allegations of intimidating behaviour

From:Paul R Barnard

To:various recipients, DWP, Atos, MP, journalists

Sent: Monday, September 10, 2012 10:19 AM

Subject: allegations of intimidating behaviour


Following the Work Capability Assessment by ATOS on August 9th, on Friday 7th September I received a follow up letter from ATOS Customer Services (dated 5th september 2012).

 This letter claims that on the two previous occasions of my ATOS Work Capability Assessments, it has not been possible to complete the WCA due to my behaviour toward the ATOS staff.

I strongly refute the claims that my behaviour toward the staff has been intimidating and have written this letter to ensure my views are set for the record. These are false and damaging claims, which are also potentially defamatory.

 At the first assessment in April 2012, I was accompanied by a witness, and on 9th August, I was accompanied by two companions who were with me throughout the assessment. For both the April and August assessments, the individuals who accompanied me are willing to provide witness statements to the effect that my behaviour was not intimidating. At the second WCA, the ATOS staff member became angry and consequently walked out of the assessment.

I strongly believe that my ATOS assessors to date have lacked the skills to be able to carry out the WCA and as a result, I am being failed by the service and have now become subject to false claims about my behaviour.

the response from Julie Watson at Atos arrived on my doorstep on friday 7th spetember, containing these allegations. My appointment is on monday 10th.

this does not allow me time to clarify the terms “felt your behaviour was intimidating” to ensure a fair response from myself. it would also be remiss of me to “intimidate” these nurses, but as i have no time to clarify, how can i be sure that whatever i say might be seen as intimidating?

i would certainly not think my previous behaviour was such, and i am consistently amazed that it is seen as such.

I have been asked to attend for a ‘Final’ ATOS WCA assessment on Monday 10th Sept at 2.30pm and have requested an audio recording is made of this assessment. (for my own protection)

i have suggested to Atos that as there are such diverse reports on the events at these appointments, that it be video’d to ensure clarity. they have declined saying that the terms in the WCA handbook have changed since it was published.

would it be possible to clarify that this is the case? i have many more concerns now regarding the WCA, including the situation at the last appointment (9th august) where the HCP was able to leave the office and not return, but i was not allowed to, being under threat of “referral to the DWP”  – which i see as false imprisonment. a clear denial of my human rights which i believe is reserved for people who are considered to have broken the law.

i would like clarity on these matters as Atos are a major government contractor enjoying very large contracts and coming into contact with thousands of vulnerable people every week.

i would also like details of the contacts at the DWP which Atos have spoken to regarding this matter, as stated on their letter of 5th sept 2102, being the reason for the response only arriving to my door on friday 7th september. along with all written, verbal and hand written notes referring to my case. i believe that is my right under the data protection act.

as you can imagine this puts me in a very difficult position, being unsure what i have said will be taken in  way it is not intended.

this is severely adding to my chronic levels of stress and anxiety the reasons why i was diagnosed unfit to work in the first place.

Paul Barnard


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