Yet another disabled person has died after being declared “fit for work” by DWP contractor Atos, despite being struck down by a crippling illness. Brian McArdle died the day after his disability benefits were stopped, suffering a fatal heart attack which relatives insist was caused by stress related to the decision.

The 57 year old Scot, was paralysed down one side of his body, blind in one eye, and couldn’t speak — yet in a bizarre but not uncommon decision Atos thought he wasn’t deserving of Employment and Support Allowance.

Figures from the Daily Mirror have revealed that 32 claimants each week — nearly 1,700 per year — have died after they were branded “fit for work”.

Criticising the previous incapacity benefits regime in March, then employment minister Chris Grayling said:

“To have such a high percentage who are fit for work just emphasises what a complete waste of human lives the current system has been.”

Grayling has moved from a metaphorical “waste of lives” to a literal one

  1. Question about suing them – I have been wondering about that. When I had problems with what was then the Benefits Agency Medical Services (BAMS) (which in comparison with ATOS seem like ministering angels, quite frankly!) – a doctor who LIED about my condition – won’t bore you with the details, suffice it to say that he claimed I had no mobility problems when he could SEE that I was walking with a stick, – that was the least of it – I wondered why the patients cannot sue the practitioners for Benefit Fraud…..I mean, surely there was a question of professional ETHICS involved here???!!! From what I’ve heard, a lot of the ‘practitioners’ involved in ATOS are incompetent or downright dishonest – could they not be disciplined by the BMA?

  2. This just shows what a ruthless company this is. They seem to have no understanding of
    disability and no empathy with their clients. The government should not be contracting out this type of work to private companies who are only concerned with the profit they hope to make.
    What is Chris Grayling doing about this? I have nothing but contempt for him.

  3. the ones from BAMS were accountable to outside bodies ….ATOS appear to get round this by merely employing ” disability analysts ” who merely express opinions that appear to be wrong in apparently many instances , to advise the DWP decision makers – however the DWP appears to be institutionally incapable of acting independently .

    ATOS did buy up Schlumberger’s Sema Group who had the testing contract from 1998 which was renewed in 2005 .

    However a lot of the rhetoric , policy etc is ultimately driven by UNUM …formerly the outlawed UNUM Provident …ATOS did insist on the use of the UNUM developed LIMA computer says no tick box software in the DWP contract ….you could argue that ATOS take the flack for UNUM …an arguably parasitical relationship …but trebles all round as they say in ” Private Eye ” for UNUM

  4. jeffrey davies says:

    yet another one dies at atos hands but where are those in power in the big house why do thy not shout about it its just so ubeliable they dont do anything and its their shame to allowit togo on any longer please mp,s wake up to the abuse thats caused by this firm called atos jeff3

  5. Actually the BMA vetoed the WCA at there last AGM in totality, but it is the GMC that is at fault here as they hold the GP’s registrations and publish the conduct that GP’s are bound by

  6. Sheila Amies-Byron says:

    To read such dreadful reports make my blood run cold. Are this government (or should that be medieval landowners and millionaires?) determined to kill off as many citizens as possible before they get voted off at the next election? Having said that, will there be enough of us left to vote in order to vanquish forever this dreadful, greedy coalition, hopefully never to be seen again?

  7. I have the Doctor coming out to me on Monday. It is making me feel sooo ill. I just know they’ll hang me. If they stop my money, it won’t make any difference. I still won’t be able to work. Then what ????
    The last thing you need when you are ill is a fight on your hands. That is probably why so many kill themselves.

  8. After my ATOs “medical”, they acknowledge my health problems, but scored me 0 points, said I was fit to work, despite my GPs opposition, and stopped my benefit. I cannot work, so would be lying if I signed on to say I’m fit to work, but they wouls soon stop that too if I was too ill to attend courses!
    Just after my benefit was stopped, my husband died very suddenly – by the time I was able to think about appealing the ATOS decision, they said I was to late!

  9. I hoped and wished that shortly after we elected this appalling Gov’t, they would be forced into another election rather quickly, and we could be rid of them. I no longer wish for that…………….I now hope and pray that the british plebs drag the bastards out of Parliament by the scruff of the neck and the slack in the arse of their trousers………take them to the nearest bridge, and heave them into the Thames

  10. and the BMA have said the WCA is not fit for purpose and should be stopped immediately! I think tax payers should be aware that this system is costing as much again in appeals that are overturned . The government are throwing your money away on a system that doesnt work! now the gov have handed them another contract this one worth £400 million to do the same to DLA claiments most disabled people use DLA for a car to enable them to work if they lose their cars they cannot work! a totally false economy!

