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Announcement: ESA claimants now have the option of having their WCA recorded

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Yesterday I was tipped off by a stalwart contributor as to a very worrying turn of events.

 

The long and short of it is, please ring 0800 2888 777 NOW.That's the Atos number one is told to ring on its' using personal equipment' webpage:

 

http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/2012/12/recording-of-assessments-using-personal-equipment/

 

The person I have just spoken with (Joseph 10.45am Sat 22 12 2012) responded to my enquiry about 'would my laptop plus a burnt CD be ok' first by insisting that a 'medical' could only be recorded on THEIR equipment.Referred to their own website, he then put me on hold while he sought assistance.

 

I will report what happened next in a later post.

 

BUT please try it yourselves now, first. You don't have to explain who you are or give NI numbers. You can be completely anonymous and even pre-fix your dialling with 141 to prevent your own number being read at their end.

 

And report back a.s.a.p?

Edited by nolegion

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Laptops at the ready? Forget it – unless you are in a position to take a year appealing the hcp refusal to proceed to the (2nd tier) appeals tribunal.

 

And I have now had time to make another call (Gaynor, 4.40pm 21 12 2012).

 

http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/2012/12/recording-of-assessments-using-personal-equipment/

 

I am very sorry to say the apparently advertised invitation (19 12 2012) to use your own equipment is in fact misleading TRIPE – unless you can afford a dual-deck simultaneous recording device, which they are still insisting on, even though that is not mentioned on the 'information' page, at all.

 

In addition, you will have to take your dual-deck machine to be 'collaborated' or 'certified' by Atos staff in a separate appointment on some day prior to the WCA. Also, not mentioned.

 

How on earth can this outcome be 'squared' with the DWP's own legal advice:

 

"…Legal advice has been obtained to confirm thatrecording of assessments for the claimant must be allowed without unreasonable obstructions. The majority of the claimants who request that the medical is recorded, do not have the financial means to provide the specified recording equipment."

(Emphasis mine)

 

(http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/131400/response/339826/attach/4/RFP%2027.PDF.pdf)

 

In my opinion, it simply cannot. What is being relied on is the fragile health and finances of the vulnerable not being able to bring this mess to further judicial interrogation.

 

In this instance, it is quite clear that the instructions to behave in exactly this fashion stemmed directly and in terms from DWP. I am not blaming Atos for the current position.

 

With that in mind – and also bearing in mind that one cannot libel government – I say that to promulgate grossly misleading information inthis fashion is grotesquely deceitful. I believe that the DWP were panicked by their accidental disclosure that their recording policy had been considered to be unlawful (over two years ago), and have tried to produce a smokescreen as temporary cover over the Xmas and New Year period.

 

Perhaps they thought that it would e.g. prevent people contacting their MPs over the period - as the 'site -we-don't-mention' recommended as regards that disclosure of unlawfulness.

 

Too late in my case. Maybe in yours? Or make it so?

 

And in any event ring that number, get further details, and 'needle'? And report?

Edited by nolegion

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I wonder what would happen if you used the covert recording device and then at the end of the interview, toom out the laptop and burned the disc for the HCP - would they refuse to finish and submit the report?


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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In my view, there is absolutely nothing Atos\DWP can do if you covertly record and give them a copy at the end of an assessment. Except to try to 'refuse to accept' the copy.

 

So keep your mobile running in your pocket to record the fact that you are putting a copy of the (other) recording on their desk, and write recorded delivery to say that is what you did afterwards.

 

It is not illegal, as the DWP has been made to admit, and the DWP's duplicity is begging for such tactics.

Edited by nolegion

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: :evil: Duplicitous DWATO :evil: :

 

 

'We are confident that most people will be able to make use of the equipment provided by Atos Healthcare/DWP to record an assessment.'

 

http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/2012/12/recording-of-assessments-using-personal-equipment/

 

Simply not true!! During the past week we've discovered, via a very long overdue freedom of info response, that DWATO now have the use of fifty-three audio recorders, shared between about one hundred and fifty assessment centres!! Last Friday morning, 21 December, I received a letter from Atos to say that my appointment, for an audio recorded messical the previous week, had been cancelled.

 

Now, anyone who's recently tried to phone Atos 'customer relations' on 01132 309175 will know that it's been permanently switched to answerphone for several weeks. Not so on 21 December, I was startled to get an answer. Until I realised I was speaking to the appointments helpdesk, on 0800 2888777, at Cardiff! Young man assured me that if I ask in advance of my appointment, Atos'll record it cos it'd be illegal for them not to. Don't think I'll be relying on him to get me out of a failure to attend!

 

Rest of the conversation went along the lines of:

 

Starryeyes

What are Atos's requirements for me to record it myself?

 

Atos

You can't.

 

Starryeyes

Your website says to ......

 

Atos

It doesn't. Does it? Can you hold the line please?

I'll ask customer relations to phone you back.

 

Starryeyes

Thanx but no thanx!

