While applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), an individual may take part in a Work Capability Assessment, carried out by Atos Healthcare on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.
Earlier, we blogged about the training that each healthcare professional receives, both before and during their time at Atos Healthcare. Now, we’ll be blogging about how we quality monitor the work of Atos Healthcare professionals who carry out Work Capability Assessments. Please read on for more.
Quality monitoring of health care professionals is carried out through a number of mechanisms within Atos Healthcare. This includes regular audits of reports by accredited auditors using the IQAS system and the monitoring of complaints.
Atos Healthcare audits each and every healthcare professional at least once every six months.
Management information relating to monitoring activities is provided to the Department for Work and Pensions on a regular basis. If the DWP has any concerns in relation to an individual healthcare professional, these are raised with Atos Healthcare. Further investigation and subsequent action is taken in consultation with the DWP.
Healthcare professionals working on behalf of the Chief Medical Adviser and experienced auditors from within Atos Healthcare carry out a joint audit programme in order to ensure that the quality of audit in each individual unit is maintained.
Quality monitoring and targeted audits
Targeted audits are used when a problem has been identified with a particular healthcare professional, as a result of random audit, a complaint, re-work or a chance finding.
A targeted audit involves the consideration of a number of reports completed by the healthcare professional concerned, in order to gauge the overall standard of his or her work.
Upholding quality standards
If an individual healthcare professional’s work is found to be deficient, he or she is contacted by a mentor – a healthcare professional with specific responsibility in this area.
The mentor will arrange for retraining if it is considered necessary, or will feedback face to face, by letter or telephone call, depending upon the severity and importance of the issue raised by our quality monitoring processes.
Medical reports that are audited are rated with an A, B or C grade to enable appropriate feedback, mentoring and retraining as necessary.
Persistent failure, despite remedial action by Atos Healthcare, to meet a satisfactory standard may result in revocation of the DWP’s Chief Medical Adviser’s approval to carry out medical assessments.
How our performance, as a whole, is quality monitored
Approximately twenty thousand national audits were randomly undertaken in the last twelve months. Atos Healthcare’s target is to ensure that 95% of audited reports are rated A or B. In the past twelve months, its achievement has been consistently above 95%.
The Medical Director and Clinical Director participate in the Atos Healthcare Clinical Governance Forum, where all aspects of their clinical practice and standards are reviewed regularly.
If you would like to find out more about our training standards, please see our earlier blog post outlining the mandatory training that each Atos Healthcare practitioner receives before carrying out any Work Capability Assessments and the ongoing training that they receive when working for us.
Please also check our websites or our previous blog posts about the Work Capability Assessment for more information.