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Bereaved teenager's letter blaming Atos for father's death delivered to DWP

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Bereaved teenager's letter blaming Atos for father's death delivered to DWP


Published by Anonymous for in Central Government and also in Communities, Health

Bereaved teenager's letter blaming Atos for father's death delivered to DWP Bereaved teenager's letter blaming Atos for father's death delivered to DWP

A 13-year-old's letter to a newspaper that detailed his anguish over his disabled father's death after Atos found him "fit for work" has been hand-delivered to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In his letter to the Daily Record, Kieran McArdle said his father, Brian McArdle, passed away the day after the DWP ceased his benefit, and blames Atos for his death.

Mr McArdle was left blind in one eye, unable to speak and paralysed down his left side after a stroke. Despite this, Atos - the French company brought in by the Government to assess sick and disabled benefit claimants' fitness for work - found him capable of working.

Its findings were passed onto the DWP which then ended his disability allowance.

Mr McArdle, 57, died of a heart attack in his Lanarkshire home the day after his benefits were stopped.

In his letter, Kieran wrote: “Those Atos people should hang their heads in shame for what they are doing to these poor disabled people.

“They are supposed to be targeting the fraudsters, not killing off the genuine folk with their disgusting tactics.”

A Daily Record reporter has now hand-delivered Kieran's letter to the DWP.

Since being brought in by the Government, Atos has been accused of passing people with motor neurone disease, serious heart disease and even somebody with a broken back fit for work. In July, Steven Hill, 52, died of a heart attack 39 days after being deemed able to work by the firm.

A DWP spokesperson said: “Our sympathy goes out to Mr McArdle's family during what is obviously a very difficult time.

“Through Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) we help people move from benefits and back into work if they are capable of doing so, while giving unconditional support to those who need it.

"A decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken following consideration of all the supporting medical evidence from the claimant’s GP or medical specialist and a thorough face to face assessment where necessary. We encourage people to provide as much medical evidence as possible when they apply for ESA, and often people who are found fit for work only provide the necessary evidence when they ask for a reconsideration or an appeal.”

Atos Healthcare spokesperson: “Our sympathies are with the friends and family of Mr McArdle.

“Although we cannot comment on individual cases, our trained doctors, nurses and physiotherapists strictly follow the guidelines given to them by the Government when conducting assessments, which form a single, although important part of the process.”


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