ATOS Response to my complaint about Recordings

Yesterday the reply from ATOS arrived on my doorstep, bringing with it the usual dread. I thought about paraphrasing the content but have decided to reproduce the response in full as it reads.

Feel free to make of the content what you will but please make any comments you want, particularly if this in any way is similar yo your case, or that or someone you know. I aim to collate  feedback for further evidence of the disregard ATOS treat us with;  so please if you do not want me to use your name let me know or post anonymously.

Dear Ms Linney,

 

I am writing further to Rhian Davies’ letter of the 29th June in response to your

concerns regarding your Work Capability Assessment (WCA) appointment.

 

I am sorry that on this occasion Atos is unable to meet your request for an

audio recording of your Work Capability Assessment on 20107/2012.

 

The Department for Work and Pensions has asked Atos Healthcare to try and

accommodate requests for audio recordings where this is made in advance of

the assessment. A limited facility to audio record was introduced by the

Department for Work and Pensions at a time when only small numbers of

requests.were anticipated and since that time the number of requests has

increased significantly. This has put pressure on our ability to provide

sufficient capacity to meet all requests. The DWP have therefore requested

that we inform customers when a recording cannot be made, and in these

circumstances, that the WCA process should continue. This will ensure your

claim is dealt with in a timely manner. The DWP decision maker will take into

account all available evidence in deciding your claim.

 

In view of security and confidentiality considerations Atos does not permit the

recording of WCAs by a customer using their own recording devices.

However, it is permissible for you, or your representative, to take notes during

an assessment for your own use.

 

The DWP are currently looking at ways to improve the availability of audio

recording in the short term and Atos Healthcare remains committed to assist

the DWP in the evaluation of the audio recording of Work Capability

Assessments later in the year.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Bowes

Customer Relations Manager

On behalf of Natalie Gorshkov-Vickers

Lets work together to prove what we’ve been saying for years now, ATOS don’t give A TOSS!

Please visit my petition site: change.org/ATOS

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103 thoughts on “ATOS Response to my complaint about Recordings

  1. That”s disgraceful Chris Grayling made a clear statement that anyone who wished to have their WCA recorded could do so. Time MP’s got the message that Atos and DWP are not doing the job. We demand fairness and recorded interviews provide that for both parties. Criminals have the right to a recorded interview disabled and sick people should have the same rights.

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      • I don’t know if you’ve heard the news yet, someone did an FOI and the DWP were told in 2010 it appears to be illegal to put unreasonable obstructions, as they do, in the way of having their assessments recorded. This was in the latest Benefitsandwork newletter. It remains to be seen if there’ll be any legal consequences. Bear in mind too the bloke who ignored this advice, Grayling, is now in charge of law in this country.

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    • Grayling accut. said “anyone who wants their assessment recorded”. My accessment was not for WCA, but for DLA(Mobility). As it has turned out that this assessment should have been recorded, and going on Graylings statement that anyone could have their assessments recorded IF THEY WISHED, my point has been put to Atos, Mr Rhian Davies gave the reply.in which he states ALL CUSTOMERS ARE ENTITLED TO REQUEST THE ASSESSMENT BE RECORDED IF THEY WISH.
      In his answer he put the blame on DWP where as the DWP say that tecording are not offered because it is not a requiement of this (my) assessment. But the QWP go on to say that the machines in Croyden region are not broken and that Croyden can make recordings.
      I am having problems getting the ICE to accept my complaint which I was expecting given the the Examiner may be indepentant but the staff are DWP.
      My complaint is that whereas they recording of my assessment was my entitlement which was not afforded me, no body will take responsibility for this happening. In the mean time I have to argue, bitch and scratch to get something that I am entitled to, my mobility allowance.

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  2. Many phones record audio these days. Its quite natural to have a phone on you and to even put it on the table. They will never know. I record all consultations with doctors these days.

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      • Yes, but you could use the recording to make a transcript or notes. They wouldn’t know the source of the notes.

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      • Oh yes they can.

        All you have to do is get them into a written transcript which becomes part of your written evidence and also state that the recording is available to the courts if THEY want it. If the judge says it’s admissible, then it’s in.

        Please check your facts before writing things which may be detrimental to people who are already in a weakened position.

