Supporting Customers in London during the Olympics 2012
Atos Healthcare has been planning how we can best support people in London who need to travel to see us during the Olympic Games. When people are referred to us by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for an assessment, it’s an important part of their benefit claim. DWP only allow us to rearrange an assessment once and if a person doesn’t attend, they have to explain to DWP why they couldn’t attend. DWP then decides what happens to the claim. We know that travel will be more difficult during the Olympics and so we’re putting actions in place to help make sure people can get to their appointments.
Arranging disability assessments during the Olympics 2012
We have set up a dedicated Olympics Scheduling team whose job is to book appointments for people who live in areas that are affected by the Games. Looking at the postcodes where we think people may have difficulty travelling, we have started to contact customers early and to try to set up an appointment before the Games start. We have then identified where people live within a bus ride or walking distance to the assessment centres and we are offering those people appointments during the Games. We are contacting people to confirm arrangements directly with them which also gives them the opportunity to ask any questions.
Everyone scheduled an appointment at any of the eight London assessment centres during the Olympics or Paralympics is being sent a leaflet with their appointment letter. The leaflets give specific travel advice to help people reach the assessment centre and details of where they can obtain further information to help plan their journey.
Some people are entitled to have their assessment at home rather than in a centre, and where they live in an area where we expect there to be significant travel difficulties, we have also taken action. Again we are pulling forward as many appointments as possible to take place before the start of the Games and where this isn’t possible, we are postponing them until afterwards. This will avoid anyone waiting long periods of time for a doctor who may be stuck in Olympic traffic, a situation which could be stressful to both parties.
Of course we also need to make sure our staff are able to get to work too. Staff are already planning alternative routes and trying them out so we can plan our resourcing in advance.
We’re committed to minimising any disruption to our customers and we hope our forward planning will help to ensure people aren’t delayed in having the assessments that are key to their DWP benefit claim.