  11. Would it be possible to report the doctors who make thease very wrong jugements be reprorted to the b m c. And get them struck off the medical register . For malpractice .

  12. Noel Lyle-Stirling says:

    The situation is that government works for the big corporate interests . the corporate lot are moving bent on destroying countries economies so they can take over. Greece is the trial run.ireland,portugal, spain and italy will be next.they are already well on the way in America.We,on incapacity benefit , are uealess to them as they are motivated purely by profit

  13. Atos are contract killers!
    Why build concentration camps when you can easily starve people to death in their own homes!!

  14. Until the DWP realise this one size fits all assessment isn’t working it will keep happening. Until DWP start penalising ATOS for every successful appeal it will keep happening. Until the idiots who run this country realised ATOS are fleecing them it will keep happening

  15. I’m a right winger and totally with you guys on this. There is nothing conservative about carrying out a barbaric assault on our nation’s most vulnerable people.

  16. jacqui butterworth says:

    How bad can it get? I thought with Cameron having a disabled child would have made more understanding about disability. I was wrong. I would not be surprised if a lot of MP’s themselves are making money out of this in some way. Are ‘they’ all blind to what is going on? Do they know anything about economics/finance? Even worse than Hitler!

  17. jacqui butterworth says:

    How bad can it get? I thought with Cameron having a disabled child would have made him more understanding about disability. I was wrong. I would not be surprised if a lot of MP’s themselves are making money out of this in some way. Are ‘they’ all blind to what is going on? Do they know anything about economics/finance? Even worse than Hitler!

  18. Atos cut me off as well. The woman who interviewed me who was “a healthcare professional” could barely speak english and couldn’t work her computer to record my answers. She told me it was broken and she would “write it out later”. I told her about my illness and she explained to me that “certain things” couldn’t be taken into account, but not what they were or anything. She just asked me questions, and listened to me go into detail about exactly what was keeping me from my job (I was still employed, at a job I have since returned to).

    When the report arrived, it was blank. I had “scored” zero on the questionnaire. Thats all it was. Here, you can read it:

    I appealed, which took 9 months. They were paying me at a reduced rate throughout all this time and I got into debt. I had two surgeries during this time, but they refused to acknowledge letters from my surgeons, GP or even an occupational health specialist that I was undergoing serious surgical intervention and therefore unfit for work.

    I spent 10 minutes in the appeals office explaining this, and they scored my actual illness against the chart and I qualified easily.

    In spite of that, look at it. I mean really, look at it. There are so many things it just doesn’t account for. Basically the stance of this government/company is that if you can sit in a chair and walk you should be working. Some serious illness just doesn’t count, and you should just get back to work and stop loafing in spite of your problems!

    How about we leave it to the actual doctors to decide who can work and who can’t? Don’t we all pay for an NHS service? My doctors made it quite clear to me and anyone who cared to ask that I was unable to work. The government chose to rely on a questionnaire points system instead.


  19. You do know that they only care about the bottom line the blue meanies? Camerons like will be thinking that they have saved themselves a small fortune with all these people on benefits not having to be paid (ie dead). At least they can celebrate by having a tax free Starbucks, Cameron has no compassion

  20. Is there a way of asking for the names and qualifications etc of the people doing the interviews. I presume they have to introduce themselves at a minimum level.

    Then just publish their names etc on a website with decisions. I am sure there will be legal moves to close it down but if i can access names and qualifications of doctors then I see no reason for Atos employees.

    Likewise do the same for DWP staff. My understanding is that the decisions go through DWP channels. Need to find out who the decision makers are on this.

    Essentially, if the government and its backers want to intimidate people off of benefits, which is what the systems is about, then play them at their own game.

    BTW, has the PCS done anything about it, it’s a supposedly left wing union in the DWP. Its members should at least try to find ways of not complying with the system.

  21. Dr Alan McCowan says:

    “This entry was posted in Conservative Party”

    It wasn’t the Conservative Party that hired Atos to do Work Capability Assessments, though, was it?

