Thursday, 22 May 2014

Woman in coma told by Atos to find work!

Shiela Holt from Rochdale

The government and the healthcare company Atos (a.k.a. Crapos), have come under fire after it was revealed that they told a critically ill woman from Rochdale, to get a job even though she was in a coma.

Sheila Holt (47), a bi-polar sufferer who last worked 27-years ago, has been in a coma since last December. But Atos, who are contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to assess fitness for work, continued to send Sheila letters forcing her to look for work. Her family say that Sheila went into a coma after suffering a heart attack at Christmas. They claim that she had a breakdown after she was forced to go on a job seeking course by her benefit bosses.

Following a meeting arranged by Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, which was attended by Sheila's father Ken Holt, the minister for disabled people, Mike Penning, apologized to the family and admitted that what had happened to Sheila, had been wrong. He also confirmed that Atos were to be replaced.

In February, Mike Penning, told MPs that Atos's work had caused real concern because too many people were appealing against their decisions. More than 600,000 appeals have been lodged against Atos judgments since the work capability assessments began, costing the taxpayer £60 m  a year. Around 40% of the original decisions are overturned on appeal.

Although Atos have been criticized for finding terminally ill and mentally ill people fit for work, in January, Atos boss, Joe Hemming, told a Commons Committee that the company was proud of its work and added:

"We have a real passion for delivering services to the citizen in a way that continues to satisfy."

Labour MP, Paul Flynn, told the Atos boss that he was suffering from a "reality problem."

The companies that are in the running to take over the contract from Atos, currently worth £115m a year, include G4S, Serco, A4e and the Capita Group. Both Serco and G4S, are currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Atos and G4S, paid no corporation tax last year despite carrying out £2bn of taxpayer-funded contracts.

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