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      • I am going on the information I’ve been given Marie; I’m no expert just someone already in such a weakened position, trying to deal with my situation best I can. I’ve been advised any recording made in covert circumstances can not be used; clearly you have different info.

        I maintain everyone needs to get as much info as they can than make their own judgement.

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  3. I’m seeing my MP tomorrow and aim to make a list later today of what I want to cover. I will add this issue but can’t guarantee we will get to it; depends how much Zac wants to pursue his own agenda rather than mine!

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    • Jane

      thanks so much for the support and please if you want to mention this please do, but can I ask you refer to the whole saga and that there is a petition and campaign running.

      Thanks again Jayne x

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  4. #Atos are getting a £100,000,000 a year of taxpayers money they should buy them why wasn’t this put in to their contact & having 10 or 12 recorders is no good they need 1 at every center this a cop out & a disgrace & typical DWP & Grayling

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  5. The machines are not available? Of course they are not, ATOS doesn’t want the assessments recorded! Would show how biased and inaccurate they are!

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  6. Disgraceful. Could no one anticipate potential demand, and buy enough recording devices? They won’t do it, because they don’t want people to know what really goes on.

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  7. Strange, all other DWP and Atos references to recording of WCA that i have read conclude that there has not been a substantial uptake of recording by claimants, contradicted here in this letter.Also Atos is its own review suggest all WCA are recorded as a matter of course, the review noting that there has not been a substantial uptake of recording.Tut tut, what tangled webs they weave, when they practice to deceive-not very good at it are they?

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  8. It wouldn’t surprise me if the recording equipment was only available for interviews which ATOS deems non contentious. I doubt they’re going to want to record it if they think there’s going to be tension where their assessors could potentially say something that could be held against them. With all the money they’re getting from the government for their intimidation of vulnerable people, you would think they would be able to afford to invest in more recording equipment and at the very least if it’s not available you should be able to use your own. I have signed the petition and I think this needs more publicity. They can’t claim to offer a service and then say it’s not available when it suits them.

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    • That is something I’ve also wondered and would love to know the ‘success’ rates of recorded assessments against the non recorded; but you just know the DWP wont have those figures! Thanks for the support Alice

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  9. Fact is sadly (M) is correct , I have done both mine covertly because i dont trust them no more than they do me now.I have been at sharp end of these lot (lost my money and home) and seen lies written which didnt occur or wasnt spoken. most digital recorders will download to pc all you have to do is min window when listening and type word for word,and pray you dont need it. fact is in beginning uptake may have been minimal,but as soon as thsoe were being asked for common sense says get more machines. this lot never joins the dots up. argos do a good one for 50quid unless you borrow one.

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  10. “The DWP have therefore requested

    that we inform customers when a recording cannot be made, and in these

    circumstances, that the WCA process should continue. This will ensure your

    we can get your benefits stopped in a timely manner. The DWP decision maker will take into

    account all available lies in deciding your claim.”

    Fixed.

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  11. Don’t understand why you can take notes but not record. You could argue that you can’t write fast enough and therefore need to use your own recorder. Another suggestion from someone I know said they can’t stop you recording yourself, so you could say eg ‘X has just asked me this question and my answer is this’. Of course, they’d probably use it against you as being organised etc.
    As well as mobile phones you can get recording devices that are just like memory sticks.

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  12. So, the excuse is that “people are actually using the recording system, therefore we’re withdrawing the system.” You really couldn’t make it up.

    And, of course, demand for recordings has increased for one very good reason – the dishonest way in which the WCA assessments are carried out – nobody, with any sense, actually trusts Atos (who, of course, are doing the DWP’s bidding). The problems with the assessment system start at the top, with IDS, a man who lies so obsessively, and repeatedly, as does his Dark Lord, that it must surely be a mental health problem in both cases.

    Though, of course, it could simply be old-fashioned corruption.

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      • By the way, Jayne, recording people without their knowledge, via telephony (which probably includes a mobile phone – lawyers will make lots of money trying to make the case for whether a phone call has to be made, or not), is an offence – this is why so many organisations warn you that calls might be recorded – it’s a legal requirement.

        So, if using a mobe to record an assessment, also make notes. That way you can claim any data gained from the recording was actually in your notes, not on your mobe.