  22. You are of course quite right Dr Cowan.
    The Liebour Party did indeed bring this farce in.
    The CONservatives will keep it going though.
    Its all part of the plan.
    Which is running smoothly, on track and in line with the universal credit system, due in next year.
    People think there are problems now… reality they have no idea of what lies ahead.

  23. Went for an ‘assesment recently and was met by a ‘nurse’, yes that is what they are, ok the Government bulls them up a little by calling them ‘Medical Professional, but that doesn’t alter the fact that they are Nurses.

    I had been assesesed by proper medical rofessionals, such as Surgeons, Doctors, pysio therapists etc as ‘disabled’ or unfit for work. I broke my bak at work and have suffered cronic pain in my back and other joints for over twenty years. Then Atos have the afrontery to have me assesed by this nurse, who had the dress sense of Screaming Lord Such and took 20 minutes of ridiculous tests, that had no medical reasoning to come to the conclusion that I was fit for work.

    The sad thing is my father died before these Atos assesments and left me a house, I sold my own, so I now have to spend all, or most of my inheritance before being able to apply for any help with my disablity again because despite anything Atos or the nurse say I am incapable of working but they don’t give A-TOSS

  24. absolutely disgraceful, ATOS are constantly breaking the law and causing many very sad situations like this one, that poor man, ATOS should never have been allowed to renew their contract with the DWP, who are just as bad i might add, ATOS should be sued for allowing this to happen!!!!

  25. i have a friend who benefits were stopped by atos he as no voice because of throat cancer he signed on at job centre and they asked what he wanted to do he work in a call centre he said

  26. Robert the cripple says:

    It’s going to take time again for us to learn the in and out’s of these new WCA, we have been through this before when Thatcher brought in the PCA JSA and DLA all these were brought in to weed out people, sadly they do remove benefits from the people they should be helping.

    Sadly the days of having benefits are long gone as both labour and the Tories head for the American model of benefits which is insurance based. Sadly in America that failed with UNUM Provident

  27. Still normal people dont believe we are actually unwell/disabled,I mean disabled and unwell are not always the same are they,Im not like someone who has been used to from birth my disability,I have become more disabled,and like many had incidents worsening my health,plus I feel unwell”as my norm”
    Unsure why normal folks”are turning a blind eye,nor can I believe the level of greed from a lot of UK doctors…… now that is enough to make you sick!

  28. Several time in this forum iv’e heard reference to the nazi’s and what they did to thousands upon thousands of people & yes they did start with the mass executions of the sick peoples and we are all fools if we think that we are ” ALL IN THIS TOGETHER ” some one mention David Hitler, Oops Cameron, And the fact that he has a disabled child. ( PERFECT SCREEN ) to carry out his executions. after all he wouldn’t want that to happen to his child , therefore he wants everyone to think that the atos executioners are legit. Less we forget about all the conservatives that claimed 100’s of thousands of ££££’s to build ” DUCK HOUSES” etc Second homes expenses i could go on. I myself are on the brink of protesting with a public SUICIDE. Yes SUICIDE In protest for genuine sick people like myself. Time and location of this tragic event will be released via face book . It will be quick with no time for intervention of the authorities . all i can say is that it will be at an event/place of real importance . And hopefully by my death will the poxy government take action . Im A true welshman a born and bred british citizen that was struck down when i was 43 by a Massive heart attack, since had D.V.T, i suffer with carpol tunnel syndrome both hands, Have regular gout , need minor corrective surgery to both my knees , Athritis lower back, have had to have injections in my right elbow for repetitive strain, attemted suicide which resulted in self harm. cutting my wrists etc. And all that is nothing compared to the so called depression that im going through for the last eight years of my life, i,m on maximum antidepressants 150mg by day & 30mg by night , gout tablets both cure and prevention 1200 mg pain killers each day, blood pressure tablets etc etc. And now the worse ever christmas present for my wife children and loving parents and my beautiful sister .. And it has come from a Born again NAZI. DAVID CAMERON kicked off my incapacity benifit on january 3rd. Because Iv’e been told i’m fit for work.
    Thanks for taking time to read this everyone. PS please help all the sick and disabled people to fight this conservative NAZI . Its the government that’s causing racial abuse how are we British supposed to except foriegn people by thier millions claiming benifits here. And i wonder how many of them are forced off it.

  29. I thought you might want to read these articles which are very recent and disturbing in relation to ATOS, ESA and DWP. I’m still waiting for my decision on my Tribunal hearing.

