French company Atos, which has a £108m per year contract with the government, has failed to remove grossly misleading claims from its website – despite being ordered to do so by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The controversial outsourcing giant, which carries out benefits health assessments for the DWP, features impressive figures on its website which the ASA says are unproved. The dodgy figures boast:

“Each year Atos Healthcare process over 1.2 million referrals for medical advice completing over 800,000 face-to-face medical assessments within our nationwide network of over 140 medical examination centres.”

“All our 1700+ healthcare professionals are fully trained to undertake disability assessments.”

But Freedom of Information requests by the website WhyWaitForever.com reveal that referrals averaged 751,000 per year and the number of healthcare professionals was just 848 — far less than claimed by Atos.

Atos refused to cooperate with the ASA’s investigation and, despite being ordered to make changes to the ubsubstantiated claims, the material is still visible on the their website.

But stonewalling regulators nevertheless represents a change in tactics when dealing with critics:

Last year Atos forced a thriving support forum for disabled people to shut down after users had the temerity to criticise the company.

  1. Why is it a French company who has this contract, and Is British companies excluded, or incompetent to do this lucratve British taxpayers funded service, and is ATOS above the law?

  2. There is a British Institution that are more than qualified to carry out the Assessments that ATOS are being paid to carry out, it is the NHS, it is full of qualified professionals who are fully trained and able to make decisions on assessments for claimants, but there seems to be a need to throw away vasts sums of money away on a duplication process and to line the pockets of a foreign company that has little respect for our rules and regulations and have consistently placed profit before the needs of vulnerable people…

  3. Diana Harrison says:

    Atos is guilty of failing sick and disabled people and simply fail to tell the truth. . Their so called assessments have already been deemed unfit for purpose yet this government hand them the contract to decide if the sick and disabled can work. How come this company is beyond the laws of this country?

  4. Laws are only any good if they’re enforced. What the government through Atos is clearlyunlawfal anyway so Atos can and do behave as if they’ve got a green light from the government to do what the hell they want without too much fearof prosecution. There’s so much money to be made by looting the health service, you see, no-one in authority cares about anything else. This is going to end in tears because eventually the middle andworking classes are going to rise up en masse and tear this bunch from limb to limb. Literally. It’s going to get seriously bloody. Sooner the better I say.

  5. since they are not actively selling anything, to individuals, do the ASA, even have juristdiction over this?

  6. Whatever happened to dopey Dave’s big society? Oh yes, silly me, he got godawful George to set divisive tax and benefit changes on place, so the disadvantaged would becomeyimpoverished and squabble amongst themselves, leaving this self-elected ship of fools to give handouts to their wealthy supportere. It was selfish shortsightedness that got us into this mess. Please let there be justice, and this lot will get shit of atos……hey, 108million off of the deficit already (plus the cost of appeals)…….

  7. Axel Sure they do they would not have made there judgement otherwise and would have thrown it out.

  8. Stephen Campbell says:

    Unfortunately I have had to deal with ATOS, since ESA began. They are absolutely shocking. I saw 1 ATOS case cpl months back. The guys employer used ATOS, and they found him unfit, and paid him off. He then had a medical with them for his ESA and they found him fit for work???

  9. Atos are currently in the running for being awarded a number of new multi-million government and EU contracts. Atos has shown contempt for a UK regulatory body. Atos overstates their capabilities and in so doing they mislead those who award these new contracts. Remember the NHS Tower Hamlets GP services 10 year contract that Atos won but dropped out of after 3 years. Atos is a disreputable company and should not be shortlisted on any Governement contract until at least the 10 years of the Tower Hamlets was due to complete . It should be noted Atos, a foriegn company, boasts it makes the highest margin from the DWP. How is this possible? Who in Government still awards contracts to Atos and why? Perhaps there should be an inquiry into Atos as there is in News International. We know the names who awarded the contracts. We should know why.

  10. The NHS are far better qualified but Scameron wants to line the pockets of his friends – Just like he is doing by privatising the NHS!

  11. And yet Cameron says that the NHS wont be privatised? Why did I just read the below then????? Very very scary ro be honest, not only are disabled people being attacked left right and centre – Now we will have no NHS to help us out wqith our illnesses. Scared? No = PETRIFIED THANKS TO THIS GOVT (who actually promised not to wreck the NHS – Claire Rayner would be turning in her grave)

    OK this stuff is big and i’ve sat on it for a couple of days now…to start with does anybody remember this guy Mark Britnell and this horrendous comment ?