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      • Ron: “if using a mobe to record an assessment, also make notes… claim any data gained from the recording was actually in your notes”

        Also, if you possibly can, take someone for support – or ATOS may assume you’re fine and well! – and have *them* quietly take notes so you can concentrate on the questions and give the best representation of yourself and your condition without forgetting to mention anything important.

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  13. Surely Atos cannot treat each of us differently according to the availability of the recording equipment, that is outrageous. I was assured that mine will be recorded tomorrow. Others have had their appointments postponed because of the shortage of available equipment. I don’t believe the complete inconsistency. But you do have to wonder why there is such a big issue regarding the recording. I suspect that Atos are very reluctant for us to have evidence of the fact that the WCA is designed purely to try and take away benefit, and has nothing to do with your health and well being

    My experience of Atos is that the assessors lie and misrepresent the facts to justify declaring you fit for work. 38 people a week are dying after being told this by Atos. If a car caused half as many deaths as that it would have been withdrawn. Atos ocntinue to make a profit at our expense. It’s disgusting and terrible. It needs to be stopped

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      • I could not have put it better myself, yes they do lie,and fabricate their reports to the DWP, any relevant evidence that I discussed with my HCP, was never seen in the report,,,its pretty clear why they do NOT want the assessments recorded……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….copied from above.
        My experience of Atos is that the assessors lie and misrepresent the facts to justify declaring you fit for work. 38 people a week are dying after being told this by Atos. If a car caused half as many deaths as that it would have been withdrawn. Atos ocntinue to make a profit at our expense. It’s disgusting and terrible. It needs to be stopped

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      • I have had this happen to me. The trouble is no one wants to know, not Atos (of course) not DWP nor do the Medical Board. IMy belief is that these ‘boards’ know it is going on, but…… It did no good in the end.

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  14. The DWP supplied ATOS with 11 machines. How many cases do they see countrywide in a day? No big surprise, then, that all 11 of these duplicate DC recording machines are now broken and awaiting repair. If people thought these assessments were being done properly and information was not being falsified, they would not need these recordings. So what do they want to do – fix the recorders, or fix the problem? I’d take a rough guess at whichever is cheapest and allows ATOS’s directors to keep banking the big cheques, regardless of the impact on the public.

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  15. I’m in the same position. I was phoned on Thursday and told I could no longer have a recording. I haven’t been able to get this in writing yet, though, so I’m very interested to read their response to you. I can’t understand how it’s possible as Chris Grayling said this on 5th July:

    “In the interim, departmental officials have asked Atos Healthcare to accommodate requests for recordings where the claimant requests in advance of their assessment.”

    Source: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm120705/text/120705w0004.htm#1207063000108

    How are we meant to cope with this??

    Best of luck.

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    • Yes, but in home visits they are also judging everything they see, what your house is like, how tidy it is, watching what you do, using the same tactics to they do at the centres to turn you down. So it’s not a soft option, I’ve heard. Having had a home visit once for DLA (pre-Atos), the doctor still ‘doctored’ the evidence. So there’s always been an agenda to remove people from benefits to some extent.

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  16. Well done Jayne. These people are ridiculous. Since when has it been illegal to record yourself and on your own equipment? Grayling is an embarrassment. He has no clue as to what his position is from one moment to the next. The whole damn Coalition is the same. One u-turn after another. Shame they haven’t done that with WRB or the Health and Social Care bill though. Keep up the great work by continuing to catalogue all this madness. It is a damning indictment that Cameron and co. can never be voted in again.

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  17. From the Atos Healthcare blog (!) on 6th July. They blame the DWP contract for not being able to delay WCA when recording isn’t available. (It is ridiculous & absolutely contradicts what Chris Grayling said the day before):

    link: http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/tag/recording-of-assessments/

    “Atos Healthcare are happy for Work Capability Assessments to be recorded where requested.

    The Department for Work and Pensions specify the type of equipment that can be used and the number we purchase. Due to minimal take-up during the pilot, we only have a limited number of recording devices available. The Department have agreed to us ordering more to meet growing demand and we are awaiting these.

    We will make every effort to accommodate requests for this service and hope that we will be able to meet demand. However, under the terms of our contract with the Department, we cannot postpone an assessment on the basis of audio-recording.

    We understand it is frustrating if you request a service that is not met. We apologise for this and are doing all we can to rectify this situation swiftly.”

