Wearespatacus online campaign group have compiled a 71 page dossier The peoples review of the WCA , everyone needs to read the true facts about atos /government, it is disgraceful the way the sick/disabled are being treated. Sample of info I was shocked to read, page 51 of dossier refers to
Specific concerns about the WCA process
ESA50 Forms sent to Atos or DWP are opened at a sorting office without claimants’ knowledge or consent
Highly sensitive and confidential medical information sent in to Atos with the ESA50 form when applying for support is routinely opened and sorted by Royal Mail staff on behalf of the Government without the claimant's knowledge or consent.
The information came to light after Lynne Neagle, a Welsh Assembly member, was asked to investigate by a constituent who was told by a local post office not to bother sending ESA forms by special delivery as the envelope would be opened by Royal Mail regardless. Ms Neagle said: "These claimants often have incredibly complex case histories – they may have mental health problems or be victims of sexual abuse – I imagine they'd find it incredibly unsettling to know that such deeply personal information was being treated like this.
Dr Tony Calland, chair of the British Medical Association ethics committee, said "We are very concerned that a government department could even contemplate allowing such sensitive and confidential medical data to be handled by a third party without the person's consent
Even more shocking was Lord Freuds response
“The Data Protection Act states that individual's have a right to know the extent to which organisations process their personal data. We publish a guidance note on DWP's internet site www.dwp.gov.uk called "DWP-your-personal-information", which describes how we will use personal data. Section 7(2) of the Act sets out that organisation such as DWP must provide information to the claimant on how we process and handle their personal information. We are obliged to supply this information only when asked for it in writing and we are allowed to charge a fee for this information, although our usual policy is not to charge for this. As such we have not breached this provision of the Act through not specifically informing the claimant that our post-opening operations are contracted out to a private company when the claimant originally provided us with information. “