The BBC reports that a quarter of the premises used by Atos to carry out work capability assessments (WCA) for employment and support allowance (ESA) lack disabled access.

Mark Hoban, minister for employment told the Commons Work and Pensions Committee that 31 out of Atos’​ 123 venues do not have wheelchair access and confirmed that the lack of disabled access has created a backlog of cases. Six assessment centres in particular in Croydon, Ealing, Birmingham, Luton, Mansfield, and Norwich account for 73% of the backlog in assessments. Hoban told the Committee “​There’​s a challenge in ensuring interview centres are accessible. What we don’​t want to do is to get people to turn up to centres that they can’​t effectively access.”​

Dame Anne Begg, MP and chairwoman of the Committee pointed out that it would be difficult for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to ask businesses to “​put in access when the department cannot itself”​ provide such access in buildings used for medical assessments.

A spokesperson for Atos told the BBC “​We are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure there is appropriate access at all sites used and hope that this will be the case shortly.”​

The BBC report can be found here


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