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  18. Hi JJ, I do have my concerns on a home visit – if they assess you as you walk through the door of an assessment centre (before the actual interview) on your appearance i.e., clean, tidy, dressed well (even though clothes may be from a charity shop, washed/dressed by a carer etc, etc), then will they also be assessing your home (clean, tidy, what you’ve got etc)? Are the questions asked at an assessment set or are they random for each interview? If they are set questions, is there a way of getting them or at least have an idea of what will be asked?

    My thinking behind the interview questions was:

    1. to be more prepared to what might be asked, and
    2. your responses could already be recorded prior to the interview so your already ahead and someone coming with you wouldn’t have so much to write down, (especially if they have problems with their hands or can’t write/take notes as quickly as needed), apart from the assessors responses and their attitude towards you.

    From what I’ve read from other responses, you seem to be the only one that has had any written response/evidence/excuse from Atos regarding their inability to provide audio recording which is contradictary to what the Black Rider’s (reference to Ron’s comment, if DC is the DarK Lord then IDS and CG must be the Black Riders or maybe they should be the 3 of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ) statement says. Although, I think they will argue that Black Riders statement only states “departmental officals have asked Atos …”, NOT told/insisted to accommodate requests, to get out of it.

    There was limited uptake of recordings during the pilot process because they only piloted a limited number of people which did not, by any means, reflect the number of sick/disabled people in the Country. Even after the process went ‘live’ WE didn’t know we could have recordings until it became public knowledge through sick and/or disabled people/social networking/support/action/campaigning groups on the internet and as soon as that happened uptake of recordings went though the roof and so it should!! If companies/organisations can record every telephone call we make to them, to be used as evidence or should I say ‘for training purposes’ (typical legal bollocks), then theres no excuse that Atos can’t and equally so should We be allowed too.

    The biggest problem is Dark Lord wants to get rid as many of us as possible by whatever means. If we have recordings, we have evidence, we can go to appeal the waiting list are months if not years in advance (at our cost, health/life) and the appeal/tribunals are at a cost to the taxpayer with many of the decisions overturned which goes against what the low down, discriminatory, prejudice scumbags he and his party want and the bullshit they say spout. So the obvious way to get rid of us is not replace/repair audio recording devices with the hope that more of us die, commit suicide, give up, get thrown off benefits, put in wrong groups, have no evidence for appeal/tribunal process; therefore saving the money from the taxpayer to be used elsewhere. In conjunction with that ” The Department is currently negotiating with Atos Healthcare to agree what contractual information will be required to monitor uptake of recordings” and the statement recently published by Atos (on its website), Grayling et al and their ‘pass the buck, blame culture’, will be drawn out as long as possible, to eventually bring the number of sick/disabled claimaints down to the statistic they originally engineered.

    Soz for the rant and length just so frustrated/angry with all of this, especailly how its affecting your health/life.

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      • Sorry to go slightly off topic here, but this is so important – planned changes for appeals. From April 2013 they are proposing that people won’t be able to appeal until they’ve had a DWP revision (with no time limit). This could mean people with wrong Atos assessments could be stuck on JSA or in ESA-WRAG indefinitely. I took part in this consultation and vehemently opposed it for the injustice that it is. I think we need to get an FOI request as was done for the DLA consultation to see just how many people opposed it. I don’t know much about FOI requests though. Here is the link to the above:
        http://socialwelfareunion.org/archives/695

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      • More particularly it will mean people are left without benefits to live on indefinitely. Housing Benefit should still be available though, I should point out.

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  19. Pingback: North East Shop Stewards Network » Blog Archive » Recording ATOS working capability assessments

  20. I had the call from Atos Nottingham last week. Because I protested that I would do my own I was told my case was being sent back to DWP for failure to attend. DWP assure me my benefit will not be stopped but you never know; my case would be sent back to Atos. There is a risk involved in trying to buck Atos/DWP and IB is my only source of income until my DLA Appeal gets to Tribunal (49 weeks).

    Nevertheless I intend to keep refusing to be assessed without recording for as long as I can. Private audio recording appears to be a very grey area but I think I have a solution. I can write down word for word each question and my answer to it LONGHAND, and boy can I be a slow writer. My witness can then sign my transcript. Unfortunately I suffer from ME/CFS and I wont be able to complete an assessment of more than a half hour (really! and it’s on my form too). The whole thing could prove ridiculous – why should we have to put our own health and wellbeing on the line?

