Any comments on assessment financial incentive to 'race' through Face to Face medicals

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Anyone heard of this, I read it in newspaper? I makes things clearer! 

PIP assessors for Atos have been paid an extra £50 for each additional assessment above the standard four per day, or three if they were home visits, the Mirror has discovered. This appears to be in addition to an additional bonus of £75 for every completed assessment. The revelation has raised fears that as a result some assessments may have been rushed and of poor quality.

In a leaked letter dated 16 May 2017, Atos staff were told:

“Over the last few months we’ve been focusing on delivering an outstanding claimant experience by processing cases efficiently, and when we can, seeing more claimants during the day or at weekends. For many of you this has meant time away from your family and friends, which isn’t easy.

“With this in mind I wanted to tell you how we’ve done and share the great news that so far we’ve set out what we planned to do [sic]. We’ve seen an extra 3054 claimants in March, and a whopping 4454 claimants in April. This is all down to you. Thanks so much for your support during the last few months, you’ve really come through, proving what it means to be a team player.

“So that we don’t undo all of your good work, we’re extending incentives into May and June. If you’re interested in working overtime please get in touch with your Service Delivery Manager. Here’s a reminder of what’s on offer:

“If you’re a health professional

The additional £75 Fee per Case (FPC) will remain for every assessment completed. Plus you’ll receive an additional £50 for any assessment you do above four, within an Assessment Centre session, and three within a Home Consultation session.”

It appears from the letter that assessors received an additional £75 bonus for every assessment they completed, plus £50 on top of that for each additional assessment.

So an assessor doing one extra assessment a day five days a week in an assessment centre would appear to be able to earn £2,125 a week in bonuses alone. If this is correct it raises huge question marks over how generous the PIP assessment contract is, to allow Atos to pay such huge amounts on top of salaries.

Atos made no mention of these incentives when they gave evidence to the Work and Pensions committee inquiry into benefits assessments earlier this year. Committee chair Frank Field has written to Atos asking for more information saying:

“I am concerned financial incentives to complete assessments quickly may compromise the accuracy and quality of assessment reports - causing further distress to claimants.”

Field told the Mirror:

“It’s an incentive to ride roughshod over claimants and it can’t be right.

“Not only has the Government outsourced the assessment work, it has outsourced moral responsibility for the welfare of claimants. This is the outcome.”

"Atos claim that the £50 bonus system was for a period of high assessment volume and is no longer in use."

?We are just treated like cattle! We are human!

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    In my opinion assessment time vary hugely between 30 - 1 hr 10 minutes. I've had an assessment myself in the past which lasted 1 hour, another that's lasted 1 hour 30 mins (both first time assessments for PIP/ESA) i've also had a review for PIP which lasted 30 minutes. My 2nd ESA review was a paper based assessment, no face 2 face needed.

    My daughters PIP assessment (i'm her appointee) lasted 1 hour 10 mins and i was asked every question under the sun for that one and i also sent in over 40 pages of medical evidence that proved those descriptors applied to her. They even contacted 2 people off the list of contacts before returning her report to DWP.

    Some HCPs are truthful because i've had truthful reports for all of my assessments. A few minor things in my daughters report that didn't make any sense but all in all it was pretty good. You'll also get HCP's that seem "nice and friendly" yet when the report arrives they've been stabbed in the back. Yet you get the genuine ones, believe it or not...

    We must also remember that no matter how much research we do on the internet, we'll mostly only hear of the bad stories. The good ones are out there but we don't often hear of them because if someone has a decision they're happy with, they have no questions to ask.

    I can't answer the questions about the bonus's they have, if any because i have no idea.

    Another percentage for you.....only 47% of reviews go on to have a decision in their favour.

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    • Posted

      My assessor was the same man 16 months apart to be fair he was very polite and bithbmy assessments were over an hour but I got the award I was hoping for . 
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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    Don't ever be persuaded otherwise. Atos ,a computer software consortium use so called HCP's who in the general form are paid on performance. If they are trained Nurses at the top of their profession then financial inducements are attractive. You tell me ,A basic 9-5 job and incentives to discredit those who they examine is certainly a lucrative way of earning money.

    .... It beats the crap out of long hours on a hospital ward,with the bonus of having a damn good laugh at all the people they see.

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  • Posted

    Perhaps that"s why home visits for a f/f are more trendy, only 3 required. Also if so called HCP"s are nurses, then they are told you work for ATOS now not health service. 

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