M.E and my #ATOS test…

Today I had my dreaded medical examination with ATOS in Luton.  I arrived on time, thanks to The Mothership chauffering me. She couldn’t get parked anywhere near the centre (which has NO designated parking – what a massive fail that is) so she drove to a side street and I went in alone. 

I was in a great deal of pain today, mostly due to my neck flaring up and so the receptionist let me sit down and she came out of her office to “book me in”.  After a 15 minute wait, I was asked to walk down a long corridor to meet Dr D.K.Mallick.   Dr Mallick was lovely, which really surprised me as the last “Dr” I saw there was extremely cold and defensive with me. 

He began by asking me about my recent foot operation, moving on to cover my last employment, medication, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Home life, neck problems and Mental Health.   This took over 3/4s of an hour. It should have taken half of that time.. The reason?  The computer system for Luton and several other towns (names escape me but they were local), has had “issues” since December.  Where they used to handle 10 claimants per day, now they are lucky to see 6.  At one point he was so frustrated and embarrassed he threatened to walk out in protest.  I am pretty sure it is a “sharing” issue as the form he fills in is online.  Possibly the broadband speed needs increasing. Anyway, I’m not a computer expert but it’s pretty much fucked up borked.

Dr Mallick skipped through a few points (including the physical exam) as he was so stressed and could see I was in a lot of pain. He did have a look at both of my feet though and told me that I would probably be called back in 6 – 12 months.  Luckily for me, I won’t have to go back as I have been offered a job working from home.  My Fabulous New Bossman (FNB) knows all about my health issues and is happy for me to do what I can, when I can.  I have, for once fallen *on*  my feet instead of falling because of them! 

Something struck me though during the process, he kept referring to CFS in a “mental” disorder, rather than a neurological condition. I called him out on this at the end of the session and he explained that the computer test is set that way.. However, this link from @latentexistence   clearly shows that CFS is regarded as a physical condition for DLA claimants. I hope that when the current ATOS test is reformed, this is corrected.

Although my examination went well today and the good Dr told me that I should have passed with no problems, the ATOS test is badly managed.  Claimants who should be exempt are still being called in, the current test is a “tick box” one which is simply not working. 

Please sign the petition below if you care about this important issue.


Want to make an FOI request about ATOS? Click this link: http://foiwiki.com/foiwiki/index.php/Main_Page


Whilst I gained enough points to qualify for ESA, I was added to the “Help back to work” group and an interview was arranged for me at the Job Centre.  I never made it to the interview however as I was lucky enough to be offered a job by my neighbour.  I have been working for him ever since and am SO grateful to him I can’t tell you, nobody else would have given me such a chance with my recent sickness record (and another operation pending).   I now have my dignity, a decent standard of living (despite what some say, life on benefits is REALLY hard) and I met a lovely man who fell in love despite my very attractive boot ; )   I know I am one of the lucky ones but I promise to keep fighting for the rest of you who are being so very badly treated by this government. Much love, HC x


  1. http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/articles/rutherford07.html this is a bit too long to quote but it explains ” the all in the mind ” and ” you’ve a ” good ” doctor ” stuff very well

  2. http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatosbusiness.html#unumwales everything that you need to know about ATOS Origin

  3. That ATOS Origin Doctor is paid a lot of money to parrot out the ” All in the Mind ” party line , otherwise he’d find his masters breathing down his neck .

    That’s how the Medical Insurance Claims Denial Industry works in the States , the difference in the very right wing ” the land of the free ” …..a class action law suit was taken out , and Unum Provident were banned from operating in two states . Their states can be the size of Scotland or Wales .

    Unum Provident are very pally with ATOS Origin , they helped ATOS develop the LIMA software and put in a tendering bid . Both are corporate vultures hovering over a very large State / Public Sector Pie .

    It was also the assertion made by Professor Aylwood , Lord Freud the ” colourful ” ex City Financer plans to ” reform ” SSP …..he states claimants ” do not have a true medical problem but are suffering medical symptons caused by a problem at work ”

    Basically it’s win , win , win for all these dubious outfits , they get the money for failing claimants , if they can’t fail them , they can tender for ” pull yourselves up by your bootstraps ” schemes to get them into near non existent jobs , if they do get it wrong , which in 75% – 80 % of appeals with advocacy in trial areas ; they often do , the State and the beleaguered Tax Payer pays the bill whilst these Poverty Pimps cream off the profit .

    Latest costs published for The Tribunal Service which incidentally is in melt down , amount to £8 Million .

    I’ve dealt with ATOS Origin as a Occupational Health ” Service ” , I’ve never known such a shoddy , amateurish outfit , their ” reports ” are full of errors , riddled with inconsistencies & contradictions , vague , obtiuse and barely coherent ; begging more questions than answers .

  4. […] This is an account of a recent ATOS medical by DisAbled blogger Ms Humphrey Cushion. Reading it has helped me learn more about them, as I’ve never had one. She has also linked to a petition to sack ATOS at the end of her post. […]

  5. The cynical me, and not without some experience of these tactics with previous DWP medicals, would immediately recognise many of the “tricks” of ATOS.
    The absence of designated parking may look incompetent, but it also allows them to state that you have walked a given distance – as does the “long corridor”. Some will have stated on their DLA app’s that they cannot walk said distance.
    Keeping you waiting 15 mins for the appointment can also rebut an argument that applicant cannot sit comfortably for any period of time, and so on.
    I sincerely hope that you pass this ludicrous test “Humph”, but – please – don’t ever feel any sympathy for an ATOS “doctor”. They really don’t deserve it.

    • Fair points : ) I couldnt manage the long corridor without stopping nor sit comfortably in the waiting area, I had to sit half in/half out of the chair in order to support my neck. Once in with the Dr, I had to sit right up at his desk so I could support my head with my hands, elbows on desk. As for sympathy, well you know me, I’m a soft touch ; )

  6. and it should be M.E not CFS . it’s not a syndrome . oh rant rant rant

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