I have had my medical conditions for over ten years but when I claimed Employment support allowance (ESA) I had to undergo a medical with ATOS, a private company. I already receive Disability living allowance and have done for several years.
Paying a private comapny to assess claimants medical conditions is a waste of money and unnecessary. A claimant's doctor, psychiatrist or consultant is considered competent emough to prescribe dangerous medications, so why are they not trusted to tick a few boxes for the DWP?
The amount of money wasted is not the only issue. The number of appeals for disability related benefits has risen sharply. Many of the appeals consist of the assessing doctors either making mistakes or not recording the claimant's medical details correctly. Removing this private company from undertaking these assessments would alleviate a lot of stress for disabled people and especially for people with mental health problems.
Many disabilities can be hidden and only a doctor who knows you can assess you fairly. The DWP's actions make it feel as if they consider every person who applies a liar. If their own doctors support the claim then surely that should be enough?
The medical assessment should also be valid for all health and disability related benfits. At present a person would need to be assessed separately for each benefit which doubles the cost.
Why is this idea important?
It would save a massive amount of money.
It would stop many more mistakes in disabled people's applications.
The process would be fairer and not based on a private company's need to stick to statistics that would help them the next time they tender for the contract.
Disabled people and those with mental health problems would not have to live for anything upto 18 months on the minimum benefit.
Those truly unable to work would not unfairly be forced to find employment if they are unable to do so.
The red tape would be cut by a massive amount.
One medical or assessment instead of one per benefit would reduce the cost, time taken and amount of errors.