Saturday, 2 February 2013

DWP decline to answer.

The following are extracts from a letter which I sent to DWP, on 4th January (personal details removed):-


Assertions made in HCP’s and Decision Maker’s reports.

I refer to my recent assessment process by ATOS for DWP. I particularly refer to the DWP decision maker’s letter of explanation, together with the report from the ATOS physiotherapist at ****** (centre) whom I met for a face-to-face interview.

The physiotherapist who interviewed me asserted in her report that I presented a long standing (sic) history of depression “which was caused by childhood abuse”.

This is an outrageous assertion. I have never believed, nor affirmed to that person or to any other, that my depression was caused or initiated in any such way: her assertion is unfounded and without reasonable provenance and is profoundly offensive, hurtful and, I am forced to argue, personally damaging.

The wider implications of the assertion – including in at least two respects with regard to my assessment* - are far-reaching, and equally unacceptable.

* (a) Such an unfounded assertion must cast doubts on the professional competence of the entire interview and assessment process; and
(b) Such a misidentification of the origins and nature of my condition mean that its appraisal can only be compromised.

I note that the decision maker’s report quoted the assertion verbatim and without qualification.

[I suspect that, in this and other ways, data protection laws and statutory requirements placed on DWP with regard to my mental health have been breached - as well as procedures required of both DWP and ATOS. I shall pursue this if health allows.]

[The following paragraphs contain personal information which I don’t want to purvey.]


Unfortunately, the above-mentioned is only one of a series of assertions, made by ATOS’ physiotherapist (and by DWP’s decision maker), which were not only unfounded but contrary to information presented or offered by me. (This to the extent that I can find no evidence that much of the information presented by me through DWP’s original questionnaire (or directly to HCP) was ever read at all by ATOS or DWP; while it is clear that what I said in the interview was not always noted with due care*.)

 [* I felt that the fact that my doctor’s evidence was never sought by DWP was not germane to this complaint.]

[A selection of other unfounded assertions by the Health Care Professional (!) follows here.]


In view of the influence of these and other assertions on any determinations that are made about my future, I must regard these repeated offences as being of fundamental importance. I must therefore insist most emphatically that they be corrected. In view of the now demonstrably inaccurate nature of a substantial amount of data held about me by DWP, I believe I should then be offered an opportunity to see and correct as necessary all such data which DWP or associated bodies hold about me

If DWP is unwilling or unable to make all appropriate corrections, and to allow me to audit the data they hold about me, I request that I be advised.

Thank you for your attention.


In a telephone conversation, a DWP person acknowledged receipt of this letter.

She also advised me that DWP don’t intend to reply to it.

I originally deferred posting this as a courtesy, to give them time to respond... I’m not quite sure why I bothered.

NB: I think DWP will eventually suggest that the complaint should be addressed to ATOS. But (1) DWP is at fault here and (2) ATOS is contracted by DWP, working to DWP's rules. But then, half the effect of privatisation is that responsibility becomes elusive... think 'railway accidents'.

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