Lets get things straight. Atos Origin are an American-based IT-services company. Their record is no better than anyone else’s in respect of their observing the privacy of such records – mind you, probably not as bad as the Government themselves, who tend to leave copies everywhere for anyone to find.
I myself was unaware that my medical records were being farmed out by the DWP, and despite their bluster, if you wish it not to be so, they are obliged by law to maintain the privacy of your records. This effectively stops Atos Origin having any background material on your health condition whatsoever. Probably just as well because a large number of their ‘assessments’ are not carried out by a doctor anyway.
To ensure that the DWP cannot distribute your medical information in this way you should expressly forbid them from doing so. Your right to refusal is enshrined in the Act of Parliament ‘Access to Medical Records Act 1988‘ which makes provision for your refusal to give consent to Atos Origin to request medical information from your doctor or hospital specialist.
The above highlights the position that both patient and doctor have been put in by the DWP (and Government). Instead of taking your doctor’s words on your medical certificate that you are unfit for work, the DWP totally ignore this, and insist on you being examined by a person who is not medically qualified, taking a very narrow criteria for judging you fit or unfit. My reaction would be to politely tell them to piss off, and insist on being examined (if at all) by a fully-qualified medical practitioner who has some expertise in the ailment or ailments from which you suffer. Also insist on seeing the qualifications of such a person.
Also there is a powerful argument for withholding your permission for your records to be entered into the national NHS database. Why? Yes, you’ve guessed. One of the implementation partners on this ‘venture’ are Atos Origin. Need I say more?
If you are being pestered by either the DWP or Atos Origin to fill in an IB50 form. First of all, check the DWP’s assumptions. They have highjacked the word ‘benefit’ and turned it into a synonym for stealing taxpayers hard-earned cash. They make broad assertions on the IB50 form that may or may not be true. Don’t be frightened by their bluster and bullshit. Calmly check the facts first.
Other blogs of mine related to this topic are: