Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning has confirmed that Atos Healthcare will be exiting its contract to provide Work Capability Assessments before it runs out in August 2015. The much-maligned Atos has faced a mountain of trouble in its delivery of the contract, delivered to DWP specifications, following complaints by claimants and families expressed in parliament and the media.
Penning confirmed that a new supplier will be appointed by the end of the year. He also confirmed that the Government would pay no compensation to Atos for the early termination, and that in fact Atos would be paying the Government a “substantial financial settlement”.
The Government has also this morning responded to Dr Paul Litchfield’s fourth annual review of the WCA process, recommending a number of changes to the current forms which claimants must fill out in order to go through the WCA process. Penning further stated that the full response, due out later today, will also recommend some changes to the descriptors used by Atos when deciding on its recommendations under the WCA.