Spartacus campaign release ‘The People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment’

The Spartacus campaign released a powerful new campaign report today ‘The People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment’. It analyses the failures of the Government’s Work Capability Assessment and the Employment & Support Allowance system, which is supposed to support people who are too sick or disabled to work.

The report examines the stories of more than 70 people who have been inappropriately  assessed, forced to go to tribunal, felt humiliated or treated inappropriately. It comes prior to the publication of the final review of the Work Capability Assessment by Professor Harrington, who steps down as advisor to the DWP this month, and whose resignation was announced in July, just days after the broadcast of two TV documentaries exposing the reality of claimants’ experience of the assessment process.

It raises serious concerns about the number of people who have died after being told by the DWP they were ‘fit for work’ or have taken their own lives in circumstances where applying for ESA and going through the WCA appear to be factors in their deaths.

Professor Peter Beresford OBE, professor of social policy at Brunel University and chair of Shaping Our Lives, said:

“The work capability assessment is unreliable and unhelpful, as well as being arbitrary and cruel… No-one – not the doctors who make the assessment decisions, nor Atos which has responsibility for providing assessments, nor the Department of Work and Pensions which commissioned them – takes responsibility for the problems and failures in the system. It’s a perfect storm of irresponsibility and unaccountability.”

The report also includes an analysis of the position of a number of professional and regulatory organisations on the WCA, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the General Medical Council, the National Audit Office and the Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as Government statements and background information on Atos, the company  employed to carry out the assessments.

‘The People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment’ is available for download at:

6 thoughts on “Spartacus campaign release ‘The People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment’

  1. I no longer receive Income Support + severe disability premium the DWP have also taken all my savings away from me I am desperate I dont know what I am going to I dont know how I will survive I have considered ending it all there is no hope in this country for disabled people.

  2. This is an impressive report, thoroughly researched and evidence based. What is of great concern is the failure of Government to not only listen but to take action. The Government’s attitude has plunged us back decades and has penalised and persecuted the wrong people. Fear is a common feeling among genuine claimants, or those of us who care for genuine claimants. I had hoped to spend my retirement in peace knowing that various aspects of my son’s life were settled. Now, in my autumn years, we have to start all over again but this time, the system is not fit for purpose and we are haunted by what the future may look like for our son and indeed for ourselves if and when our own health deteriorates. As someone said, this Government want all sick and disabled people to magically disappear ….. I wish that we could so that we didn’t have to face all of this.

  3. I can remember atos years ago testing me for lung damage from working in the mines, and a very helpful lady who was checking my lung capacity and egging me on to try blowing longer into a machine until I was near to collapse, I am now disabled and suffer from copd but its too late to claim now I am 75, but the atos s heme was to trick people not help.
    Syd marshall

  4. Many congrats & thanks to the Spartacus team. Yet another outstanding piece of disturbing research, with evidence that can’t be disputed. You are an inspiration to many in this battle for social justice.

    • Very interesting reading. Thank you.
      There is a ‘bedroom tax’ campaign on Facebook. We need as many people as possible to join please. There are posts on there about ATOS and DLA. The effects are already being felt. People are committing suicide.

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