought nothing about Atos could suprise me, but this is ludicrous. As someone hinted, I'd have more rights if I was arrested. It becomes more Orwellian every week. I'd have said the very fact that they weren't comfortable with note-taking makes you suspect they have something to hide.

 

Why shouldn't people know who they're seeing? But surely if the HCP is wearing a name badge or has the name on the desk, which was the case with me, then we might even remember it.... Or our companion might. My OH always came to this sort of thing with me, couldn't have done it without him.

 

Like you, I stick around on CAG to help people going through what I did. It's all so unfair and is being ignored by the majority of the population at the moment. Here I am getting angry again, and I just meant to pop in for a little while, then try to go back to sleep.

 

Grrrrrr. :-x

 

It's good to have you around, the more the merrier.

 

My best HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I did not know or thought of this during my interview but is it possible to take with you someone official, like an adviser who will make notes during the interview and inform then of this officially?

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Hi HoneyBee13,

 

Many thanks for that.

 

It get's better.....When I asked the HCP his name as his namebadge was facing away from me, he told me and then asked "Oh, do you intend to take notes?" When I said I did, he said I would need to fill in a form! Then he left the examination room for what seemed like 5 or 10 minutes and returned, not with the form, but with the receptionist who said "Right, you can take notes but only for your own personal use" When I queried what she meant by that, she replied, "Well you can take notes, but you can't use them" I responded that there's no point in taking notes if you can't use them and when I said I would take notes whether they wanted to or not, the HCP asked if I wanted to terminate the session as they could not continue. I said that any termination would be their decision, not mine and I had kept the appointment on time and co-operated in every way. The HCP agreed to continue unless he reached a point where he felt there was any reason not to continue.

 

The HCP then rattled through my ESA50 at some speed. My reason for being incapable for any work is due to depressive illness but in the interests of completing the ESA50 truthfully I listed a few more minor ailments. As soon as he reached the trigger finger information he seized upon it and said "Ah, you suffer from trigger finger?" I explained that I did have TF and that it affects me occasionally. He replied that "trigger finger is a neurological condition, and needs to be assessed by a qualified doctor, so a "nurse-to-doctor-handover would be required" The HCP was a nurse. This was the stated reason for the premature termination of the assessment, but the real reason was my note-taking, because he seized on the trigger finger issue as an excuse like it was a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card.

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Hi Davina,

 

According to the e-mail they produced at the WCA as 'proof' of the company's anti-note-taking policy, if someone goes with you into the assessment room (a friend or a Citizen's Advice Bureau worker for example) then that person can take notes, but if the claimant wants to take notes, it should be discouraged. It went on to say that care needs to be taken by the assessor as trying to dissuade a claimant from taking notes may be an infraction of their Human Rights! They left the room to do more 'consultation' and left the e-mail left on the table, so I read it as they had printed off a copy at my request. I should have swiped it or written down the sender and receiver/s, date and time of the message, but by this time I was quite stressed and upset, and it didn't seem the right thing to do. Now that I know how underhand, dishonest and vicious Atos are I think this is one occasion where I should have been a bit braver. We live and learn!

 

You are allowed to take someone with you into the WCA and into any appeal. Apparently, Citizen's Advice and Welfare Rights will usually come with you to any appeal, but they don't have usually the resources to go with you to a WCA, but you could always take a friend or relative or similar to the WCA.

 

Please keep us all up-to-date on here about your progress as there are lots of things to learn (it's sad when honest, decent people have to learn how to defend themselves against a dishonest shower like Atosh). Especially you should look at this website: DWP Atos Healthcare Medical Services Contract

 

Good luck x

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What about me I wonder, I have memory problems due to epilepsy, so always record things at home. I would want to be able to write down questions and answers in medical as if had to go to appeal and had recent seizure I probably wouldnt remember short term information. Surely it would be against my human rights not to protect myself and keep a written record?

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What about me I wonder, I have memory problems due to epilepsy, so always record things at home. I would want to be able to write down questions and answers in medical as if had to go to appeal and had recent seizure I probably wouldnt remember short term information. Surely it would be against my human rights not to protect myself and keep a written record?

 

Hi loopinlouie,

 

Yes, I think I see where you might be coming from. I've not had epilepsy so far, for which I am thankful, and I think you're entirely correct about the added problem of short term memory encoding issues.

