Atos employ just three doctors out of a total of 2,000 health professionals who carry out PIP assessments, the company revealed in evidence from the three main assessment providers given to MPs last week.

Atos and Capita carry out PIP assessments, whilst Maximus are responsible for the work capability assessment (WCA) for ESA and universal credit.

All three companies were giving evidence to the work and pensions committee last month.

Dr Barrie McKillop, Clinical Director at Independent Assessment Services (Atos) told the committee

“We have about 2,000 health professionals in the IAS team, including those directly employed by ourselves and some from our partners.”

 He went on to say that:

67% are registered general nurses,

17% are either registered mental health nurses or registered learning disability nurses

15% are occupational therapists, physiotherapists or paramedics, in roughly equal proportion

He added “We also have three doctors working in the service.”

Capita said they have “1,000 ex-NHS professionals” but gave no breakdown of their specialisms.

Maximus said they have 1,100 health professionals, down from a peak of 1,200 before the pandemic.

Many readers will be astonished that so few doctors are employed as part of the team that carries out PIP assessments, given the proportion of claimants who have multiple, complex and often variable conditions. 

The fact that adverts for doctors to carry out assessments currently offer starting salaries of £77,000 plus private health insurance and other perks does suggest though, that doctors are an expensive commodity.


The desperate shortage of assessors was underlined by a double page spread from the Daily Mail sent to us by a member.

It was a huge ad for “clinical assessors” by Everpool Recruitment.

Salaries for nurses are £33,000 - £40,000.

Whilst doctors start at £72,000.

A search online reveals that the package also includes salary increases of £1,000 at 6 months and again at 12 months.

Plus a 10% ‘performance based’ bonus.

And for some staff there’s even private healthcare.

Not surprising really, as there’s such a desperate shortage of staff in the NHS.

You can read the full transcript of the evidence sessions here.


Write comments...
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ian · 1 years ago
    What a biased website and comments. Best that you give advice on how to present your claim including evidence required so the appraiser can comment appropriately and submit the correct information to DWP.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Billy · 2 years ago
    Well I can understand why so many people fail to get PiP.They need to employ doctors in all areas to give a fair assessment.They try to catch you out in the assessment they put what they want to put when I read my report I was livid .But I am 
    appealing it  .I guess they get bonuses for the amount of people they decline.just fight them
    all the way.They way they treat disabled person is my report it was said she didn’t hear me making any noise of being in pain …. I took my tablets and this woman was supposed to be a nurse.As they say he who feels it knows it.By the  way I have osteoarthritis in both hips
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dave · 2 years ago
    Even if the likes of ATOS etc used 100% Doctors there is no guarantee they would look at medical reports from Consultants. GP's and other healthcare professionals.  We would still have the situation where they produce erroneous reports as I have had a Dr on a couple of occasions and was still faced with documenting several pages of errors and that was even when I had a witness present at the assessment.  Additionally, you still would not get to see their report until after the DWP have made their decision and then it is too late.  In my experience Atos etc will not entertain corrections to the content of the report, but if you can show that the treatment you recieved from the assessor was out of order.  At one assessment the assessor would not listen to me and actually wrote at the end of the report 'I was argumentative'.  The content of that report had many errors which were the same as 4 previous ones,  ATOS decided that the report with the comment at the end would be discounted, but the other 4 would stand despite them all having identical errors even though they were prepared by different assessors at different times - the similarity in errors being due to the use of multiple choice statements
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ian · 2 years ago
    Nurses on £33,000 and Doctors on £72,000 with increases that's obscene amounts to pay someone to check on people, when I went on one such interview she was as nice as pie, the two-faced person that she was, we finished the interview and she was out of the building before we were, so you can see that she hadn't made much of a report, we didn't get it so we went to court and then we got it. The person from the DWP kept saying things and you could see from the lady in charge of the proceedings was getting a little bit fed up with him and then she admonished him so he did not say another word.  These interviewing people get paid a bonus for each one that does not get the benefit they are asking for and I think they know that if they refuse the people will appeal but that is not normally correct as most people are scared as we were, truly very nasty behaviour I don't know how they sleep at night.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Tash · 2 years ago
    After being turned down for MR for PIP I have now sent in my appeal by tracked post. What an anxious time I have had. I have been assessed by MIND and have been declared as SEVERE on both depression and social anxiety. Had the assessors contacted my GP this report would have been given to me. They failed to contact my GP. I Am also waiting on a decision for MR for UC as my GP has written a letter to support that I am unfit for work for at least the next 2 years. I have been submitting fitnotes from my GP stating I am unfit for work for the last year at least and they are still making me attend the JC weekly. I rang regarding the UC MR last week and was told that I should receive some form of communication by 20th June so fingers 🤞...... until a decision has been reached on either I will stay indoors waiting anxiously and apprehensively.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jen dent · 2 years ago
    So beefing about lack of staff in NHS then holding out a carrot to be employed to bash poorly folk
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dalea · 2 years ago
    I saw exactly the same full page advertisement in The Metro quite recently.  I was quite shocked - yet also wanted to laugh at the term "clinical assessors".   

Free PIP, ESA & UC Updates!

Delivered Fortnightly

Over 110,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.