Peter Dewis: Steppin’ Sideways from Government to Unum
‘DDAM’ is the Diploma in Disability Assessment Medicine, a qualification whose training and accreditation is delivered by ATOS ORIGIN.
For sixteen years prior to taking up his current position at UNUM (which commenced in 2000) Dr Dewis held a post with the UK Government’s Department of Social Security (the precursor to today’s DWP).
He seems to have worked his way through levels of the DSS, as UNUM describe him as having held ‘claims management, managerial and policy roles’ there (I would link to the Unum web resource for this, but like quite a lot of their ‘old’ publicity material the hyperlink has disappeared, so the account only remains as an excerpt within a Nexis search result).
In their (2008) description of his place in their Executive Committee UNUM also position him as a ‘recognised expert in the developing discipline of Disability Assessment Medicine’.
One would hope so, seeing as he co-authored, with Mansel Aylward, the DWP commissioned ‘Disability Handbook’ (2nd Ed) in 1998 – the book that tops the list of ‘Essential Reading’ for those taking the DDAM.
As the string of letters after his name include ‘DDAM’ I hope he really aced that course, considering that he himself helped provide its academic underpinnings!
I’m joking. I imagine its some kind of convention that when you devise a course you’re entitled to award yourself the qualification.
Rather messes with your mind, though, that idea….
So, to sum it up: Here is a man who has extensive (one might say ‘insider’) experience of the way government works with respect to our Social Security/Welfare System, someone used to shaping policies.
During his time as a public servant he laid the foundations for disability assessment through compilation of the Disability Handbook, following that up in 1999 by being ‘instrumental’ in setting up the training course designed to turn the medically qualified into ‘Disability Analysts’.
Though working for UNUM since 2000 he has also been a practicing examiner for the DDMA (certainly as late as 2008 according to UNUM’s account), and therefore simultaneously in the pay of ATOS who deliver the course (see link above).
Evidently the connections between UNUM and ATOS are much more symbiotic than either they or our government are willing to admit.
The DWP constantly try to downplay the influence that UNUM have had on our welfare policies (positioning them as one among many holders of expertise that they have consulted), yet once again this is belied by the patterns of shared executive employment across the two companies.