Presentation on theme: "Mally Chandler and Joe Greener. An overview of Atos A closer look at Atos assessments Theorising the use of assessments – what do they tell us about."— Presentation transcript:
An overview of Atos A closer look at Atos assessments Theorising the use of assessments – what do they tell us about the changing nature of the welfare
assess disabled people for eligibility for the new personal independence payment (PIP) 738,000 assessments carried out in past year – over 300,000 have appealed 40% appeal and 38% are successful 1,100 claimants died after they were put in the "work-related activity group“ 1,600 died before having an assessment £42 million profit in 2010 and paid boss Keith Wilman £800,000, a 22% pay rise on the previous year
assess disabled people for eligibility for the new personal independence payment (PIP), the planned replacement for disability living allowance. 738,000 assessments carried out in past year – over 300,000 have appealed 40% appeal and 38% are successful 1,100 claimants died after they were put in the "work-related activity group“ 1,600 died before having an assessment £42 million profit in 2010 and paid boss Keith Wilman £800,000, a 22% pay rise on the previous year
The process was difficult and badly organised The first meeting: MC phoned ahead of the assessment to demand that recording equipment be used After a two hour wait for the staff to arrange recording equipment in the first meeting we were informed at the beginning of the assessment that it was not available at the centre on that day. MC: Well what’s your qualifications to do with arthritis? Assessor: I’m a registered general nurse MC: Right but that’s a general nurse, have you got any grounding in...(arthritis) Assessor: Well I’m asking you to leave right now, I am absolutely abandoning this assessment (Nurse stands up to leave the room we follow) A recorded assessment was re-arranged for a couple of months later....
After a 30min wait we were called in for the assessment at which point we inquired again about recording. Again we were told that there was no equipment on site. Once the staff realised we would not accept an assessment without a recording we were asked to wait, and suddenly the proper equipment was found. An hour later the assessment began. The assessment which lasted around 45min had a number of elements to it. It began by identifying the range of health problems It asked about specific prescribed medication It then looked at ‘functioning’ in day-to-day life A medical assessment was then carried out
The interaction was completely lead by the assessor ‘Can you walk round the house unaided...You don’t tend to walk round the house...Do you use one or two handrails’ ‘How are you when you’re sitting, for example when you’re sitting watching telly...but when you’re watching telly’ ‘Do you normally do it though (cooking), for instance did your wife always do it?’ ‘How are you managing when you do go out the house?...For instance, when you go to the GP, how are you?’ What about your shopping, where do you do your shopping... ‘No problems seeing your family and friends?’
No questions are asked about previous employment, there are no concerns about future employment or what other services could be provided to assist someone in accessing employment in the formal labour market. The process is a secret – not allowed to use the recording in the appeals process, questions never answered.
Does this new assessment procedure articulate a fundamental change in the way the state approaches disability? New emphasis on paid employment Psycho-social model of disability Privatisation of decision making The new benefit system is a reflection of a wider attempt to achieve legitimacy for a new configuration of welfare and economy
Neoliberalism: national budget deficits are unsustainable, massive cuts in spending leads to economic success Seeking legitimacy for the new economic order through claims of justice and fairness (hence the irrationality of the benefit changes). The problem of the economy in society is then the feckless who are unwilling to work and not capitalism, the inequalities it produces or its inherent instabilities. The solution is then punitive measures which force people to take employment and even greater emphasis on the market as a solution.
How worried should we be? Any other experiences? Fighting Atos and the benefit changes