ANGUS MACDONALD SLAMS ATOS ASSESSMENTS AS NO LONGER ‘FIT FOR WORK’
Saturday, 29 September 2012 18:31
Falkirk East SNP MSP Angus MacDonald has slammed the UK government’s discredited Work Capability Assessments. The controversial assessments, administered by ATOS, have been criticised by organisations representing disabled people and by medical professionals.
Angus MacDonald has joined SNP colleagues who are calling for the assessments, which are no longer fit for purpose, to be scrapped and replaced by a model that works for disabled people.
Mr MacDonald said:
“The Work Capability Assessment has been discredited so much by individuals who have gone through the process and by the overwhelming evidence that it can no longer be seen fit for purpose.
“Despite two years of independent reviews, the research proves that the system is frightening and daunting for claimants and is fundamentally flawed.
“Having to go through the system is stressful enough – it is sometimes frightening and daunting for claimants - and having to wait up to six weeks for communication from the Department of Work and Pensions is unacceptable.
“When medical professionals are against a system which claims to be fool proof, surely it’s time for the UK government to scrap it and create a system that works for disabled people?”
The British Medical Association has also voiced its concerns stating:
“The BMA is concerned about the impact that UK welfare reform legislation will have on the people of Scotland.”
Angus MacDonald continued:
“I share the BMA’s concern about the impact that UK welfare reform legislation will have on the people of Falkirk district. It is highly likely that there will be a significant impact on local GP practices however there will be wider implications of these reforms. A reduction in income may lead to poorer quality of health for individuals and increased health inequalities for our nation as a whole.
“There are serious concerns about the assessment process. There has been a dramatic increase in the numbers being assessed as fit to work under the current system and a massive number of appeals have been made against these decisions.
“The frequency of successful appeals would seem to demonstrate the mechanism‘s shortcomings. These assessments can have a devastating effect on patients' mental and physical health and so it is essential that any new assessment procedure must be fair and safe and take into account the needs of long term sick and disabled patients.