In an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Margaret McCartney GP looks at the Welfare Reform Bill, its passage through Parliament and the negative impact the changes will have on vulnerable people if the Bill is passed.

McCartney raises a number of issues including the role of Atos Healthcare in the assessment process, questioning its ability to medically assess claimants for disability living allowance (DLA) and its replacement, personal independence payment (PIP). Equally importantly, the author draws attention to the media’​s reporting and portrayal of benefit claimants, and to the absence of comments on the Welfare Reform Bill from professional medical bodies.

Neither the British Medical Association nor the Faculty of Occupational Health has commented on the Welfare Reform Bill.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists stands out as an exception to this. In a statement signed with mental health charities the Royal College of Psychiatrists raised serious concerns about what it described as a “​short-sighted”​ proposal and the negative impact the changes would have on the health of claimants.

Speaking in the House of Lords, Sheila Collins, former chairwoman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, expressed serious reservations about the ability of Jobcentre Plus and Atos to assess claimants with mental health problems, stating “​There are real concerns about Jobcentre Plus and Atos assessing staff’​s knowledge and understanding of mental health condition​s”​.

Rea the full article “​Atos and changes to people’​s benefits”​here


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

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.