In Partnership with the DWP
Atos Healthcare undertakes independent assessments by healthcare professionals in relation to health-related benefits on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The contract between the DWP and Atos Healthcare was first awarded in 1998. It was renewed for 7 years in 2005 as part of a competitive tender and extended for 3 years in 2010 through to 2015.
All Atos Healthcare doctors, nurses and physiotherapists have at least three years post-qualification experience; are registered with their respective Medical Body and are approved by the DWP Chief Medical Adviser.
The DWP requires stringent quality assurance to be in place and manages contractual obligations through a range of service level agreements and regular review meetings.
Atos Healthcare is responsible for
- Recruiting and training doctors, nurses and physiotherapists
- Checking medical evidence provided by a customer before asking for an assessment
- Requesting further medical evidence from GPs or other treating clinicians where the information is likely to enable us to provide advice to the DWP that may avoid a face-to-face assessment
- Booking appointments for face-to-face assessments
- Carrying out face-to-face assessments
- Providing DWP with a report following an assessment. This may be after an initial review of a person’s questionnaire supported by further medical evidence, or may be following a face-to-face assessment
- Developing and using IT systems to ensure that medical protocols are used consistently
The DWP is responsible for
- Designing and developing the format and criteria for assessments
- Reviewing all evidence presented by an individual, including but not limited to the report from Atos Healthcare, and making a decision on an individual’s entitlement to benefit
- Setting delivery targets and metrics for Atos Healthcare quality and service
- Monitoring service delivery against contractual requirements
- Authorising medical protocols used in clinical applications
HM Government is responsible for
- Welfare Reform and other benefit-related policies
- Legislation that lays out criteria to be used in assessments