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Concern grows over Atos

More details are emerging about the incapacity benefit assessments being carried out for the Department of Social Care by a UK company.

Atos Healthcare came under the spotlight in the House of Keys this week when Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw refused to say how much the contract is worth.

Atos will process questionnaires from claimants and carry out interviews to find out whether those on incapacity benefit are fit for some sort of work.

But in the UK the firm’s faced criticism for over-simplistic testing, something one Manx resident says they agree with.

The questionnaire runs to 20 pages and addresses physical and mental wellbeing through different sections.

But a Douglas man in his thirties, who was sent a form after claiming benefit for six months, says despite medical evidence from his GP and spine specialists, he’s had to answer what he calls 'ridiculous' questions.

They include whether he can pick up a pound coin, use a washing machine, cope with minor changes in his routine or whether he upsets other people.

Atos Healthcare wouldn’t be interviewed but in a short statement defended its questionnaire and practices.

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