    Government Cut Cancer Sufferers Off Benefits-

    There’s plenty more examples- just go to Google and search ‘Atos find cancer patient fit for work…’

    The link above is a BBC News article of a poor lady who fought a campaign to have her benefits re-instated, just to die a few weeks after she won. She should have never died in such misery, fighting for her life and money that she should have automatically received. But this is Britain, home of evil policy makers, heartless politicians who laugh wide and loud on television as if everything is hunky-dory- but it isn’t so funny or a laugh for the sick, vulnerable and elderly.

    ATOS- French company employed by U.K Govt, Former Employee Speaks Out:-

    This is about the deliberate manipulation by ATOS, the agency employed to make sure very few people are ever passed the medical examination for ESA benefits or disabilities benefits – and a cancer survivor tells how she is coping with two kids after being medically examined by ATOS and considered to be ‘fit for work’ even when she had cancer.
    ‘Sometimes I wish my cancer had killed me…’ the lady says.

    Brian McArdle:- A man paralyzed down one side of his body, blind in one eye, unable to speak – but ATOS find him ‘fit for work’ and the D.W.P cut his benefits off completely. The day after he lost his benefits he died of heart-attack.

    There is now a 20% cut to pensions- millions of retirees will be affected.
    As you could imagine, many pensioners will also naturally become sick and aquire serious medical conditions, and will require more medical attention. Cutting pensions will hurt them as much as the ESA and disabilities cuts are hurting the sick and vulnerable.

    David Cameron and his plastic-suited Government really don’t want Britain to learn about how ATOS make millions of pounds by taking money from cancer sufferers and pensioners. The country needs to know, and be aware of the nasty, deliberately evil, sour & bastardly neglect that the DWP and ATOS are dishing out.

    It’s now Government policy to take benefits away from the most vulnerable in society which causes more pain and anguish on top of the incredible amount of stress caused to those people who are slowly dying, and to those who worked all their life to be financially ruined in retirement.

    Government has been secretely involved in the most low of low acts- taking money away from cancer sufferers. Something stinks at the heart of British politics, and only a fierce demonstration of protestor power will make them see sense.

    by Russell S.Wyllie

  30. How can these NAZI like B——s get away with the cold blooded murder of so many people who,s only crime was to be disabled??? How can this be allowed to be covered up??? why doesnt anyone do anything ??? why dont the police investigate??? isnt it against the law to intimidate.abuse..kill people??? isnt it against the laws of this country??? why arent these callous morons in government being arrested ,??? why aren,t Atos mock doctors being arrested??? One things for sure..they wont get away with what they,ve done,,,it might take awhile but they will be shaking in their s— filled boots…ASK ANY OLD NAZI!

  31. Atos are a french company apparently not even used by the french because their ways of doing the tests/medicals infringes on the french peoples human rights…

  32. my daughter has an appointment with atos tomorrow,shes been depressed for sometime now and tried to commit suicide twice,jobcentre says shes too ill to sign on,but i guess atos will find her fit for work,when they do il tell them exactly what they can do with the miserly 45 quid she would get,her health is more important than that,this government want stringing up for the misery they have caused,im quite looking forward to see what they have to say tomorrow,

  33. Steve Jackson says:

    We have a big problem in this Country. General Elections are pointless. The Labour Party brought privatisation into the health service through its PFI hospital modernisation programme, amongst other things. ALL the parties have the SAME agenda. The only REAL alternative is the Green Party, who have real alternatives. They will never get elected though because of their absurd policy of Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament. No one likes Nuclear weapons, but they have kept nations from engaging in another world war. If the Greens dropped this silly policy they would get elected by a LANDSLIDE in the the next General Election.

  34. lol iv been thinking of voting green for some time now. i just wanted to add after reading all these comments im really worried about having my appointment with atos. Iv already had my benefits stopped due to mistakes from atos and dwp and im becoming increasingly worried about my future. I rang up when i had my appointment sent out to me on a friday asking me to come in the following tuesday yet i had no money to get there so immediatly i rang them up to either have someone come out to see me which they outright refused, or to have my appointment changed i also explained other conserns about there conduct from which i had heard things from other people and also a friend of mine had died due to what they put him through. Upon expressing these conserns i was told to ” fck off you benefit scrounging bstrd and go and die ” since this iv been having numerous fits and blackouts and im terrified to go to this appointment now for fear ill commit seriour injury to this person or worse there was just no need for this what so ever how can people get away with behaving this way let alone be allowed to work in such a position its the government and the corporations that are destroying this world not the people with disabilities and serious health problems yet these are the ones getting punished these are always the ones that suffer the most. More and more i hate my parents for bringing me into this world i dont want to die but i do wish id never been born what a horrid place britain is becoming. Many people i know are going to vote green this time round it would be nice to see them get in just to give the rest a nice swift kick in the teeth

