2nd August 2012 – DWP Announces Award of £400m contracts to deliver PIP disability assessment services to AtoS ‘Healthcare’ Ltd

Cut deeply: Sarah Stradwick, a 60-year-old cancer patient awaiting a mastectomy, has had her incapacity benefits cut as part of a reassessment by the Department of Work and Pensions

Today the Government announces the independent providers for the new assessment for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The providers have been appointed on a regional basis to help ensure a quality service is delivered in a way that best meets local needs.

The PIP assessment competition has now been completed for Great Britain and the preferred bidders for each of the three Lots are:

  • Lot 1 – Atos Healthcare
  • Lot 2 – Capita Business Services Ltd
  • Lot 3 – Atos Healthcare

The recommended supplier for Lot 4 is still to be confirmed through the NISSA approvals process and will be announced later.

PIP is part of the Government’s welfare reform agenda and will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age (16 to 64) from 8 April 2013.  The new benefit will better reflect today’s understanding of disability which has changed a lot in the two decades since DLA was introduced. 

A core feature of PIP will be a new assessment of individual needs by a trained Health Professional. 

These face-to-face assessments ensure that, unlike in DLA, disabled people will be able to have a detailed discussion about how their impairment affects their everyday lives – rather than having to self-assess themselves though a complicated claim form.

This means that decisions on benefit entitlement will be more accurate, objective and consistent than currently.

Both providers will be working to the same legislative framework, criteria and guidance and DWP will be closely monitoring and auditing assessments to ensure their quality and consistency

Further notes on commercial process

On April 30 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the ten organisations which had been awarded a place on the Framework to deliver Health and Disability assessments.

This Framework is made up of four regional lots: Lot 1 (Scotland, North East and North West England), Lot 2 (Wales and Central England), Lot 3 (London and Southern England) and Lot 4 (Northern Ireland); plus a national lot, Lot 5. Framework organisations are eligible to bid to deliver the DWP’s future requirements for Health and Disability assessments in the Lots for which they were successful.

On May 2 the DWP invited the organisations in Lots 1 to 4 to tender to deliver the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessment service on behalf of DWP and the Northern Ireland Social Security Agency.

On 21 May a total of 19 bids were submitted from 6 organisations across the four Lots. All bids received were compliant. The formal evaluation of written tenders followed, considering the quality, risk and financial aspects of each bid.

DWP Website

11 thoughts on “2nd August 2012 – DWP Announces Award of £400m contracts to deliver PIP disability assessment services to AtoS ‘Healthcare’ Ltd

  1. rogr says:

    As one who gets DLA rather than anything else I was suprised last year to have to go through one of these tests, presumably to see if a miracle had occurred and my body had healed itself without my telling the DWP. Then end result, despite having had a witness throughout, was predictable. The doctor, and I did check that he was a qualified GP, basically lied on at least 20 occasions in his report. I gave up checking after that, documented everything and put in a formal complaint and request to exercise my right to appeal. DWP reversed their decision within a matter of weeks and ATOS, after months of so called internal investigation decided that their doctor had not done anything wrong. To put these lying scum in charge of peoples lifeline, the barest level of funds that are there to help them cover the extra costs of staying alive and maybe in work is the most disgusting hypocrisy. It is as if the scandalous reports that are now so common and so well documented have never happened. You can bet that there will be quotas or expectations based on projections that at least 20-30% will see their DLA taken away and countless others downgraded to their detriment. I keep asking myself what it will take to force this government and their catspaws at DWP to acknowledge the sheer scale of suffering that is being caused and to do something positive about it. For some strange reason the name of Guy Fawkes keeps springing to mind and a part of me jumps for joy at the idea of watching them light up my life by burning to death.

  2. Joanna Terry says:

    Sorry, @el bib you are wrong to use Darwins name in such a way, do not allow such wrong headness to take off amongst the general population. Darwin was not talking about the literal survival of the nastiest and strongest organism such as the bullies and psychopaths of this world. Darwin was describing a natural process of particular organisms to take advantage of their surroundings and if the surroundings changed and they could not adapt (at the genetic level, we now know) then that strain dies out. Man made destruction of this world is happening faster than nature can keep up and has nothing to do with “the fittest”. Nature allows for anomolys, that is how adaptation happens, some things work, some don’t. The vast array of disability within humanity has always been with us and leads to the improvement of the species once nature gets it right otherwise we do not need the level of intelligence which we possess to survive. The likes of people like Cam-moron and IDS would NOT survive in a more natural world, they are cheats and spivs, those most likely to change and adapt are us, the ordinary people who understand how to survive whether in an inherently man made jungle of urbanity or within the natural world itself. We understand it so much better than they do, take away the trappings of “civilisation” and they could only do so if they understood how to make their fancy toys perform the basics that would feed and clothe and shelter themselves and they don’t.
    It is an accepted fact that humans only survive well within an egalitarian society which they are incapable of. Sorry folks, RANT over.

