A NURSE has revealed how her own life was ruined after under-fire benefits firm Atos forced her to “trick” disabled people out of cash.
Joyce Drummond’s medical training meant she knew claimants were unfit to work. But she was told to mark people as fit if they could write or show up for an interview properly dressed. Eventually, Joyce was carpeted by bosses for being “too nice” to claimants.
After five months, she was signed off with stress caused by “having to trick sick people out of their benefit”. She quit in July 2009 and hasn’t worked since.
Joyce said candidates were marked down if they:
- looked well-presented, with neat hair and make-up.
- turned up with a toddler.
- could sign the application form.
Public fury is growing against Atos, who have assessed thousands of people with terminal illnesses as fit for work. And thousands with genuine chronic conditions have been dragged over the coals repeatedly by their inquisitors.
Mum-of-one Joyce, from Mosspark, Glasgow, said Atos decision makers paid no attention to her professional clinical opinion and were only interested in cutting down the number of claimants.
She reveals all the questions she was told to ask were loaded.
Joyce said: “I stopped working for Atos three-and-a-half years ago but I still feel sick every time I think of those people deemed fit for work, when they quite clearly were incapable of doing so.
“I apologise from the bottom of my heart to all those people I had to assess during my five months in the job but the decisions were out of my hands. Once I realised how manipulative the assessment system was, I got out immediately. The stress of it all made me ill and I have not worked since.”
And there’s more. It makes me ill, too!