Atos Healthcare is Britain’s leading provider of disability assessment and occupational healthcare services. Together with our 3,000 staff, two-thirds of whom are doctors and nurses, we are committed to the highest professional and ethical standards.
We appreciate that for many people, the work that Atos Healthcare undertakes for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is not well understood. This shortcoming means that there is often confusion over precisely what we do.
For this reason, we want to give you some important facts and figures, as well as explain how we operate.
We understand how important it is to communicate clearly to those coming to one of the 148 assessment centres. Therefore, over the coming weeks, we are going to use the Atos Healthcare blog to answer the most common questions we receive.
What we do for the DWP
Atos Healthcare provides independent assessments by healthcare professionals in relation to health related benefits on behalf of the DWP. The DWP make the decisions on claims for all benefits. The result of the assessment and the outcome has no bearing on Atos Healthcare targets or remuneration.
Each year, we complete over 800,000 face-to-face assessments within the nationwide network of assessment centres. That is equivalent to almost 2,200 for every day of the year.
Once the assessments are completed, we provide a report to the DWP who, in turn, review the assessment, together with any other relevant information before they make decisions on claims for all benefits.
Our specific responsibilities
- Recruitment and training of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists
- Managing Assessment Centres
- Scheduling appointments
- Conducting assessments
- Providing an independent report to Decision Makers in DWP.
What is an assessment?
The assessment process used by Atos Healthcare was developed by the DWP. It is designed to see what people can do.
It is not intended to be the same as an examination carried out by a GP or consultant, which is designed to diagnose a medical condition.
How do we manage quality?
Every doctor working with Atos Healthcare is registered with the General Medical Council, while all our nurses are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and physiotherapists with the Health Professions Council.
Before any healthcare professional can carry out the DWP assessments, they must also be approved by the Chief Medical Adviser of the DWP.
Some important facts
- There is a rigorous selection process to recruit the best medical and non-medical staff All our doctors, nurses and physiotherapists must have three years, broad-based clinical experience following their professional registration
- All our healthcare professionals receive comprehensive training in disability assessment
- For the Work Capability Assessment for Employment Support Allowance, training includes an eight day course for doctors and a 17 day course for nurses, which is accredited by the University of Derby.
- Like all practising doctors and nurses in the UK, our medical professionals are required to undertake on-going training to ensure their skills and knowledge are up to date
- We continually undertake internal and independently conducted external audits to ensure high standards in our assessments and reports
Our quality standard
The DWP measures the performance of Atos Healthcare every month against what are called ‘key performance indicators’. These include the quality and accuracy of the reports we produce after each assessment, in addition to the satisfaction levels of those being assessed.
We measure satisfaction through a sample survey of 31,000 customers each year, based upon approved market research methodology.
Our customer satisfaction levels are currently around 90% but we are committed to increasing this through a process of continuous improvement.
More to come
We hope you found this information useful.
As mentioned at the start, over the coming weeks we are going to answer the most commonly asked questions regarding our DWP work. So please visit this site again regularly.
If you have a question, you can send this to us at firstname.lastname@example.org