 

There are several posts on CAG advising how to proceed:

1. According to the brilliant website: DWP ESA Medical Examinations (go there, click on "The Contract" and scroll down to the very end to find a schedule of conditions of different types (Those whose sufferers Atos must always invite to an assessment, those who must never be invited, and a couple of categories in between. Unfortunately, your epileptic condition is in the "always 'invite'" section.

2. Whilst being careful about using the telephone (don't list any 'phone number on your ESA50 and they have to write to you, thereby creating a permanent record) you will need to do what you can to keep any appointment they make. However, if, as in your case you really do need someone there with you, then by all means let Atos know as soon as possible that you need an appointment that is also convenient to the person who will attend with you. Make sure you have written confirmation of any arrangements made.

3. Follow the advice given on this site, especially by Mikebach Link posted above), LoanRanger, HoneyBee13 and Kelcou about how to proceed. The point here is that it's not enough to be sick, nor to have your doctor repeatedly sign you of as sick, you have to prove that you are innocent rather than defend that you are not guilty (if that makes sense)

I've not had to go to appeal yet, due to Atos' appalling performance, and their obstruction has made me very ill indeed but even more determined to fight their evil crap. For appeal tips look to those further down the road from me, but Citizens' Advice and Welfare Rights often will represent you at appeal, so please make use of all the help you can get.

4. You should keep copies of all your sicknotes, get any backup you can from your doctor and advisors and above all keep copies of all the lies and incompetencies which Atos demonstrate.

5. As soon as you catch Atos out telling lies to DWP, and especially if your money is stopped contact DWP immediately and compalin. Confirm in writing to DWP what you have told them and you should get your money back on immediately.

6. Fight this nastiness not only for your own good, but also for those less able than you to stick up for themselves:- At my WCA I saw an old gentleman, very smartly turned out in suit and hat, accompanied by a lady who may have been his daughter. He appeared downcast and unused to having to prove his decency and he may well have fought against the Nazis in WWII to prevent the very sort of thing that Atos seems to represent.

7. Keep in touch with fellow sufferers on here and remember you are a special, unique and wonderful human being who is every bit as entitled to your space on this planet as anyone else.

 

Good luck x

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Thanks. Havnt had my appt yet but know on the way like everybody, its just so unfair seeing how other caggers are being treat. xx

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Very well put, Y.A.A.V, There are a lot of poeple who are worse off than me, my condition is very 'up' and 'down', but when its 'up', I,m with you all the way, I'm with you when I'm down but cant do sod all about it.:mad:.

Alan

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My Grandad fought in ww2,he was a sergeant(shot and lost his leg),

passed away for quite some time now,

 

I know what he would of made of atoss (Fachist/Fiasco)......Grrrrrr....

 

WFHRA I dont believe i had one of theese,just the limited capability

for work , definately have not had another medical?

 

I have attended "Pathways to work" (twice)

1st time before med assessment,2nd time 15march,3rd time appointment

made for23april , phoned telling them can not attend (to tiring,hardwork,

effort) They accepted this and made me another appointment for the

middle of JULY This will be approximately 5 weeks after my Op?

WHY is this ,any thoughts.

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Yet another atos victim,

I have a "prolapse" disc,degeneratng discs ,this

is Neurological, I gave my atos person a medical disc(MIR SCAN),he just

said thats not needed today. ok just carried on with assessment(can you

make tea /coffee? how long do you sleep,how long to get dressed.

 

DWP (trying to save Money)

Atos(Making loads money)

 

Sick and Ill, getting sicker and ILLER (Shamefull)

 

I just feel for people who get sick/ill and get lumbered on ESA

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Hi loopinlouie,

 

Yes, I think I see where you might be coming from. I've not had epilepsy so far, for which I am thankful, and I think you're entirely correct about the added problem of short term memory encoding issues.

 

There are several posts on CAG advising how to proceed:

1. According to the brilliant website: DWP ESA Medical Examinations (go there, click on "The Contract" and scroll down to the very end to find a schedule of conditions of different types (Those whose sufferers Atos must always invite to an assessment, those who must never be invited, and a couple of categories in between. Unfortunately, your epileptic condition is in the "always 'invite'" section.

2. Whilst being careful about using the telephone (don't list any 'phone number on your ESA50 and they have to write to you, thereby creating a permanent record) you will need to do what you can to keep any appointment they make. However, if, as in your case you really do need someone there with you, then by all means let Atos know as soon as possible that you need an appointment that is also convenient to the person who will attend with you. Make sure you have written confirmation of any arrangements made.

