Parliamentary Question | ATOS and the use of CBT for people with ME/CS | 5 February 2015

February 6, 2015

Charlotte Leslie, MP for Bristol North West, tabled a question that asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he had made of the efficacy of ATOS's use of cognitive behavioural therapy for people suffering from Myalgic Encephalopathy and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

In a written reply on 5 February 2015, Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper wrote:

Atos have contracts with the Department to conduct assessments pertaining to different welfare benefits. Within these contracts, Atos do not use or conduct any form of therapy with any claimant and they do not refer claimants for any therapy.
DWP's internal occupational Employee Assistance Programme provides the opportunity for face-to-face counselling with staff where it is appropriate. Some counselling practitioners may use CBT techniques in their sessions depending on the counsellor's training and preferred therapy techniques.
Employee occupational and health records are confidential and DWP has not carried out any analysis of the efficacy of the use of CBT for its employees. Our
understanding is that the use of CBT is minimal and therefore any analysis would not be statistically significant.

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