downwithallthat

bigleyma is thinking…

The Guardian: “Atos doctors could be struck off”

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/aug/13/atos-doctors-improper-conduct-disability

 

We’ll see how slowly the wheels of justice grind in these cases. We’ll see how hairs are split and technicalities are put forward etc etc. And also how this is not taken to represent the conduct of Atos HCP’s in general. But the point needs to be made that it is the embedded structure of the WCA that is at fault, the LiMA software, the ‘descriptors’ and the phrases that HCPs are coached to choose from, the ‘guidance’ from the (DWP) ESA regulations that encourage the HCPs to find evidence that will contradict a claimant’s testimony about their illness.

It is the stark ommission of details about a person’s limitations which is the most damning of the WCA system. The Guardian illustrate this very well with an example given in the article:

 

In another case a claimant with learning difficulties who went for an assessment was found fit for work because he had found his way to the assessment centre on his own.When asked about this by Citizens Advice, he reluctantly explained that he had got up very early, taken the bus to the town centre, and then kept asking passersby for directions. He couldn’t follow their instructions, so he would show the letter, walk in the direction they pointed, then ask again until he arrived.

This is very much a feature of the reports their HCPs generate. A selection of simplistic statements which carry with them unstated, and therefore unchallengeable, assumptions. The main assumption being that the activity could be/has been  carried out without any consequences for the claimant. Barriers which a claimant may have to struggle valiantly or extremely patiently to overcome, consequences such as fatigue, pain/discomfort, distress are ommitted from the narrative created about their health/fitness by a process which, by design, robs them of any agency in it.

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Written by bigleyma

August 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm

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