3. Follow the advice given on this site, especially by Mikebach Link posted above), LoanRanger, HoneyBee13 and Kelcou about how to proceed. The point here is that it's not enough to be sick, nor to have your doctor repeatedly sign you of as sick, you have to prove that you are innocent rather than defend that you are not guilty (if that makes sense)

I've not had to go to appeal yet, due to Atos' appalling performance, and their obstruction has made me very ill indeed but even more determined to fight their evil crap. For appeal tips look to those further down the road from me, but Citizens' Advice and Welfare Rights often will represent you at appeal, so please make use of all the help you can get.

4. You should keep copies of all your sicknotes, get any backup you can from your doctor and advisors and above all keep copies of all the lies and incompetencies which Atos demonstrate.

5. As soon as you catch Atos out telling lies to DWP, and especially if your money is stopped contact DWP immediately and compalin. Confirm in writing to DWP what you have told them and you should get your money back on immediately.

6. Fight this nastiness not only for your own good, but also for those less able than you to stick up for themselves:- At my WCA I saw an old gentleman, very smartly turned out in suit and hat, accompanied by a lady who may have been his daughter. He appeared downcast and unused to having to prove his decency and he may well have fought against the Nazis in WWII to prevent the very sort of thing that Atos seems to represent.

7. Keep in touch with fellow sufferers on here and remember you are a special, unique and wonderful human being who is every bit as entitled to your space on this planet as anyone else.

 

Good luck x

 

Hi,

 

I have been on long-term IB since 1996, the last time I saw a DWP doctor was 5 years ago, I suffer from Panic/Anxiety Disorder, Panic attacks and Clinical Depression, and since moving to Spain have now been diagnosied by Psychatrist with Bipolar I or II, not sure yet as newly diagnoised. I believe the Bipolar was bought on by the stress of my DLA claim that I applied for from Spain in 2008, which is still with the DM and waiting to be sent to Tribunal.

 

On my last appointment with the DWP doctor, I had a massive panic attack, I was with my mother, I puked into he´s sink, opened all he´s windows, turned on he´s fan and paced the room. I was only in the room for 5 minutes and he told my mum to take me home. I requested a copy of my notes and it said that the diagnosis was "suffers from severe mental health disorder" and found to be in the exempt category.

 

Anyway, my IB review is due at the end of July/Beginning of August, and as I live in Spain, I am not 100% sure what will happen. Althought the IB department said that a questionaire would be sent to my doctor to fill in.

 

So I checked out the link you kindly provided and saw that

 

1. Unsuitable for calling to a Medical Examination Centre.

 

Mental Impairment is listed.

 

So do you think this would cover me. As further down the list my other condition are listed but seem to be in different categories

 

This is being written by my carer, so thank you to her :)

Edited by goldensyrup
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Hi Happyhamr,

 

Thanks for your post.

 

I'm afraid I'm not exactly sure about the timings of Pathways interviews. I've been to three or four now and the (DWP) person I normally see has been fairly flexible. I suspect that ESA other Jobcentre+ staff tend to be more humane than the Atos crew. I also remember being told we have to attend for 6 Pathways sessions as well as the initial Pathways meeting, and despite no rigid timescale, my own sessions have been booked roughly one month between each. One good thing - Pathways refund bus fares in cash each time, unlike Atos, who took 9 weeks to pay mine into my bank (not ten weeks as I mistakenly posted).

 

Well said about the fact we all get more ill as a result of Atos' behaviour - I think those of us who are assessed as likely to be fit in the future would benefit from faster placement into the work-focussed group, and those unfortunate enough to have really long-term and profound illness would be better to be assessed at home, and gently but quickly granted support group access. Delays seem to help nobody.

 

Good luck with your case

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Hi goldensyrup (and Carer)

 

Thanks for your post.

 

I re-checked the list of ilnesses in that link and, yes, Severe Mental Impairment is definitely in the section headed 'Do not call for assessment"

 

I suppose that if your ESA50 claim form and any other documentation like sicknotes did not indicate severe impairment then that may be why you were called for the 'medical'. It might also be that the doctor witnessed you being so ill during the examination may have assessed you as seriously impaired not mildly impaired, and this might not have been picked up upon beforehand. I don't know for sure here, and am just trying to make sense of it too.

 

Good luck - hope it all turns out ok for you. Take Care

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Hi goldensyrup (and Carer)

 

Thanks for your post.

