Atos try to interrogate unconscious hospital patient over non-attendance at benefit assessment

This is sickening. It comes to us courtesy of our friends on the Atos Miracles Facebook page:

I have a neuromuscular disease and the medication I take means I have virtually no immune system. This photo [above] is of me lying in ICU battling life-threatening sepsis.

ATOS had the audacity to actually call the intensive care unit and demand to speak to me about why I wasn’t attending my assessment (despite the fact my mum and husband had told them I was fighting for my life).

The staff were horrified and told them how dare they ring and try and interrogate an unconscious patient.

My concern with this story is that we know the benefit assessors from Atos don’t take kindly to being told a claimant is in hospital. I fear this patient will soon receive a letter saying their benefit claim has been cancelled.

It’s what they do. They don’t care about threats to life and limb; they consider all claimants to be at their beck and call.

That is, until death – which they do their best to cause, by indirect means, as quickly as possible.

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57 thoughts on “Atos try to interrogate unconscious hospital patient over non-attendance at benefit assessment

  1. joanna

    I’m sorry if this sounds callous, but why would an unconscious need to claim? Aren’t benefits for immediate needs? The patient will already have their needs seen to in hospital. Atos are insensitive contacting the hospital but then they have a track record for that, but I don’t see anything wrong apart from that.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They would have claimed before they fell victim to the condition that put them in hospital, of course.

    2. Lady Kayla (@LadyKorenwolf)

      You think someone’s expenses disappear when they’re in hospital? Really? You think a hospital admission, no matter how serious, means that the additional expenses faced by sick & disabled people miraculously cease for the duration? I didn’t notice whether it said this was a new claim; a “why haven’t you recovered from your incurable illness yet” review; or a transfer from DLA to PIP – the latter two, of course meaning that they are already receiving the benefit & ATOS would dearly love to kick them off it under any pretext.

      You “don’t see anything wrong” other than ATOS being insensitive? That’s the whole point of the article. ATOS staffs’ insensitivity & callous behaviour towards claimants.

    3. Rusty

      A patient may recover enough to be able to return home, if their benefits are cut then they will have no home to return to! We have massive tax evasion so the tories cut benefits instead!

    4. Christo

      Benefits to pay their rent etc? You know in case they want a home to go back to after they leave hospital. Lots of conditions require frequent hospital stays. If benefits stopped every time they would bed block if they lost their home

    5. wildswimmerpete

      Yes Joanna, do you live with parents or actually paying the bills? Being in hospital doesn’t put all the bills on hold. Rent or mortgage interest still has to be paid, the council still wants their cut.

      Bear in mind that if the patient concerned is on Universal Credit that means loss of housing benefit which could lead to loss of their home. Currently, anybody in receipt of certain benefits (which in includes Pension Guarantee Credit) can spend six weeks in hospital on full benefit but after that a reduced amount is paid reflecting the reduction of the cost of buying food. The reduced payment is intended to cover bills and non-food essentials.

      1. Dez

        I guess even this temporary 6 weeks relief will be in their sights when then eventually get on top of the their main agenda dragging people out of their sick beds so they can work on jobs that do not exist or they would not even be recruited for if there were suitable jobs……this Government and its profit hungry parasitic contractors are completely mad and inhuman..

    6. Stephen Young

      I’m lying unconscious in a hospital bed, oh think I’ll put in a claim. Bit more thought needed next time I suggest!

    7. Shaun

      Had illness and made claim prior to going into hospital, got worse and developed into sepsis, admitted into hospital. After the usual delay in processing claim ATOS phone intensive care unit to enquire whether patient is really ill.
      The claimant would still need to pay rent/mortage, council tax, debts etc.

    8. missedith01

      She isn’t always unconscious. Maybe next month she’ll recover enough to go home. If we followed your system, she’d have no heating, no food, no water and no home to go to. There are rules which cover long-term hospital inpatients, but thankfully if you are in and out you can still claim, otherwise everyone with a serious chronic condition would be destitute. Yes, it does sound callous. Because it is callous.

    9. Mark Edwards

      Are you serious? Good god, no wonder atos takes no responsibility for the deaths directly attributable to their inhumane attitude towards those who claim.
      Please remember, stating they acted legally does not admonish them of any responsibility.
      After all, the Nazi persecution of those they saw fit to harass was all done legally.

      Legal does not equate to morally correct!

    10. Lauren Brookes

      It’s very likely They claimed for a disabilty. Whilst they were at home. Then was rushed to hospital later, being sick. You know like proper disabled sick people do. Sometimes having to go into hospital. I seriously can’t believe you don’t even understand that.

