Sorry about this but I’m afraid it’s going to all get a bit ‘Pulp Fiction’ regarding chronology.
I had intended that my next blog post would begin to cover the topic of the Atos training regime. A system where despite it having taken me 3 years to begin to be a physiotherapist, Atos felt I was qualified to assess patients with mental health conditions as diverse as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bi-polar disease after 2 weeks. I assure you, we will get there.
It was May last year, when I spoke to Mirror journalist Dan Bloom, about the fact that documents existed which showed that Atos were offering financial incentives to disability assessors (DA), to complete more than the 4 cases per day which were expected (something Atos had always denied). This target of 4 per day was unfeasible for the vast majority of DA, something which was regularly brought to the attention of line managers and can be validated by Atos figures which will show how many cases were left incomplete at the end of every working day.
Anyway, at the time that the Mirror published the piece, Atos trotted out a line about how it was a one off (frankly I was delighted by the fact that they accepted the letter was real), and due to excessive case load. I can demonstraate that this was not a one off but was in effect, in situ for anyone at anytime.
My first line manager at the centre (who just happened to be the sister of the regional manager-more nepotism to come later), approached me one day, approx a year before the above letter was dated, asking me to see a 5th claimant that day, for which I would receive the financial incentive. I explained to her in the presence of a witness (who will happily testify provided his anonymity and current job security are protected), that I did not want the incentive. By some miracle I had completed my 4th case of the day, and as I was still within my working day, saw the claimant (who would otherwise have been sent home unseen).
Following my continued refusal of the incentive, the line manager rewarded me with a £4 bottle of red, from a stash she kept in the cleaner’s cupboard, I guess for acts above and beyond the call of duty.
I’m pretty sure that Atos must surely keep records for what? Longer than the seven years obligation I have for tax affairs etc? So of course the records will show an extra case completed, but with no relevant increase on my wage slips. I am happy to provide the appropriate government department with names which will show both extra cases, and the extra wages.
This is not about being upset that colleagues were earning more than I did. Anyone who followed my Twitter account from May last year will know that I admit to doing well paid overtime. The issue remains that Atos have lied to parliament, and despite evidence to the contrary, our elected representatives don’t appear to give a damn.
If you feel this is something for which Atos should be answerable, please contact your MP. Please also feel free to pass on details of my blog and Twitter account to your friends and followers.
Oh yeah the red went well in a beef stew 😁