The Countess of Mar tabled a written question that asked the Government whether, in the light of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance that “people with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis should be offered a summary record of every consultation because of their cognitive difficulties”, they will proactively offer recording of Atos face-to-face assessments to all claimants with cognitive difficulties.
The question was answered on 6 December 2012 by Lord Freud, minister for Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions. He wrote:
All reports from Atos Healthcare now contain a personalised summary in plain English. We have also tested sharing these reports with claimants but results showed that this was not helpful to individuals. We have therefore agreed a more helpful variation of this with Professor Harrington and now issue the department’s decision-maker’s reasoning report to explain fit for work decisions.
DWP has asked Atos Healthcare to accommodate requests for audio recording where a claimant makes a request in advance
of their assessment. We are currently developing criteria in order to evaluate the success of this approach and will
await the results of this evaluation before making a decision on the future of this service.