    My assessment will be at home as I can’t manage stairs and the Atos assessments are done on the fourth floor of the Job Centre. I note other saying there are risks in home assessments. I plan not to move from my seat. As to the rest of the flat, that will be out-of-bounds.

    David

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    • David,

      I understand your frustration, but I would advise you not to antagonise the visiting HCP unnecessarily. They can end up recording that you exaggerate your difficulties, or just saying that you are capable of (for example) walking 100m, even though you have just said you can only walk 20m because they think of you as an uncooperative whinger.

      A point which many people misunderstand is that the doctor does NOT have to record YOUR replies to any questions. What they have to put down (or enter into the computer) is what they think the correct answer should be in their “professional opinion” – regardless of what you say.

      The notion is that the DWP Decision Maker has your account on the form and that of the HCP (who is a “trained disability analyst”!) on the computer, plus any additional medical evidence and can make up their own mind about who they believe. In practice, they just rubber stamp the ATOS report.

      So, whatever your opinion of ATOS and the DWP and the whole recording approach, making the HCP wait while you write everything down will lead – very quickly – to a confrontation. They too are under pressure from their employers (ATOS) to do everything as quickly as possible. They don’t want to write down explanations, because it takes time. They frequently skip bits of the examination, in order to save time – they think they know what the answer must be, so why take up time checking your muscle tone.

      ATOS are paid by the number of people they get through. They also have a period of time in which they have to send the report to the DWP, or be liable to financial penalties. So they lean very heavily on their employees – who are often working “by the session” and can be refused work very easily.

      So, satisfying as it might be to try to make them wait, it probably won’t work. If you refuse to answer question 2 until your have written down the answer to question 1 then they can say that your refused to cooperate with the assessment and walk out. Your benefit will then be denied.

      Nothing says that they have to wait whilst you write everything down. The guidelines which ATOS issue advise that you should not take “notes” yourself, but leave that to any companion. This is actually good advice – some crucial stages are virtually impossible to document yourself, for example if the HCP is trying to examine your back, you simply can’t write in that position.

      If you want the best record possible, get a copy of the E50 form yourself and talk your witness through it. Get them to note down what you said. Get them to put a tick against anything that was asked, and note what questions were not asked. Make a quick list of things the HCP is likely to check (reflexes, reach, muscle strength) and then they can note which points were checked and which were not.

      Get your friend to make a note of anything you gave qualified responses to (“Yes, but only in the morning,”) so that you can challenge a response when the doctor has just ticked the Yes box. Answer questions as “No, only occasionally,” – which abbreviates to “No”, rather than “Yes, on a good day,” which abbreviates to “Yes.”

      Remember the “repeatedly, reliably and safely” rule – it covers many M.E. problems.

      Good luck.

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      • “Answer questions as “No, only occasionally,” – which abbreviates to “No”, rather than “Yes, on a good day,” which abbreviates to “Yes.”

        Remember the “repeatedly, reliably and safely” rule – it covers many M.E. problems.”

        This was very helpful advice. Thank you, Vicki.

        (Dave – best of luck. I have M.E. as well so I know how rubbish the questions are for that.)

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      • Many thanks for your reply Vicki. I went to my DLA appeal on Friday (successful on both HRM and LRC, thankfully) but have been too tired and stressed to get up until now.

        I probably wrote in anger at this unfair issue but you are right in pointing out the flaws in my argument. You have provided a lot of help with how to deal with the assessment. Again, thanks.

        David

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  21. I had pretty much the same letter today. No recording and I *must* attend my WCA next week. I’m waiting for a call back from DWP but am not hopeful that anything will change. Atos told me that the machine is broken and that it might be “months” before it is sorted. (My centre seems to be Nottingham although I’m near Cambridge).

    Does anyone have it in writing that all of the machines are broken. Or (conversely) are there any reports of anyone managing to get a recording recently?

    Best of luck to anyone trying to deal with this.

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      • Many thanks for your reply Georgina. There’s times that I wish us folk with ME didn’t look and sound so damned healthy. I did win my DLA appeal last Friday but the effort and stress confined me to bed over the weekend. These people just don’t know what we are like.

        So, one down and two to go – IB>ESA and HB/CTB (now on it’s way to appeal). I’ll just get over these when they’ll want to move my DLA to PIP and it’ll start all over again! No rest for the stressed!