 

 

Onto Malcolm (probably the resources clerk at Leeds regional office). Paraphrase of the conversation:

 

Starryeyes

Been reading the Atos blog. Can understand why Atos won't allow mobile phones, dictaphones, etcetera. Is a laptop that can produce two discs acceptable?

 

Malcolm

If you ask in advance Atos'll record your assessment.

 

Starryeyes

I've been asking in advance for months.

 

Malcolm

We've got more machines now.

 

Starryeyes

Oh good. How many?

 

Malcolm

Don't know exactly, but enough.

 

Starryeyes

Just in case, what are Atos's requirements for a claimant to record a work capability assessment? Can my friend record it on his laptop, then copy it to a disc?

 

Malcolm

If you want your friend to record your assessment he'll need a recording device that can record two discs/tapes simultaneously.

 

Starryeyes

So you're talking about a domestic version of your Neal audio recorders?

 

Malcolm

Yes.

And you'll need to arrange it in advance so we can find a healthcare professional who's prepared to be recorded.

 

End of conversation!!!

 

 

Cheapest of said devices, purchased new, costs £300ish. (More than 4x the weekly assessment rate of employment n support allowance.) There's second-hand machines available from, for example, Ebay but whether they'd pass the 'Atos certification' ..... Not to mention the prohibitive cost, to a benefit claimant, of carriage/postage. So much for Mr Hoban's reasonable conditions.

 

 

:evil::evil::evil::evil::evil:

Edited by **Margaret**

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But now thanks to the FOI request sent by the great chaps at whatdotheyknow and the response showing the DWP Document RFP27, they cannot refuse to record your Assessment, as their contract with the DWP clearly states in section 1.2 of RFP27

So it look slike theyre going to have to buy a lot more machines or delay a lot of Assessments


Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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But now thanks to the FOI request sent by the great chaps at whatdotheyknow and the response showing the DWP Document RFP27, they cannot refuse to record your Assessment, as their contract with the DWP clearly states in section 1.2 of RFP27

So it look slike theyre going to have to buy a lot more machines or delay a lot of Assessments

 

They have never refused to record my assessment. It's just taken them 10 months and counting to get around to it.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Good stuff, Starry-E. I understand other interested parties (and sites) have also now been alerted to what happens when one persists with wanting to record oneself, following the model of your example.

 

What about it on Xmas Eve everyone? Pause for breath , and wing in a Starry-E-shaped Xmas-tree 'needle'? (0800 2888 777) And report?

 

rmw. 10 flaming months?! Your example on its own surely nails the porkie 'we cannot postpone on the basis of recording', once and for all.

Edited by nolegion

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rmw. 10 flaming months?! Your example on its own surely nails the porkie 'we cannot postpone on the basis of recording', once and for all.

 

The delay is only the half of it.

Anyone interested in what ATOS have done in my case, it's all here, but it's quite a long one

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?337937-IB-to-ESA-migration


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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The delay is only the half of it.

Anyone interested in what ATOS have done in my case, it's all here, but it's quite a long one

 

 

 

Very Interesting RMW, After 22 years on IB and 20 on DLA High rate Im just entering the process now.


Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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The delay is only the half of it.

Anyone interested in what ATOS have done in my case, it's all here, but it's quite a long one

 

 

 

Very Interesting RMW, After 22 years on IB and 20 on DLA High rate Im just entering the process now.

 

Good luck!


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Good luck!

 

Thanks.

In my case any decision isnt going to affect me that much as anything I lose on ESA I will get made up on Pension credit but Im not rolling over and will challenge them all the way

 

Keeps me off the streets and from chasing old women !


Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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Keeps me off the streets and from chasing old women !

Oh I don't know, doesn't that count as public service? :lol:

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Oh I don't know, doesn't that count as public service? :lol:

 

Yeah but my problem is, I cant catch them !!


Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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The FoI knives are out concerning that blundered disclosure of illegality (RPF – 27). See e.g. :-

 

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/the_rights_of_those_examined_for#comment-33704

 

 

There are some serious ramifications here. The Minister of State must have known back as far as 2010 about the legality of demands for recording yet constantly obfuscated the matter.

I'll be writing to my MP about it. Problem is hes a Tory Minister so wont do anything.


Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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Unfortunately my MP's a Tory, too, Invalidation - but I have written all the same.

 

I rather suspect it was the 10th Dec Newsletter of the site-we-don't-mention which 'featured' RPF -27 - and indeed suggested that people write to their MPs about it - that panicked the DWP into getting Atos to put the new blurb up its website, in the first place (first item on this there, 14 12 2012.)

 

As regards just how long the DWP has been 'sitting on' its known illegality, I also suspect that it goes back quite a bit further than the Sept\Oct 2010 shown in RPF -27.

 

As the enquirer in the link I have given notes, the judgment in CIB\3117\2008 was handed down in March 2009. It is extremely likely, in my view, that the DWP will have taken legal advice on its position as a result of that judgment at that time, or soon aftewards. Which, people will appreciate, puts the beginning of the DWP's known illegality back into the previous government. But did the Whitehall mandarins actually tell the minister at that time of the legal advice received?

