Crisis as Atos withdraws following death threats
The conscience of Atos Doctors have finally caught up with them following threats of violence and intimidation in their work along with death threats made to staff face-2-face and online. Atos has had to withdraw from its Government contract for the Work Capability Assessments as its staff are deserting a sinking ship – protesters have done extremely well to put pressure on Atos and expose their actions, and of course get some form of justice for the thousands of victims. But justice is still to come.
The tables have turned. The Government is angry at Atos’ for abandoning the bullying and killing of thousands of disabled and sick people. Atos wanted to walk away from the contract for months with great resistance from the Government but decided to break confidentiality by publishing a statement online about withdrawing from the contract. They have broken proper protocol by doing this under desperation…
The issue for the Conservatives (officially, the coalition) is how do you replace Atos with other companies? On paper its relatively simple to do. Atos are kind enough to keep doing the contract until replacements were found. You might be interested in knowing how they want a couple of providers to eventually replace Atos, and not just replacing them with one big company hungry for public cash. The answer is simple, they need parallel action to continue Atos’ work, after all staff are leaving left, right and centre… it makes sense to quickly get an alternative replacement rather than requiring 6-12 months or so to replace the entire Atos offering.
Its true that you are only as strong as your weakest link. This scandal is going to rage now, as the vicious untouchable circle has been broken. Enough medical professionals soon out of Atos employment are likely to be willing to disclose the insider trade secrets and practices via anonymous whistle-blowing – especially if unable to get another similar job.
There will also be greater scrutiny to review the WCA, Atos’ conduct and the contract in general. This is what the Government is angry at. You cannot make a fair assessment on an ongoing contract but once this has been assigned to other providers, both Atos and the Government have a lot of questions to answer to.
Abuse and Violence
Atos claims just under 2000 assaults or severe abuse on staff last year. These so-called medical professionals didn’t mind getting paid for falsifying assessments fully in the knowledge that by doing so could result in death; but as soon as they started to get mildy abused – probably sworn at, they threatened to jump ship, leaving Atos behind.
The Government knows (as Atos does too well) that threats and fear of violence, intimidation and death (allegedly) is only going to increase.
Keep up the pressure on Atos. And the Government!
We need to:-
- Pressure the Government into withdrawing the WCA
- Pressure any bidders not to want to bid for the replacement contracts
- Persuade people via awareness to discourage individuals wanting to apply for the assessment jobs
- Keep pressure on Atos. They are still running the contract for now
- Get justice for the victims including a full in depth inquiry, including where possible criminal charges
Thanks to everyone protesting against Atos and the poor treatment of the disabled and sick. The media is still paying lip service to this whole scandal. There is a General Election next year, the media are looking for scandals to embarrass the Conservatives and welfare/unemployment/immigration is an increasingly hot topic… keep the pressure on.