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.

Posted in announcements, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Come Along To WULFRUN HALL and Celebrate IDDP on 22nd November

Come along to our event ACCESS TO ABILITY to celebrate International Day for Disabled People at Wulfrun Hall with comedian Lawrence Clarke on Thursday the 22nd November.

A sharing event hosted by inspiring Disabled people about Training, Employment, Ambition and Achievement.
For more information please followthe link below:
I have also sent as a dropbox link for you and your printers to download

Posted in announcements, events, meetings, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Health Watch Roadshow on Friday the 9th November



Development of Healthwatch Event.


Action 4 Independence, Albert Road. Wolverhampton

on Friday 9th November 2012 at 10am-3pm

10 am Set-up – Providers and Refreshments

10.30am Opening Welcome

11.00am Development of Healthwatch

– Key note speakers.

12.30pm Light Lunch

1.30pm Questions & Answers.

2.45pm Closing Statement–Way Forward.

For more information please contact Kevin Bailey on tele: 01902 810016 or 07944 984022 or email:

Posted in announcements, events, meetings, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Activeyes and Beacon 4 Work

Hi all on Tuesday 23rd October 10am – 4pm & 7pm – 9pm Activeyes & Beacon 4 work will be holding a Open Day here at the Beacon Centre for the Blind offering visually impaired people the opportunity to learn more about the services we provide, how we can help them and the chance to speak to other visually impaired people who use and have benefited from Activeyes and Beacon 4 Work.

We would very much appreciate it if you could advertise our Open Day day and pass on this information to people who would benefit from meeting new people, taking part in sports and leisure activities, employment coaching and skills training.

If you require any more information please get in touch with
Tim Jukes
Community Support Officer | Beacon Centre for the Blind
Wolverhampton Road East, Wolverhampton, WV4 6AZ.
T: 01902 880111 |D: 01902 880111 | W:

Posted in announcements, events, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


The Government has recently announced plans to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) – which supplements the funding of independent living support for 19,000 of the most severely disabled people. Plans to transfer the money to Local Authorities, where it is viewed that the needs of older people are already putting services under increasing strain; says Jane Young of the Guardian, have been heavily criticised.

This combination of challenges to social care services is set to have a catastrophic effect on the ability of severely disabled people to fulfill their potential and use their talents to contribute personally and economically to society. There are many examples of severely disabled people whose care packages enable them to employ personal assistants of their choosing to maximise their independence, and their ability to participate and make a contribution. Local Authorities now require huge financial contributions from service users for the provision of basic packages.

Young says “Equality and independence are now being rolled back, with a major loss of talent to our society. Disabled people can’t be economically productive if the support that enables them to live independently is missing or unaffordable. We all lose from this situation – we will all gain when social care is properly funded and provided on an equal basis.”

Source: The Guardian


9th October 2012

Posted in announcements, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


A disability rights campaigner has told a minister at the Conservative conference to “stop bullying us”. Kaliya Franklin, 36, spoke out at a fringe event examining the government’s welfare to work programme.

Ms Franklin, who suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and uses a mobility scooter, confronted the welfare reform minister Lord Freud. She told him “you are driving us away” by introducing more sanctions on those deemed able to work by government. After having a one-on-one chat with Ms Franklin, 36, after the meeting Lord Freud said he “heard what she had to say” and would reflect on it.

The Work Programme is the government’s main scheme for helping people who are unemployed back into work. Under the terms of the programme, contractors from the public, private and voluntary sectors are paid a fee, usually £400, when the job centre refers an unemployed person to them, typically someone who has been looking for work for a year. Further, larger payment can then be made when a person has been in sustainable employment for up to two years. The harder the company has to work to find and keep someone in a job, the more money they get. At the core of the scheme is the idea of payment by results, so there is a financial incentive for providers to do their best to get the long-term unemployed back into the job market.

Lord Freud said his overall perspective was that “for most people it would be pretty damned good for them to have a job”. Most of the speakers at the fringe event were broadly supportive of the government’s scheme and its motivations but said there were still practical problems that needed resolving.

Source: BBC NEWS


8th October 2012

Posted in announcements, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Nearly 1.2 million working adults will for the first time next year face losing some of their benefits if they do not comply with new state requirements to work longer hours, find an additional job or seek higher wages, it has emerged.

Until now benefit sanctions have only applied largely to those out of work. The new sanctions regime is an unprecedented byproduct of the government decision to introduce universal credit, merging most existing means-tested benefits and tax credits together into a single system. The aim is to increase the incentives to work but it means that people will lose money if they don’t find extra work, even if there is none available where they live.

There are currently 1.4 million people working part-time because they are unable to find full-time work – compared to 500,000 in 2004. The claim that 1.2 million working adults will be brought under the oversight of the department of work and pensions sanctions regime is made by the Resolution Foundation thinktank, and is based on figures supplied by the DWP for the first time. The foundation suggests about 700,000 single people will be affected, as well as 500,000 who are living as part of a couple. The conditions will be set on payments to many working claimants who earn less than the weekly equivalent of the minimum wage – £212.80p for a single person.

The Resolution Foundation claimed on Wednesday night that the work and pensions secretary Ian Duncan Smith was moving into unchartered territory and questioned whether DWP jobcentre advisers have the capacity to cope with double the number of claimants subjected to potential sanctions. Universal credit removes the requirement to work at least 16 hours to be entitled to benefit, so allows claimants to receive state help if they are working as little as five hours a week.

To counter the clear financial incentives for low-hours work in the new system universal credit introduces, for the first time, a bolstered system of personalised conditionality, including directed mandatory activity to help people obtain and prepare for work. Claimants will be expected to meet a new, higher conditionality earnings threshold, equivalent to 35 hour week at national minimum rates through a combination of measures. These can include: increasing their hours or their hourly wage with their current employer, finding one or more additional jobs alongside their existing employment or finding a new job with a higher income.

The foundation warns that “with little over a year until implementation it is of concern that little has been said about how a fair, consistent and adequately resourced conditionality system for working claimants will be implemented. It also questions “whether an extension of conditionality to working claimants can function in the current context of a chronically weak labour market in which millions of people want to work more hours, but are unable to do so”.

Source: Guardian


5th October 2012

Posted in announcements, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment