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Saturday, 17 December 2011

A view from the Atos CEO

I wrote a long letter to the Atos CEO about my experiences through 3 WCAs and the subsequent fall-out through the ridiculous "decision making " and appeals processes.  I also included a few tips through which he could improve the standing of his business in contraversial circumstances.

The first script below is his response, the second is my brief reply.

"Dear Mr xxxxxx

I am in receipt of you letter dated 9th December.  I am not aware and indeed nor should I be aware of your personal case but I appreciate from your letter that you have experienced the disability assessment process several times and are clearly dissatisfied with the whole process. You also comment that you consider our lack of interest in criticisms levied at us as being down to our view that the problem is wholly with the DWP.

We are generally silent when criticised in the press simply because we do not believe it appropriate or indeed beneficial to manage our business in the press, make public comments about our clients business or as in this case comment on Government Policy.   I’m sure you will share my view that the objective of newspaper journalists are not necessarily always to present an accurate representation of the facts.  We do respond to support groups and professional bodies as you would expect.

We also publish a "blog”, which you can access via  I would encourage you to look at the blog and hear what we have to say. I hope by doing so you will see that we certainly do care about the work we do and ensure that we maintain high standards of quality and professionalism.

As you note I am about to move on to a new post but I will certainly pass on your letter to my successor whom I am sure will respond to your queries either directly or via the blog.

Yours sincerely,
Keith Wilman
Atos, Chief Executive, UK and Ireland"
Dear Mr Wilman,
I have received your letter dated 15th December.

I was of course not expecting you to be familiar with my case, but like any other CEO in a service industry, thought you would be grateful for some genuine customer feedback.  This I suspect is at the heart of the problem – I am not the customer (DWP is), more the commodity.

My comments to you are based on what I have seen for myself, rather than what I have read, which as you say, is not always as objective as it might be.  I also understand that you are sometimes in a difficult position, but nevertheless you should maintain professional integrity.  The fact that your HCP was consigning me to a wheelchair without discussing the matter openly with me hardly does that.

I have seen your blog, which not surprisingly portrays the theory rather than the reality.  I am not vitriolic by nature and have raised a couple of quite legitimate questions using the “reply” facility, but your moderator has simply removed them.  I am sure you would accept that not all of the questions you will be asked will be easy to answer and how you deal with this will have a major impact on the perceptions of your business.  If everything is open, honest and above-board, you will have nothing to hide and nothing to fear.

Yours sincerely

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