 

I re-checked the list of ilnesses in that link and, yes, Severe Mental Impairment is definitely in the section headed 'Do not call for assessment"

 

I suppose that if your ESA50 claim form and any other documentation like sicknotes did not indicate severe impairment then that may be why you were called for the 'medical'. It might also be that the doctor witnessed you being so ill during the examination may have assessed you as seriously impaired not mildly impaired, and this might not have been picked up upon beforehand. I don't know for sure here, and am just trying to make sense of it too.

 

Good luck - hope it all turns out ok for you. Take Care

 

Thank you for your reply,

 

I started on IB in 1996 when there was no such thing as ESA. I have never even had an ESA50 claim form, or a medical in 5 years. And as I live in Spain now I am not sure what will happen when my review is due at end July/Beginning of August. I guess I will have to wait and see.

 

At the moment I am getting pretty pi.....ed off that my DLA appeal has still not been sent to Tribunal. (Sorry about the language). They have all the information so I can´t see the problem. It is a NEW claim for DLA from Spain applied for in 2008. So maybe the DWP don´t get many of them and it seems to have thrown them, but they have rejected me twice once on the stupid 26 week rule and another time on being a dependent of a UK worker (father), written statement of reasons was "refused because I get IB, CTC and CB, with some contribution from ex-husband 250 euros a month, whoopidoo. My father has to give 1,400 euros a month (it´s a long story), so that I keep up with mortgage, bills etc.

 

But I am not going to give up. It is making me more ill, but I am also more determined. There is an EU ruling that was passed that UK citizens who have moved to another EEU country could claim for DLA and not have to be in the UK for 26/52 weeks, but the UK Government are refusing to abide by this and will be brought before the European Commission Court if nothing is done.

 

Confused, you will be

:confused:

 

You take care as well

Edited by goldensyrup
added more writing

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Hi Goldensyrup,

 

I don't envy you the complicated circumstances you outlined, but I'm totally of the same approch myself regarding what you wrote about it making you more ill, but also more determined

 

x

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Hi Goldensyrup,

 

I don't envy you the complicated circumstances you outlined, but I'm totally of the same approch myself regarding what you wrote about it making you more ill, but also more determined

 

x

 

I could scream, I just spent 30 minutes typing out a masterpiece and lost the bleeding lot. :-x

 

Anyway, what I was going to say was that I emailed the Exportability Dept 2 days ago and insisted that they forward my DLA claim to Tribunal NOW, as I would not accept any further excuses as to why the DM still had it. AND LOW AND BEHOLD, I phoned them this afternoon and was told that my claim was now with the Reproduction department and was, at this very minute, being duplicated, prepared and wrapped up in pretty pink ribbon to be sent to all relevant parties. Was is devine intervention or the lucky chicken wish-bone I saved from last nights dinner.

 

Mine, unfortunately will have to be a paper appeal, but believe me, if I could be there I would, but I have an extreme fear of travelling an unfortunate side effect from my illness (my kids are not very sympathetic as they want to go to Disney Land, and even if I could afford it, there is no way I would fly there and I´m not a strong swimmer and scared of sharks). Anyway I am deviating. I don´t have anyone to represent me, and to tell you the truth, I don´t think I would want anyone to be there without me. And I have yet to find my doppleganger. I will let the appeal and evidence I have carefully prepared speak for itself.

 

I did ask the Tribunal office if they could arrange a video-link or conference call for my hearing and was told that these methods are normally only used for "internal affairs" (I mean work-related, not the other ;)). But Tribunal did say to ask on my form if this would be possible, so I will have to wait and see. I am becoming at expert in WAITING, I should be awarded a Masters Degree.

 

I think many a DWP/DLA worker has gone "on the sick" with stress related illness, and I think it may be because of me. They have probably also developed a phobia when told I am on the phone AGAIN and turn into shrivalling wrecks and play "bagsy" on who will get an ear bashing this time. And cancelled all holidays to Spain!

 

"FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT WITH ALL THY MIGHT".

(was that a quote by Muhumid Ali (spelt it wrong I think).:?:

 

Anyway, in a perveted sort of way, I don´t care if I win anymore. Yes it would be nice, but I really want to concentrate my efforts on getting back the "bad, but used to it health", rather than "want to jump of a bridge with an Atos worker tied round my ankle singing Dixie" kind of feeling :(

Edited by goldensyrup
spelling corrections

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...I should be awarded a Degree.

 

Of course. As long as you don't mind waiting for it... :p

Best wishes with the appeal.

Rae

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Of course. As long as you don't mind waiting for it... :p

Best wishes with the appeal.

Rae

 

I love to wait, waiting and waited :p

I will keep you updated on the outcome when the WAITING is over.

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