Monday, 14 January 2013

ATOS is more effective than Road Traffic Accidents - if you want to kill people.

If you live in the UK, you have about 1 chance in 20,000 of being killed in a road traffic accident in 12 months. Obviously, if you travel by vehicle, the chance is rather greater – perhaps, at worst, about 1 in 17,000 on average.

If you are disabled in any way and are called to an ATOS/DWP ‘medical’ assessment, it seems that you are at risk of becoming an ‘excess death’ statistic in that context, too. Presumably the risk is quantifiable, but it seems that DWP figures are rather harder to find than RTA.

Based on the 25 or so names on Callum’s list (, which doesn’t pretend to be exhaustive, your odds of suffering a death connected with your assessment/appeal process (by suicide or by illness aggravated by the process) would appear to be of the same order of magnitude as of dying by RTA.

However, the figures offered by various groups (mostly, by the nature of things, groups opposed to the ATOS/DWP process) vary considerably, ranging up to scarcely credible figures well in excess of 70 a week.

Calculating the odds, very crudely, I have come up with an estimate in the order of 1 in 4,000. This is based on findings reportedly made by the Church Times (not, I would have thought, a disreputable organ), which I have (nevertheless) reduced massively (up to 10x) to allow for some worthily-meant exaggeration on their part, along with evidence from other more conservative sources. It is very much an at best figure...

So, the rate of excess deaths related to ATOS/DWP is at least four times greater than the national rate of excess deaths due to RTAs.


Cameron has admitted to a couple of ‘regrettable’ deaths.

Duncan Smith and Grayling have not expressed any interest, at least not observed by this interested follower of the news.

McVey apparently doesn’t hear what’s said to her, since her response to reports of deaths, so far as I’ve seen, has been to read out scripts prepared beforehand with no reference to the death she’s just been told about – nor to any other.

Clegg seems to have remained, to all intents and purposes, silent.


I don’t actually know how many deaths have resulted from, for example, suicides by people pushed beyond hope by the benefits assessment system. It may be a handful or it may be hundreds.

What does interest me is that coroners’ courts, GPs, charities and reputable independent organisations have shown disquiet at the numbers involved, that those numbers may well be occurring at a greater rate than RTA or superbug deaths, or accidents at work, and the government has admitted absolutely no interest in investigating.

Even at the height of the plague of 1665, the government tried to keep a record of the cause of every death in the country (a fact which always struck me as quite extraordinarily impressive). 350 years later, the government itself may be causing tens, hundreds or even thousands of deaths each year by one single instrument, and . yet . will . not . investigate.


My whole case may be completely unfounded or miscalculated*. I’m open to correction.

*But I don’t think so!

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