BMJ Jobs Fair Protest Against Atos – Islington, London

Atos Kills!

“The first duty of all doctors is to make the care of your patient your first concern”… Jane O’Brien, Assistant Director, Standards & Fitness to Practice Directorate GMC.

I attended the protest outside the Business Design Centre in Islington today as the BMJ (British Medical Journal) Recruitment Fair has allowed Atos in who will be attempting to recruit yet more ‘disability assessors’. There were cops about penning us in as we were on private property and they wanted us to move across directly into the heat of the sun … activists said NO.. And the cops didn’t push it. There were speakers and there was an excellent presence along with the media interest.

A recent study by Mind found that 3-quarters of people surveyed said that the prospect of a work capability assessment had made their mental health worse and 51% said it had left them with suicidal thoughts. Atos assessments are trials by computer. They ignore medical evidence. Over 40% of people who have appealed Atos Origin’s decision have been successful. Surely, then, Atos is NOT fit for purpose. They have no concern nor consideration for the people they are assessing rather for them it is ideological and profit making. Nothing about people need more about greed. Public money have been pumped into a private company like Atos and for what? To create more misery and desperation.

See: Open Letter on Atos ‘Healthcare’ to the BMJ and RCN

Extracts from the letter:

Doctors’ and nurses’ ethics are being corrupted by Atos’ offers of higher salaries and daytime reduced work hours. Some doctors have tried to argue that their duty to patients does not apply when assessing benefit claimants on behalf of Atos. But the General Medical Council has upheld that doctors are always bound by this duty whether seeing patients, employees (when assessing occupational health), benefit and insurance claimants, athletes, among others (see attached response from the Standards & Fitness to Practise Directorate).

And

Atos kills. Medical professionals who lend it credibility give it a licence to kill. We call on the BMJ Group and RCN to end all association with Atos, and on doctors and nurses to defend patients and uphold our welfare.

The authors have received a reply from the BMJ but it is not on the net as far as I am aware. Photocopies of the reply were handed out to campaigners. BMJ say:

There is also a presumption that recruiters are clear about the nature of the work and will do nothing to jeopardise doctors’ GMC standing. Your letter challenges that point and I will now ask ATOS for an assurance that their employees’ duties are congruent with the GMC’s Good Medical Practice. When I hear back from them, I and my colleagues on the BMJ board will consider what if anything needs to be done and we will let you know the outcome.

Seems like pressure needs to be put on the BMJ Group and that Atos isn’t based on duty of care they are based on profit and greed.

On 19th October, from 1pm at the Business Design Centre, it’s the annual Welfare to Work convention ….!! Conference speakers include James Purnell and Lord Freud. If you believe working for your dole is wrong, wrong and WRONG then get yourself down there on the 19th October and tell them where they shove workfare!

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