    “The NHS will be shown no mercy” Mark Britnell advisor to David Cameron

    He’s the infamous advisor and private lobbyist who Cameron said he never knew anything about but had invited to several very high profile meetings about the future of t…he NHS before coming to power- http://politicalscrapbook.net/2011/05/david-cameron-mark-britnell/
    A bit more about the chap on wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Britnell

    And a further article about him and his connection to Andrew Lansley – http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/may/14/david-cameron-adviser-health-reform

    Well what I am about to show you is a scarey document from a meeting that took place in New York talking about the global privatisation of th NHS… and guess who’s one of he key speakers a Mr Mark Britnell….. so much for the NHs changes not being about privatisation as he seems to genuinely think they are…….. can someone tell the cabinet then??? – http://www.powerbase.info/images/f/fe/Apax_Healthcare_conference_2010.pdf

    The details were found fom here – http://www.spinwatch.org/blogs-mainmenu-29/tamasin-cave-mainmenu-107/5435-the-nhs-will-be-shown-no-mercyq-says-cameron-health-adviser

    When i mean global privatisation of the NHS… i mean that the whole of the globe is being “harmonised” to fit within a standardised privatised structure/network……

    We all knew about this, we all suspected it but here’s the actual information that proves it

    I hope you can do something with this informationSee more
    http://politicalscrapbook.net/2011/05/david-cameron-mark-britnell/
    politicalscrapbook.net

  12. Hasn’t anyone thought about who in Government gives out contracts to these Companies and why. Especially as they are so inefficient, dishonest and secretive about their dealings. It makes you wonder if any one is getting something for it. Who is on the board or advising I wonder. A lot can be hidden with foreign Companies.

  13. I am afraid I actually live in France and can ABSOLUTELY believe this story! The French are I am afraid to say a VERY Ignorant and intolerant of anyone elses feelings and certainly will NOT admit they are wrong! Well as a rule they are and CERTAINLY the more political the question/grievance the worse they are!

    The REAL people are warm and VERY friendly!! But the political will is the will of the majority and it surprises me not that this is the case!

    I am myself due to undertake a MEDICAL examination soon for my War Pension and have been told what to expect from a fellow War Pensioner. It goes something like ” walked into the examining room and was asked to be seated. The Doctor spoke excellent English and I was completely at ease right away. So says the Doctor what can we do for you today M. Smith (Not his real name of course!) Well I am here to be examined for my war pension as I think my condition is much worse than before. What is your problem, (to which he tells the Doctor his reason for his pension.) OK M. Smith I think you ARE much worse and I will reply to the person who wishes to know this and tell them your health has suffered as a direct result of the injuries you have!! OK Doctor but woudl you care for me to undress so you can perform a medical? WHY?? I have already listened to you and find you ARE obviously much worse and so I will tell them what I need to get you to win your case.” and that is a FRENCH style medical??? Despite the chap saying he was NOT happy and contacting Blackpool about it he was overruled and was found to have got worse by a 10% margin!! And THAT is a FRENCH medical!! I had an ENGLISH medical, was told I was MUCH worse as my condition showed and threatened with being moved BACK to a lower standard of medical condition (I am 40%+ and was told I should be less than 20%!) So I am for one looking forward to this examination. OK it may not be the same? BUT I think goes to show the feeling of the French to the UK? And bearing in mind I cannot walk (Or could not then) more than 100Yd’s (Now less than 10yd’s) Yes I love being in France!!

  14. Sorry forgot to add, WHY is it David Camerons fault?? Ah yes he is the person who STOOD up and was COUNTED!!! And why M.Sarkozy is being outed, by the person who wants to spend the ass off of the French economy!! Just like a MR Blair did?? So the French do it and the UK follows?

    HMMM Wonder how THAT will turn out! The problem was set a LONG time in the past when BEST was just that the BEST and the LEAST cost!! But one and one does NOT make two!

  15. Geoff wright says:

    If it wasn’t ATOS it would be another. It’s a no win for whoever does it. Outsourcing it just removes the heat from DWP.

  16. Geoff wright says:

    If it wasn’t ATOS it would be another. It’s a no win for whoever does it. Outsourcing it just removes the heat from DWP!

  17. My sister had a knee replacement one year ago which did not work well . Atos gave her 0 points and we all know what that means. Tribunal was rejected (waited 8 months for this) but she now has 9 points so are they saying Atos were wrong? She is now on JSA and told not doing enough job searches. despite being on very strong pain killers and on anti depressants (no doubt caused by our friends at Atos.) So if she does not do all the job searches required by JCP she will lose that benefit as well so then what happens? Any advice will be appreciated…..Michael

  18. This government has employed atos for one purpose,to do as they say.They have used unqualifed personnel who have lied about the condition of thousands of disabled people thus causing a hell and in some cases death.The DWP should be ashamed of themselves,how do you sleep at night.Typical of the tories,to save money from the sick it has cost them millions more then it was worth,their plan is already failing.It says somthing when atos workers join the protest.I say to all those disabled people who have been treat like s–t you can get your own back on this government DONT GIVE THEM YOUR VOTE, with 600,000 disabled it will go a long way to kicking them out.

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