20 October 2010

In our last newsletter we told you about our member who had won a written agreement from the highest level of the DWP to not only allow him to have his employment and support allowance medical recorded, but also to have it done by Atos/DWP at their own expense.  (See: Major breakthrough on recording medicals).

Today our member, accompanied by a friend, had his medical and it was indeed recorded.

However, it was far from a standard medical. 

For a start there was a police officer in attendance throughout the medical. This was in relation to a verbal – though entirely unrealistic - threat our member had made in the course of a phone conversation with the DWP.

More importantly, instead of a computer guided LiMA medical, the doctor carried out the assessment just using a pen and paper, something that virtually never happens at medical examination centres  – almost as if Atos would rather not have anyone hear the reality of a normal medical.

Our member tells us that there was no DWP member of staff to set up the recorder even though the DWP had said there would be. Instead,  the doctor had to work the machine himself and he “was shaking and looked nervous” throughout the proceedings. 

The machine used was a Neal Dual Interview recorder shown on this link.

The doctor’s nerves were probably not helped when he asked our member about his hobbies and received the reply:

“Researching complaints against ATOS and the DWP.”

At the end of the interview our member asked for the tape to be put into a sealed envelope and asked the policeman present to sign across the seal.

And that was it.  Our member has asked to be sent a copy of the medical report and will find out in due course if his claim has been allowed. 

Meanwhile, if other members wish to ask to have their medical recorded, there is a standard letter available for you to make the request here: Major breakthrough on recording medicals.

Whether the DWP will actually agree to further recordings remains to be seen, but clearly their claim that it can only happen if claimants provide a sound engineer and recording equipment is no longer tenable.


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