Below is the account of a caller to LBC 97.3fm on 27/7/13 to Petrie Hosken.
From LBC - "A caller who claims to be a former nurse at ATOS - the company tasked
with assessing people for Disability Living Allowance* by the government
- gives Petrie Hosken an uncomfortable insight into how assessments are
Nurse: Worst position I ever worked in - more like factory work. Had daily quotas
of 26 bundles of files - 18 files of clients to a bundle. I worked on
my own on the computer. Results were quantified before started -
results were what they predicted.
Nurse: Questioned why can't DWP employ its own nurses & doctors?
Doctors employed by Atos are 95% foreign doctors, who cannot get work in
NHS. Others are retired/ semi retired GPs. All doctors are very well
paid. Doctors are not allowed to examine patients. Shambolic.
Petrie: Are you surprised by number of Appeals?
Nurse : Not surprised. The result is told to you before you look at the files. Everything is predetermined
Petrie: Are you encouraged to turn clients away from the benefits system?
Nurse: Nurses did the file work - did not meet the patients. Told how many had to be turned down.
If not you had a kind of disciplinary. The doctors did not examine the
patients. Nurses and doctors are workers with no regard to their
clinical skills. You belong to Atos, who treat their staff horrendously.
Petrie: This is appalling. You have to have Targets?
Petrie: You turn people away despite their health conditions?
Nurse: uh huh
Petrie: How does it make you feel?
Nurse: Awful ( She left after 9 months working for Atos, having been a nurse for 30 years)
It is the most unsatisfying job. Joined to make a difference.
Petrie: So decent people leave - replaced by others who need a job and don't have your moral compass?
Nurse: I was told by Deputy Director at the Atos centre, who is a
doctor " Sally if you want to work here you'd better throw your
principles out the window."
Nurse: Said she left Atos after 9 months, having been a nurse for 30 years.
*Atos currently carry out the Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Government for Employment and Support Allowance claims and have recently been awarded a contract to assess disabled people for the new Personal Independence Payments.
Transcript of Audio by @FordCarole [with thanks to @tinkerkitten4 ]