ATOS ASSESSMENTS NO LONGER ‘FIT FOR WORK’

> For immediate release: Wednesday 26 September
>
> FAO: NEWS DESK
> POLITICAL CORRESPONDENTS
>
> ATOS ASSESSMENTS NO LONGER ‘FIT FOR WORK’
>
>
> SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, Kevin Stewart, today leads a debate in
> The Scottish Parliament on the UK government’s discredited Work
> Capability Assessments. The controversial assessments, administered by
> ATOS, have been criticised by organisations representing disabled
> people and by medical professionals.
>
> Mr Stewart will call for the assessments, which are no longer fit for
> purpose, to be scrapped and replaced by a model that works for
> disabled people.
>
> Mr Stewart said:
>
> “The Work Capability Assessment has been discredited so much by
> individuals who have gone through the process and by the overwhelming
> evidence that it can no longer be seen fit for purpose.
>
> “Despite two years of independent reviews, the research proves that
> the system frightening and daunting for claimants is flawed.
>
> “Having to go through the system is stressful enough – it is sometimes
> frightening and daunting for claimants – and having to wait up to six
> weeks for communication from the Department of Work and Pensions is
> unacceptable.
>
> “When medical professionals are against a system which claims to be
> fool proof, surely it’s time for the UK government to scrap it and
> create a system that works for disabled people?”
>
> The British Medical Association called on MSPs to support Mr Stewart’s
> motion, stating:
>
> “The BMA is concerned about the impact that UK welfare reform
> legislation will have on the people of Scotland.”
>
> Ends
>
> NOTES – The motion which will be debated is:
>
> S4M-04043  Kevin Stewart () (Scottish National Party): That the
> Parliament understands that there are ever-increasing concerns in
> Aberdeen and across Scotland regarding the work capability assessments
> for Employment and Support Allowance that are being carried out by
> Atos; notes the reported fears of stakeholder organisations and
> individuals that similar concerns will be reproduced with assessments
> for Personal Independence Payments, and understands that members are
> receiving significant casework from constituents regarding negative
> experiences of work capability assessments.
>
> The British Medical Association can be contacted through Helen Reilly
> (hreilly@bma.org.uk or 0131247 3018).

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