  3. Joanna Terry says:

    Sorry about the rant, now to get back to the subject. I read the descriptors for PIP some while ago and am convinced that no one would be able to pass that test. if I am wrong please tell me but I cannot understand the attitude that if you take medication as an example you score nothing, if you have aids to help you walk you score NOTHING, if you have bathroom aids you score NOTHING, and so it goes on. I think it has been designed to find as few people as possible disabled and in fact you will have to be brain dead to get any points. In every claim for DLA I have requested a physical as the forms made no sensense to me. Except for one time I was visited by a doctor, in my own home, and examined. The Doctor showed kindness and understanding and were careful how they handled me physically, yet I knew they were experienced enough to know if I had been cheating. I never saw their reports as I always got the award, except for one time. Guess, that ties in but someone had changed the system and they no longer came out, I won my appeal. My last exam was under the Nu-Labour system, because although I did not receive IB my stamp was paid. This time I had to travel and the Doctor was rough, his examination technique put me to bed for a fortnight. At the same time my renewal claim for DLA was being considered. Well dispite the anxiety of the examination I was pleasantly surprised to be given an uprated DLA and passed the IB test. Now there must be reams of notes on me held by the DWP, are they telling me, that with all of that information they are still going to re-test me to see if I am still disabled (I am now even worse than I was then). What a waste of public funds and what a disgrace this government is, I have no objection to being examined from time to time, I do object to being examined so that they can try and deny me what I need to live, whilst hooray henry sups his champers and talks about tough love. How do they dream at night and if we don’t keep up the media pressure to counter their propaganda, how easy will it be for them to take the next step.

  4. DAVID A SHAW says:

    A waste of public money is exactly what the award of this contract is. ATOS have clearly been shown to be incapable and are doing a job of gross incompetence because they are being allowed to do so by the DWP, who are the drivers behind this shambles of a system under the watchful eyes of IDS and gruppenfuhrer Grayling. Both of these men are emotionless and detached from the suffering they cause, i think if they were subject to an examination they would be found to be as cold and callous as the Yorkshire ripper. Me, i would put them both in the same place as he and others whom are considered a danger to the people reside as i consider that is the only appropriate place for them and this deranged government.

  5. roger Allnot says:

    Joanna, I think you have got PIP and ESA mixed up, in your note about descriptors. We do not yet know how PIP will be assessed and managed – I will be interested to see how the DWP ensures consistency between two suppliers, Atos and Capita. Sure that more information will come out in the coming months.

  6. Joanna Terry says:

    I saw them on the disability rights uk page, that is where I got my information from. They have been there for ages and I have shown them to others as well, so I know its not my imagination.

  7. Alan Morrison says:

    Just to touch base an express equal disgust at DWP’s extension of Atos contract.
    Please do visit The Recusant website, my socialist literary webzine which has provided a front page link to your campaign, among others, for some time now. We also produce the poetry and polemic anthologies against the austerity cuts and welfare caps, Emergency Verse and The Robin Hood Book which is just published and is dedicated to the memories of the Mullins couple and Paul Reekie as well as all the other casualties of the Atos regimen. We extend our solidarity and hope our sites can perhaps link up more and campaign together. Some readers here may be interested in The Robin Hood Book as it contains extensive polemical comment compiled over the past few months arguing the case against the welfare reforms and disability cuts in particular.
    A Morrison

  8. Amy Brown says:

    Roger Allnot the new descriptors for Personal Independance Payment are available on the .gov website and have been available for several months. There was an initial public consultation on the descriptors then other consultations after the descriptors were decided.
    Unlike DLA, with PIP if you use aids and adaptations to help you then you score fewer points as the aids reduce your level of disability. (a bit like the mobility component of the work capability assessment for ESA where being able to self propel a short distance in a wheelchair means you score zero for mobility).
    I guess we won’t know until it is actually implemented if it works or not but I suspect lots of people will be awarded lower rates than they currently receive. On the other hand for people with learning disabilities they should get a better deal than under DLA.

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