11.21.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Understanding Thierry Breton: Atos Healthcare – “The Ugly Face of Business”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Finance at 3:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Overview

Understanding Thierry Breton

Further parts pending review and research


Atos comparing

Summary: “…2,380 people died after their claim for employment and support allowance (ESA) ended because a work capability assessment (WCA) found that they were found fit for work.”

Atos Healthcare ended up at the centre of a major public controversy in the UK as a result of its provision of Work Capability Assessment (WCA) services for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The company became a lightning rod for public anger over the WCA scheme which was criticised by MPs and campaigners as inhumane.

Health assessments conducted by Atos were mired in controversy, including complaints over the qualifications of assessors, as well as the criteria used to determine fitness for work.

“In another case, a woman with stage 4 cancer, who was suffering from hair loss undergoing chemotherapy, was told she was also able to get a job, and had her benefits slashed.”Thousands of vulnerable people were found to have been wrongly judged to be fit for work and ineligible for government support. In one case, a dying father, 34, diagnosed with emphysema was told that because he could “push an empty box” he was “fit for work”. In another case, a woman with stage 4 cancer, who was suffering from hair loss undergoing chemotherapy, was told she was also able to get a job, and had her benefits slashed.

In 2013, Greg Wood, a former navy doctor decided that he could no longer tolerate working for the company and blew the whistle on practices within Atos after he was asked to change a report he had made on a claimant, in this case making it unlikely that the individual would be eligible for sickness benefit.

Wood left because he considered that the company was acting unethically by putting pressure on a doctor to change the conclusions of an assessment.

“Wood left because he considered that the company was acting unethically by putting pressure on a doctor to change the conclusions of an assessment.”His decision to spill the beans made headlines in the UK because he was the first Atos-employed doctor to put his career on the line and articulate concerns about a system that had been criticised by charities and claimants for years.

Wood gave strong evidence to the BBC to suggest that the methods used to assess whether individuals were eligible for the new incapacity benefit – employment and support allowance (ESA) – were “unfair” and “skewed against the claimant”.

The DWP’s own statistics revealed that in 2011 10,600 people died within six weeks of being found fit for work by Atos and another 2,200 died before their assessment was complete.

“The DWP’s own statistics revealed that in 2011 10,600 people died within six weeks of being found fit for work by Atos and another 2,200 died before their assessment was complete.”It was reported that the Government had refused to publish statistics for 2012/2013 and had rejected a Freedom of Information request submitted by Mike Sivier of the Vox Political blog on the grounds that was ‘vexatious‘.

However, following a ruling by the Information Commissioner’s Office in April 2015, the DWP released statistics which revealed that, during the period December 2011 and February 2014, 2,380 people died after their claim for employment and support allowance (ESA) ended because a work capability assessment (WCA) found that they were found fit for work.

Atos protest
Dodgy health assessments by Atos led to widespread outrage and protests in the UK

In February 2014 it was reported that Atos was endeavouring to secure an early exit from its WCA contract, which was due to expire in August 2015.

Atos claimed that there had been about 163 incidents of abuse or assault on staff each month during the previous year and that it had found comments on social media accusing staff of being “murdering scumbags” who “won’t be smiling when we come to hang you”.

A month later the DWP confirmed that it had agreed to an early exit from the existing WCA contract after raising concerns about the quality of the work conducted by Atos.

“…2,380 people died after their claim for employment and support allowance (ESA) ended because a work capability assessment (WCA) found that they were found fit for work.”However, as of October 2016 Atos was still undertaking work for the DWP in assessing Personal Independence Payment applications.

When Atos took over administering PIPs its estimates of how fast claims could be processed were over-optimistic as were estimates of how easily claimants could get to assessment centres. This led to delays in assessments, distress to claimants and unexpectedly high costs and to accusations that Atos had misled the government over its capabilities for processing claims.

In 2017 revelations that Atos and Capita were on target to be paid more than £ 700m for their five-year PIP contracts, and significantly more than the original estimate of £ 512m, led to accusations that the DWP was “rewarding failure”.

In December 2015, a report by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee singled out Atos for its failure to show “an appropriate duty of care to the taxpayer” over an IT system designed to allow the extraction of data from all GP practice computer systems in England. The costs of the system, which started five years late, ballooned from an initially estimated £ 14m to a final total of £ 40m.

“The costs of the system, which started five years late, ballooned from an initially estimated £ 14m to a final total of £ 40m.”As a result of this “IT cockup”, the Public Accounts Committee urged the Cabinet Office to review Atos’s relationships as a Crown supplier, and to ensure the reasons for the project’s failure were “disseminated widely to reinforce the steps that need to be taken to avoid such mistakes being repeated again”.

In December 2016, Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron questioned how Atos and Capita could have been paid over £500m from tax payers money for assessing fitness to work in view of the fact that 61% who appealed won their appeals.

Farron stated, “This adds to the suspicion that these companies are just driven by a profit motive, and the incentive is to get the assessments done, but not necessarily to get the assessments right. They are the ugly face of business.”

OH Assist
If your reputation is in shreds, it may be time to rebrand…

By 2014, the Atos brand had become so toxic in the UK that Atos Healthcare “reinvented” itself as OH Assist. The Atos Healthcare brand was reserved for use in connection with activities relating to the PIP contract.

In 2016 it was announced that Atos had sold off the OH Assist business to CBPE Capital.

One positive outcome finally emerged from the Atos Healthcare saga in April 2017 when the Scottish government adopted legislation prohibiting the use of private firms for carrying out benefit assessments in Scotland.

“One positive outcome finally emerged from the Atos Healthcare saga in April 2017 when the Scottish government adopted legislation prohibiting the use of private firms for carrying out benefit assessments in Scotland.”Social Security minister Jeane Freeman declared that profiteering companies had no place in assessing a person’s fitness to work:

“One of our fundamental principles is that profit should never be a motive nor play any part in assessing or making decisions on people’s health and eligibility for benefits.”

In the next part we will return to Thierry Breton and explore some of his connections with the upper echelons of French plutocracy.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  2. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  3. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  4. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  6. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  8. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  9. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  10. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  11. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  13. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  15. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  16. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  17. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  18. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  22. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  23. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  24. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  26. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  27. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  28. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  29. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  30. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts