The BBC are reporting that American firm Maximus are to take over from Atos as the provider of the work capability assessment (WCA).
Maximus has been described by John Pring of the Disability News Service as a ‘company with a “chilling” record of incompetence, discrimination and alleged fraud’.
Maximus also won the contract for the government’s new Health and Work Service in July of this year, making it responsible for getting workers who have been on sick leave for more than four weeks back to work. The new service launches in November.
It means that the same company will first decide whether you should return to work when you are off sick and then whether you are eligible for employment and support allowance if you fail to return to work.
According to Ekklesia, the medical director at HML is Professor Mike O’Donnell, who was previously Chief Medical Officer at Atos and prior to that, Chief Medical Officer at the much hated Unum, who many sick and disabled claimants blame for the introduction of a points based system for assessing sick and disabled claimants.
We’ll publish more details as they become available.