        David

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      • Jayne – I’m actually getting help from the DWP. I will hear from them again soon and am cautiously optimistic. I would encourage anyone dealing with this to get the refusal in writing from ATOS (I had to go through the complaints system to get this) and then contact DWP about your case. Good luck!

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    • Jayne – my hope was misplaced. (Well, the person I was talking to was helpful/nice but was over-ruled). I heard today that I *am* going to be forced to have an unrecorded WCA this Thursday. I hope that you are more successful. Also, I would encourage people to keep requesting a recording – that is the only way this will change. It ought to be standard.

      David – the invisibility of M.E. is very difficult to deal with. Like you, I deal with things a little at a time, then collapse and wait to recover, then do a little more. Well done for winning your DLA appeal and very good luck with the other two appeals. Take care :-) Georgina

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      • Frank Field and Stephen Timms are pushing Grayling about this issue so why not let them know what happens when you ask to have your assessment recorded? Give them something to work with!

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      • Thank you, Kay :-)

        I emailed Stephen Timms today. Frank Field is next on my list (along with Tom Greatrex and John McDonnell). Any others I should try?

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      • There will be but I don’t know them. I only know about Timms and Field because I read somewhere ealier they’d had a go at Grayling today or yesterday in the House.

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      • WELL, I was told on the phone yesterday that my WCA on Friday IS going to be recorded!!!

        Apparently they’ve managed to arranged for the machine to be ‘transported in from somewhere else’, their words.

        So, I’ll turn up on Friday prepared for anything and I’ll post the outcome.

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      • Jayne – my WCA has been postponed! A last minute intervention from my MP finally did the trick. I am now allowed to wait until they can record my assessment. I will be very interested to see if they *do* keep your appt properly on Friday.

        Anyone struggling with this – please don’t give up. Contact interested MPs (Stephen Timms, Tom Greatrex, John McDonnell and Frank Field are all actively asking questions about Atos in the House of Commons).

        Try to get help from your local MP. It doesn’t matter what party they are in. They are there to help you.

        Above all, try to get the refusal from Atos in writing, like Jayne did. It makes it easier for others to help you.

        GOOD LUCK. It’s your right to have a recording.

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      • Well done Jayne! That’s amazing :-)

        How did you manage that? I’m due to go tomorrow *without* a recording. I’m at a loss what to do now…

        (I’d seen the FOI info btw. It ought to be very helpful but right now the DWP are ignoring their own rules/guidelines.)

        I’m really worried :-(

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      • Personally I’d print out the FOI piece, take it with me and ask for them to rearrange my assessment to a date when recording equipment WILL be available. And make sure they note the DWP guidance.

        It’s what I’m planning for my ‘back-up’ if when I arrive the equipment is ‘broken’!

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      • Thanks Jayne. I had intended to take a letter of protest, copies of Grayling’s statements and the letter that I received from Atos and ask for them to be put on my file. I had given up on the idea that I might be able to get the WCA postponed. Do you think that I should tell the receptionist when I sign in or wait until I’m in the WCA? (I can’t decide which would be best). Xx

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      • Hi I’d tell the desk and ask them to phone resources @ the regional office as they deal with the recording bookings x

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  22. Hansard, 12th July, Grayling confirms recording should be available (again!)

    Also, how are they keeping track of all the people that they refuse a recording to? Especially those that had the horrible phone call, believed it and just gave up?

    Chris Grayling: Based on the results of a trial during 2011, we have not implemented universal recording for claimants going through the work capability assessment (WCA). We have asked Atos Healthcare to accommodate requests for audio recording, where a claimant makes a request in advance of their assessment. This approach began in late 2011 and we will monitor take up during 2012 before making a decision on the requirement for recording assessments, taking into account factors such as value for money and the value it adds to the WCA process. As part of this process we are also reviewing Atos capacity to provide recordings for those claimants who currently request one.

    (12 July 2012 : Column 349W)

    Source: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm120712/text/120712w0003.htm#12071266000300

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    • It’s odd because he sounds like he’s repeating exactly what he said on the subject just a short while ago in the house. He still isn’t saying Atos must must must let you have a recording if you want one though.

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      • It is odd, I agree. I DO think he’s saying that you must be allowed a recording though:

        “We have asked Atos Healthcare to accommodate requests for audio recording, where a claimant makes a request in advance of their assessment.”

