Crisis in NHS data collection?


Fitness to work’ firm wins contract

Do a bad job, and you are awarded more work.

Atos has just been awarded the contract to extract patient records from GP’s surgery information.

The same firm that was handling enquiries into benefit fraud – ‘Fitness to work’  (FTW)

There has been much in media about the way Atos handled enquiries re FTW.  My experience was upsetting.  I have Neuropathy, as a side effect of cancer drugs, mean I can only shuffle – I look as though I am drunk when walking!  So am lucky enough to have a disability allowance that pays for help with heavy jobs around home.  Am phoned by office to ask questions re my benefit payments.

After name, address etc., we get down to basics.  What disabilities do I have?  Which is oldest?


When did you contract that?

In 1956.

“Oh. So you are well over that”.

If the question hadn’t been so stupid, I would have laughed.  However, I felt deeply insulted, as for fifty years I had had to live with consequences, work hard to overcome them and live as normal a life as my condition allowed. Once muscles are affected, you don’t get over consequences.

So I terminated conversation, and told questioner I would only answer questions on my medical condition put by someone who was medically qualified, and wouldn’t insult me.  However, am sure that there are many OAPs who would have been scared to take similar action.

Complaints galore

Currently, the company is seeking “an early release” from its Fitness for Work contract.

And has been ‘awarded’ the contract to extract patient records from GP surgeries under NHS data sharing scheme:

Make a hash of one contract, get your payment and go on to next.  Nice work if you can get it.

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One thought on “Crisis in NHS data collection?

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