Benefits and Work can reveal that Atos will use just 19 doctors to carry out personal independence payment (PIP) medical assessments in most of England and all of Scotland from April next year, according to bid documents lodged in the House of Commons library. The doctors will be outnumbered fifty to one by, mostly private sector, physiotherapists.
It is believed that Atos will have to assess well over a million claimants for PIP – some on paper only – of whom at least a quarter are likely to have mental health conditions or learning difficulties. Yet the majority of the health professionals involved will be private sector physiotherapists with limited knowledge or experience of dealing with these conditions.
Figures in the bid documents reveal that Atos will use 433 physiotherapists, 173 nurses, 35 occupational therapists and 9 doctors in London and Southern England. Just 19% of the service will be provided by NHS staff, whilst private sector company Premex will provide 30% and The Injury Care Clinics will provide 15%.
In Scotland and Northern England, Atos plan to use 500 physiotherapists, 200 nurses, 40 occupational therapists and 10 doctors. The NHS will provide 36% of the service.
Atos say that this mix of health professionals was based on a number of considerations, including the “cost differentials between the types of HPs [health professionals]” and “the desire for this work” amongst different types of health professionals. There is no mention of how many, if any, of the nurses will be specialist mental health nurses.
You can download the successful Atos bid documents for London and the South of England here:
and for Scotland and the North here.