  35. and just to add we dont need nukes to defend ourselves nukes are for retaliation we could have a decent defense programme without nukes… just got off the phone with dwp after asking them to complain about atos’s conduct they said dont worry they can help then i got cut off, when i rang back i got through to someone different who then stated they could not help me. so i told her that iv just been offered help by them and that i dont appreciate her misleading me like that, I said its not nice been messed around by an abusive people she said ” well sorry thats the way we operate now “. I said What ??? can you repeat that pls she started stuttering and i said youve just told me that the dwp is now opperating under an abusive system i said that cant be right, I said can i have your name please she refused and then hung up on me WTF

  36. ATOS are an absolute disgrace and their actions are very discriminatory. As one post has stated they were introduced by Labour, you’re right, (2008 I think) and were originally ran as a pilot scheme, because the current government viewed them as a success they have been given more powers to assess people with disabilities and immediately have the benefits of the recipients stopped, by declaring those people ‘fit for work’ on the assumption that someone can move about a little, even if all that person can do is raise their hand and speak. It’s the same principle as people who suffer from severe depression, ATOS would probably have the nerve to tell a severely depressed individual to ‘snap out of it,’ or ‘cheer up,’ well it’s not that simple. ATOS medical staff are not properly qualified to make such judgements, unlike a doctor who has had several years of medical training. I read about ATOS on Wikipedia and there was a section that states people who have been examined by ATOS ‘nurses’ have been made to feel uncomfortable as those ‘nurses’ have not held eye contact with people and have been ‘off-hand’ in their demeanour. Then when after reading shocking stories about the disabled committing suicide after being examined ATOS as well as cancer patients having their money withdrawn – those two aforementioned examples depend on what little money they have as a lifeline, and it is grossly unfair that a company whose only aim is profiteering at the expense of the sick and vulnerable and whose examiners are inhumane and oblivious to the plight of the sick and vulnerable are being allowed to carry on this way. Cameron ‘we’re all in this together’ ought to be ashamed of himself. Not only that on an unrelated matter throw into the mix the much maligned bedroom tax that comes into effect in 2 weeks time will hurt poor and disabled people even more. Incidentally didn’t he claim DLA and use the NHS for his disabled son?

  37. Eventually one of these doctors will declare someone “fit for work” who is related to one of the London crime syndicates. Then he’ll receive a visit from “the boys” who will cut off his arms and legs with a chainsaw and say “Don’t worry! You’re still fit for work!”

  38. If these problems that ATOS create – only affect the minority in society… then how can the majority be made aware?

  39. father in the name of jesus christ of nazereth you know what is going on with these benefits help all these vulnerable people on these benefits father let them get and keep getting their full ct and b payments even after new changes without them or anyone on their behalf having to do or say anything else, father send arangel michael and legions of angels to fight the gov and all people who are behind taking these poor peoples benefits away help them see this is sick when these people are too weak to fight back, fight for all people on sick or sick type benefits father to not be bullied off benefits and let your will be done on immigration in england and america in Jesus name i pray many will say amen to this so it will be answered,in Jesus name amen

  40. in Jesus name i pray that many will say amen to this father in heaven let c and a and s and a and m and p and m and p and a and c and a and all in similar positions get and keep getting their full ct and b/payments and without being harrassed and without anything they each wouldnt like for themselves father as you know they need their and heal them too ,protect all est.. prayers from the enemy,in Jesus name and let your will be done father as to who is in the gov. in Jesus name amen [plz pray and say amen

  41. maxine galloway says:

    These lot are pure bloody evil, those in the opposition are as bad , if not worse, a few labour old school back benchers sticking up for us, the rest, as bad as the Tories, I saw this case on this man, him and his wife had to live in poverty the last year of his life, no heating, disgusting, totally totally disgusting, shame on the lot of them, we must fight this, to the last!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


Comments are limited to 1000 characters.