    11. andriae4

      (Most people are being assessed over and over and the processes take months to complete. )Disabled people don’t live in hospital. They are only there during acute/life-threatening illnesses

    12. kurikat

      Are you for real? This person was & is already registered disabled, with a life threatening condition, is that NOT disbaled enough for you? This was ATOS trying to get her for another assessment to make sure she really was ill. As they believe life threatening conditions, or terminal conditions are just not SERIOUS enough, which obviously is how you think too. Keep on being healthy, because to get sick or injured enough to register you disabled in the UK, means to be PUT DOWN, usually via stress, heart attack, or suicide as soon as ATOS say you are fit for work. AS that is why over 4THOUSAND people died from June to Sept last year. Due to these CRIMINAL assessments.

    13. Caroline Whitson

      So your rent/mortgage, council tax etc just stop when you are in hospital do they? I have certainly never found this to be the case. You are a very odd and selfish person to think it is OK to stop someone’s benefits because their medical condition has worsened or changed. Please educate yourself and try to show some compassion in your life.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Please, no personal attacks. Discuss the topic, not someone with whom you disagree.

    14. Weegiewarbler

      Did you actually read the bit about the person having a neuromotor condition – and therefore more than likely on benefits prior to their hospital admission?
      We need to stand up or everyone or else it could be our turn next. You never know when any one of us requires the safety net of the NHS or the Social Security system.

    15. Phil Culmer (@brotherphil)

      So they should come out of hospital to live on the street, with bailiffs on their back?
      The hospital may feed them, but rent and utilities still need to be paid, and the fact that you are not home does not mean that there is no use of electricity or gas, even if you do have someone who can go and turn off the non-essentials.

    16. David Greaves

      I can’t believe the comments at the beginning this made by Joanne, I hope you never have to claim anything, and I would hope you knew a little about what goes off in the real world of having to explain and grovel to these *******s before you make a comment like that.

  2. Prickly

    Yes Joanna – you are callous. Your description of this very ill lady as ‘an unconscious’ shows how nasty you are, in addition to you believing she deserves no benefits. I’m sure Atos would be delighted to employ you if they don’t already do so.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Let’s stick to discussing what other commenters said, rather than the commenters themselves, please. You can say the comment is callous, in your opinion, but you won’t change anybody’s mind by attacking and insulting them.

      1. john

        freedom of speech is KEY to freedom and to make things better mike . 1st rule of socialism.. never TELL anyone what they can say , feel… express mike rember

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        That’s the trouble with popular articles; they inflict people like this on the site.
        I couldn’t even be bothered to try to translate. I don’t know whether any of you felt like it.

      3. john

        freedom of expression mike rember never tell anyone how to think’ or vote . rember mike a TRUE socializing social society NEVER TELLS ANYONE what do ‘ say ‘ or feel whithin words . seems very very NEO LIBERAL vox political ‘ say this but must word not??? ha ha no wonder this country is now DEAD with fake so called leftys ‘ o sorry the correct word is social ‘ right mike u must tell EVERYONE HOW TO WORD THERE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSIONS AND HOW TO TYPE IT !!!!

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Oh wait! I do get it. He’s telling me I should let commenters make ad hominem attacks on other commenters rather than discuss the issues at hand.
        Let me think about that.

      5. john

        mike this country is over ‘ honest my great grand father was the grand master in scotland in a REAL social party for change in all working class conditions not snp visions FREE EDUCATION! GOOD WARM CHEAP HOMES! FREE GOOD MEDICAL AID! AND A RIGHT TO A GOOD PAYED JOB!! its all gone back to 1920s for most , ive seen this country just go down ,,down down and it is for people like jo’ who only care for them selves untill bad comes upon them and then its off to the red flag for helpTRUE U KNOW

    2. Jennifer Anne Gould

      well said prickly ,it never ceases to amaze me ,how many stupid people out there dont GET IT ,what will they do next ,e mail the funeral parlour ,years ago when we hd benefit books it stated in the things to do pages at the back of the book .it said if you die please arrange for someone to return your payment book ,to local dwp office .are we supposed to contact sally morgan.

  3. jeffrey davies

    that brings back my ordeal ring ring partner answers mr davies has a appointment oh dear wify sais hes in the icu heart ward cant remember now the story but after getting out a visit to dwp were atos resides 3wks after op nurse sais iv talked to your doctor and he sais you fit to work in a few weeks time all this while i was giving help to my wify to sit down i cant remember if i did sit down but i said to this highly trained nurse get a real doctor in here at which she scutled out of the room oh dear my wify sais but a older person came into the room to tell me theyl make a new appointment but tthat another story in its self has my body headed to a second op a few weeks later atos the land of the highly trained chimp

  4. Justin

    Probably would have passed them as fit to work, knowing how capable and skilled this company is in doing there assessments, the part of getting in and out of bed and walking 20 feet would probably apply

    1. andria

      Hate Crime: Obviously. It must be time for a test case but needs to be thought through carefully especially as we are all so unwell in multiple ways. Anyone got close Lawyer friend(s)

  5. Clive

    Joanna just because a person is in Hospital ” Life ” and ” Living ” costs do not stop! ….

    Your comments Sound, Read and are ” Callous ” ; however, I think that, they are made out of ignorance of exactly the system works… To cut this short… A Claimant, can’t apply for benefit on a Monday, Have the application accepted on Tuesday then, having the benefit paid into their bank on Wednesday…!! It can take months , six months or even longer ” If ” successful.. The assessments are carried out ” FIRSTLY ” to check that, the claimant are “genuinely ” ill, disabled and in need of assistance, “SECONDLY ” and supposedly to check that, the person has, have and are receiving their proper mounts allowed ( By Law ) met, meets their requirements. Surly, anyone in their right and able mind should realise and accept that, a person in a Intensive Care ward , would not and is not well enough to go to/ attend their ” Assessment ” ? !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. V

    Don’t really see issue with assessors doing their job checking up on where a claimant is. They wouldn’t ask for assessment of needs unless they were notified of a change in needs, and yes they wouldn’t need to claim if they were using NHS care full time. My heart goes out to this person in the story but in the end they need to do their job to check claimants whereabouts.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Maybe, but – having ascertained that the claimant’s illness is such that they are currently in hospital, unconscious – don’t you agree that demanding to interrogate the unconscious person over the telephone is a step too far?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        You did read the part where the assessors demanded to speak with the unconscious person, yes?

  7. Barry Davies

    Unfortunately this is not a new story there have been previous examples of this sort of occurrence, I’m not sure which is the worst wanting people on life support to attend a hearing, or asking someone when their limb will grow back, ATOS and Capita make their money by denying genuine claimants the aid they desperately need and as long as they are involved this nonsense will continue.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s absolutely right. It is a new story in that this particular incident hasn’t been reported before, but it follows an all-too-familiar pattern.

  8. Ave bell

    doesnt surprise me in the least!! when i was being assessed on the initial programme done by the shaw trust they sent me harrassing letters in the post despite me being on oxygen in hospital. they demanded I attended a meeting as soon as i was out of hospital despite me still being very poorly and not really with it, I was put on the 8 week course to get me back into work despite the fact i still had a job and was only on sick leave still (yes unlikely to return with the diagnosis i received but none the less still employed!) ……I was so so confused with it all and when they offered me a job dear god!!! how to confuse someone and totally mess their head up whilst they are gravely sick – be assessed by shaw trust/atos or any other government body!!!! ……. and it still continues now!!!

  9. Zurkster

    @Joanna I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the callous and thoughtless remarks left on this page come from truly ignorant and selfish individuals who continue to vote for the corrupt government who enforce this atrocity against vulnerable sick people in the first place. My wife died while waiting for a PIP decision, a decision to suspend her claim that left a wheelchair bound stroke and heart attack victim without transport

    1. Ave bell

      Zurkster I am sorry to hear about your loss :/ xxx I really feel that the government should be held accountable for all the people they have helped to lose the battle against illness by contributing to their stress. until you have been personally affected by this governments’ actions and atrocities I believe you cannot fully understand the extent of their true harassment and dedication to ridding the world of us “sick ” people who are all somehow “screwing the system and wasting the tax payers money” when in fact most of us have worked many years, paying both our taxes and national insurance contributions and are actually more than entitled to claim some of that money back (I will not say benefits because it truly has never felt beneficial to me!”. And yet the government can waste millions of pounds paying private companies to make sure we are found “fit for work” to save but a fraction of the money. I have not only lost my ability to work and contribute to society and my independence…………. I have lost all my pride, my self confidence, my self worth, my will to fight not only the diseases that attack me but the government for a measly amount on which to merely exist ………….. not to live and to try to enjoy what little life i have left but to merely exist, robbing peter to pay paul and worrying constantly not only about my health, my financial situation but about how others view me because I am one of the many people stricken with invisible diseases for which there is no cure, no hope of the pain ever leaving and wondering WHY? why do i continue to fight to get up every morning to go through another day of pain, another day of my illness flaring, another day of the doctor informing me that they need to increase the meds or try a different med because its getting worse and they do not know what to do! another day of wondering who is judging me more today, another day of worrying about how i will pay the bills, another day of worrying about everything and anything but the surprisingly weirdest thought of all is not a worry ………….. I wonder if they will find me fit for work today and if so how long will it be before i can finally just close my eyes and die!!!!! to die and have done with it all is something the government has made a lot of us feel is actually probably the better option.
      And to all those people like Joanna who cannot see “anything wrong” in the original post, then by god I hope my time comes soon for I do not wish to live in a world where people can no longer show empathy or compassion !!!

  10. Shelky

    Hospitalisation should suspend any other interference from outside agencies until a qualified medical doctor or consultant deems different. Benefits USED to carry on for 12 weeks to allow recovery etc under an agrreeement from health and social care to ensure that beds didn’t get blocked due to homelessness, bills got paid etc. Why this wishy washy assessment process is going on without proper standardised assessment processes is worrying. Why the public who foot the bill are putting up with it is frustrating. Why the publicly employed parliamentarians are still receiving huge pay rises and backing private profit making schemes out of these assessments and other medical related hive offs if the social and NHS system is outrageous.
    We are all being made into suckers and decide and rule by getting everyone blaming each other at joe public level is a brilliant move. Hideously repulsive!

  11. debbie jackson

    Way back in 2010 I had an appointment at the JCP. Four days before said appointment I had a stroke and was kept in hospital. JCP was contacted and told. It wasn’t my usual adviser. On the day of appointment I got a call to my mobile asking me where I was. I told them the hospital and ward. The next I knew a nurse told me JCP had phoned them to check I was there and ask about my medical condition.

  12. Dez

    Feels like there is only a small quantum leap for Crapita to deploy ankle location devices on the sick and unemployed as an add on to their current job of keeping criminals located….Unfortunately even that simple job Crapita screwed up when their employees started taking bungs to keep the ankle bracelets loose so those under surveillance could go out on the town doing what they normally do. So much for outsourcing and its negative quality and profiteering.

  13. Justin

    One issue amongst all of this and this is broad spectrum is trust,quite obviously they do not trust anything, retrospectively trust works both ways, trust is not them telling your gp to not issue gp’s certificates behind your back, trust is not manipulating statements for financial gain, trust is not believing string evidence written by professionals that are better than there 5 week fly in the night fantasy experts, trust is seeing when a complaint is made against one of there assessors that they are indeed given a warning,not some flowery letter saying they were a naughty boy and they be told of and won’t do it again till next time, trust is about believing that after filling in a nightmare application form that you are not going to be ridiculed for daring to ask for a recording and then being given ridiculous terms to do it or as i was threatened by some bright spark with a sanction when i was asking for advice, so what is the common theme emerging here, Trust and I would implore everyone who has been through these assessments and even if you get a sucessfull outcome at the end without going through mandatory consideration or tribunal, ask yourself this do you trust them, if the answer is no, ask for recording, bring a witness or advocate,give the advocate power to speak on your behalf or to ask questions for clariifcation, ask for any of the assessors qualifications, if the reply is i am qualified, ask for further clarification are you a nurse, are you a Mh specialist,physiotherapist, paramedic etc if they got nothing to hide they be honest, if they cannot answer or give a vague answer then you know your likely dealing with a gold digging not very professional person who is going to twist your answers, ask for all the paperwork as soon as you have been told your fit to work, include in that you wish to see any correspondence they had with your gp/care-team etc, if you feel you do not trust them, make sure that your medical side cannot send any information without your express permission.

    lastly if you been given a bad medical, complain, either before tribunal or if your confident enough about winning the tribunal after the tribunal, the more evidence you get against the assessor and maybe the decision maker the stronger your case for going through a fitness to practice case against the so called professional, there ar to many of them getting away with this mainly due to targetting vunerable adults who struggle to fight back and as a few people have said if they were faced with more cases at fitness to practice level which costs a phenominal amount of money they may actually start to think about that very carefully for other reasons as well as the striking of/suspension side etc

  14. andria

    These message lists are very hard to keep up with, and people are feeling so much about this appaling situation, as am I. I want to swear and break down doors and do as much as I can to bring down the Welfare Reform ACT though…there are so many people like this poor woman going through hell on earth, inc me. We need to think, be calm as possible, reach out to all professional and academic allies and get this thing thrown into hell where it belongs. I am [email protected] been an activist since childhood in the 1970s Strength and solidarity to all suffering from this sadistic crap

  15. mrmarcpc

    Another low this callous, evil, fascist government has sank to, I’m surprised the sadistic, cruel filth didn’t pull the plug so the poor soul can’t claim anymore!

  16. iechydmeddwl

    It would seem that the DWP has no understanding of chronic ill-health, mental-ill health, or disability in general. Is it no wonder how IDS managed to murder so many disabled people (well over 10,000 people), and get away with it!

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