 

If the FoI storm continues, and opposition MPs renew their pressure via parliamentary questions, when parliament reconvenes after the Xmas break, we may yet find out.

Edited by nolegion

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Pamela Nash (Labour MP) in the debate on Atos assessments yesterday:-

 

"As I have such limited time today, I will restrict the rest of my comments to the recording of work capability assessments, which Ihave raised before on the Floor of the House. I know that there has been a pilot of recording work capability assessments as a result of Harringtonreview. The result was that the majority of those being assessed do not wish to have their assessments recorded. However, recording should continue to be offered to everyone being assessed, and the reason for doing this—the huge number of assessments whose results are overruled when they go to appeal—should also be explained to every claimant.

…………………………………..

 

To return to the recording of assessments, the Minister’s predecessor, Chris Grayling, made it clear in a Westminster Hall debate lastSeptember that he felt that Atos

 

“should make recording available on a voluntary basis”.—[Hansard, 4 September 2012; Vol. 549, c. 42WH.]

 

However, not a single constituent of mine who has come tosee me about work capability assessments has told me that they have been offered the prospect of having it recorded. In fact, one constituent told methat she had asked for her assessment to be filmed, following her previousassessment, which resulted in a report that bore little resemblance to thatassessment. On that occasion she was found fit for work, but she subsequentlywon her appeal. She was informed that recording would indeed be possible, butthat she would have to pay for a private, independent company to come in torecord her assessment. Equipment was not made available to her. She had hopedto take a family member in to film the assessment, but was told that this wouldnot be allowed or appropriate. How on earth is a person living on benefits—living on the breadline—supposed to be able to afford to pay a privatecompany to record their assessment?

 

The Minister’s predecessor alsostated in that debate that additional audio recording machines had been orderedfor work capability assessments. I hope that the Minister can today update theHouse on the progress made on that and on whether visual recording equipment isbeing purchased for that purpose. I would also like clarification on the rightof the claimant to request a recording. If claimants have that right, will the Minister make it clear whether Atos is obliged to provide a recording? Will Atos reschedule an assessment date if the person concerned is told that equipment isnot available on the original date? In the event that a claimant refused to go through with an assessment without a recording, would they be sanctioned interms of their benefits?

 

This is an important issue to raise in the House today. Not only does it affect those going through the assessments directly, but there isa huge cost for the taxpayer, as my right hon. Friend Mr Meacher, who has brought this matter to the House today, illustrated in his speech. This process has cost £60 million in the last tax year, which is more than half the original cost of the contract with Atos to perform the work capability assessments."

 

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2013-01-17a.1050.0&s=atos

 

Hoban didn't respond on these issues at all.

 

But on the whole a good effort by Ms Nash, I thought - although it's a shame she has swallowed the DWP's spin on the 'pilot' data, which in fact showed that a majority of the claimants concerned did indeed want a recording.

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Natascha Engel is right, ATOS are only doing what the DWP tell them to do and are serving well as a decoy.

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This comes from benefitsandwork, their news section; “?Upper Tribunal decision CIB/3117/2008 confers a duty upon the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask Medical Services (Atos) to arrange for a claimant/appellant to be provided with details, in writing, of the conditions under which an interview or examination may be tape-recorded.

Although this decision refers to Incapacity Benefit medical assessments, it can also be used for ESA medical assessments as it sets a precedent in established case law. The S of S for Work and Pensions must comply with the mandate as defined in the UT decision.”?

 

And has IDS taken a blind bit of notice? Apparently not. I'm inclined to agree with what they say at B&W here as they seem to know their stuff.

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This comes from benefitsandwork, their news section; “?Upper Tribunal decision CIB/3117/2008 confers a duty upon the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask Medical Services (Atos) to arrange for a claimant/appellant to be provided with details, in writing, of the conditions under which an interview or examination may be tape-recorded.

 

From what I remember, this was a direction in regards to the appellant's future WCA, and wasn't encompassing of all claimants.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Straight from "Atos Miracles" on Facebook:

 

Good and interesting news given directly from someone needing to be anonymous for publication: "Today I finally got some progress about recording my JC+ interviews. DWP managers have agreed (after much digging in of heels by me) that I can record the interviews (in a private room) as long as they are not going to end up on YouTube et al. They have also agreed that it IS legal for those recordings to be used in a tribunal or appeal and we have mutually signed an agreement to such. Result."

 

 

Is this the sound of ignominious retreat I can hear? I think so! :lol:

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:CIB/3117/2008:

 

Successsive Secretaries of State have been wheedling out of this one for years!!

 

The decision can be found on the Tribunals Service decisions database at:

 

http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=2663

 

And a response from Work n Pensions together with some interesting comment can be found at:

 

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/postponement_of_wcas_on_the_basi#comment-31906

 

Sincerely, Margaret.

 

:flame::flame:

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Yes, the case makes it clear that having your WCA terminated and being found fit for work on the basis of wanting to record the WCA is unacceptable. However, sadly the decision, the way it's written is not specific enough to be used as a precedent for anything else regarding recordings.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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