Maximus runs assessments for sickness benefit claimants – people who need care. Now it will oversee the management of advice on care in homes and hospitals.
Is it paranoid to see a conflict of interest here?
The source article quotes the chair of one service-user network who said his organisation had not been contacted to work in the new system. That may not be enough to condemn Maximus/Remploy – but who will be carrying out the work.
People with a vested interest in saying what Maximus/Remploy wants to hear?
The care watchdog has been criticised for awarding a discredited outsourcing giant new contracts to manage the use of service-users as expert advisers in care homes and hospitals.
Two-thirds of the new contracts to run Experts by Experience – which pays people with experience of using care services to take part in Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections – have been awarded to Remploy.
Remploy, which will start delivering the Experts by Experience programme on 1 February 2016, was formerly controlled by the UK government but is now mostly owned by the US outsourcing company Maximus, which already has a huge chunk of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contracts to provide employment support and assessment services for disabled people.
Since Maximus was awarded the DWP contract to take over provision of its controversial “fitness for work” tests from Atos, activists have repeatedly drawn attention to its troubling history in other countries.
The company has a lengthy record of discrimination, incompetence and alleged fraud in the US and has also been linked with allegations of exploitation and manipulation of government contracts within the Australian welfare-to-work industry.
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