        I think in the past the language has been slightly more ambiguous – they must “try” to accommodate requests – but this seems clear to me. It simply requires someone to ask in advance. This should have been the case since Nov 2011 anyhow. (Quite fuzzy headed so I hope I’m remembering things properly). It’s just that very few people knew about it.

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  23. Awwww and I thought those lovely people at Summit House had written to me personally ! what a twit !!! my letter is exactly the same, but I am not going to accept their response, maybe I have to hire a stenographer ?
    There is simply no way I am going to their medical again and have no evidence of how they dont listen, put the opposite of what you have said and ignore any details you give about how difficult anything might be for you totally, and only say he can or he can’t – mainly he can of course !
    Anyhow my independant tribunal ended early with the judge saying ” we have heard enough already” and so it will be again if necessary.
    Its like a hurdle race, and they just hope you fall at one of the hurdles or get so stressed that you drop out of the race.
    An almost criminal way to treat people who are genuinely ill.

    OLI

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  24. Can anyone tell me the date that these 11 machines became U/S? I was not offered the recording facility for my DLA assessment, but Atos are now saying it was available to me if I wanted it. There was no mention of recording in my letter for the appointment. If the 11 machines were broken on the date of my assessment, that would be a good indication as to whether the offer was made or not. I need to show that it was not available..can you help?

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  25. This argument about recording is becoming a bit involved for me. I was assessed for DLA back in March. There was no mention of recording in the letter telling me about my appointment. Atos was at that time unknown to me. I had no idea of the way this company behaves and I knew no one who had experience of Atos. I attended my assessment like a sheep going to slaughter. Recently I read a letter from Atos to DWP (a copy) in which Davies, the Customer Relation Manager Atos, stated that “the content of these letters has been approved by the DWP, although all customers are entitled to request the assessment be recorded if they wish” This letter was dated the 13/6/12.
    How can a claimant request a recording when they are not informed of the facility being available?
    In an earlier posting Jayne said that Atos were not going to repair or replace these broken machines, and that the DWP had instructed them to cease recordings.
    I need to establish the date the DWP gave that instruction. If that date is prior to March or even up to April, then in my case it’s just another lie by Atos. They would not have been able to offer the recording if they had not got any servicable machines to use.
    A person being interviewed in criminal investigations as a suspect has his interview recorded as a matter of course. It should be the same here.

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    • Hi Martin

      I recognise and understand your frustrations around the whole issue of recording a WCA.

      Where I said ATOS were not replacing/repairing the recorders by instruction from the DWP, I was relating my personal experience; it now seems that ATOA had no right to state the DWP had given such an instruction and the DWP have refuted this ( I seem to remember this was printed in the Guardian)

      I personally feel the whole situation stinks and there are a whole range of issues regarding recordings; this is why wearespartacus are working on a report to put the case. Please, send me any info you uncover which might help us; and/or visit http://www.spartacusforum.org.uk/forum/index.php
      and post it on the forum

      Please bear with us and I promise I will keep everyone here up to speed as the process unfolds

      Keep on hanging on

      Jayne

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      • Hi Jayne, with regards to your comment on my blog, this is what Mr Hoban said recently….
        obviously as you can see the sampling method was very flawed.

        we should look at audio recording and certainly the results of the evaluation that we did. What is interesting is that we do offer audio recording; it is there at the claimant’s request. The take-up rate is phenomenally low: about 40 or 50 people a week ask for the recording. The evaluation suggests that 47% of people would find it helpful, but only 1% of claimants in the pilot asked for a copy of the transcript. There has been no evidence that the audio recording improves the quality of the assessment; the quality is the same whether it is recorded or not. So I think we need to look at what the evidence is and the value that the audio recording gives to claimants and also to the integrity of the process.

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmworpen/uc769/uc76901.htm

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      • Quite agree, recordings would not increase the quaility of the assessment, but me own experince is that the Examination Report submitted was full of falsehoods, that is to say that the written account as submitted by the HCP was nothing more than lies thoughout. Recording the assessment would stop this from happening. The DWP have to act on the evidence recieved by them, therefore it must be correct and true as in criminal investigations carried out by the police MM

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  26. Pingback: ATOS Response to my complaint about Recordings | jaynelinney « this 'n that

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