Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Recently, Atos had confessed to monitoring the performance of individual HCPs performing WCAs against “norms”.

1) What are these ‘norms’ and what information exists to confirm how they have been derived?

2)What information is available that demonstrates that Atos has comprehensively considered the potential causes of “deviations” – for example, an HCP’s mix of FFW recommendations might simply reflect the mix of conditions he/she has assessed, both of which were ‘abnormal’?

3)What levels of deviation are regarded as statistically significant and worth pursuing?

4) Are HCPs routinely made aware of these norms and their employer's expectations?

Yours faithfully,

J Newman

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.

By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 

If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.

Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

Please note that within Q1, I am particularly interested to know if the norms are accumulated solely from HCPs' initial recommendations or corrected to reflect errors subsequently reversed by DWP itself or as a result of a Tribunal appeal decision.

Clearly if no adjustments are made, the errors will be self-perpetuating as HCP will be compared against averages known to be incorrect.

Yours sincerely,

J Newman

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.

By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 

If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.

Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Newman,

Please find attached an acknowledgement to your request for information to
be supplied under the Freedom of Information Act by the Medical Services
Contract Correspondence Team Freedom of Information Officer, who
apologises for the delay in providing you with this acknowledgement.

Kind regards

Medical Services Contract Correspondence Unit, Department for Work and
Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA
Tel 01253 611556, extn 69956

Please consider the environment before printing
<<3642-2998 ack.pdf>>

show quoted sections

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Atos norms'.

This would not be necessary if a) you had warned me earlier of the delay - leaving it to the last minute indicates workload is not effectively managed and b) you had provided an estimate of the length of the delay.

As I'm sure you appreciate, FoI legislation does not flex to accommodate staff shortages. I would add that this is VERY routine information and should be at the fingertips of Atos.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/at...

Yours faithfully,

J Newman

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.

By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 

If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.

Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Newman

Please find enclosed a response to your request for a review of the
information previously supplied   under the Freedom of Information Act by
the Medical Services Contract Correspondence Team Freedom of Information
Internal Review Officer.

<<3756-IR 543 Mr Newman Response.pdf>>

Kind regards

Medical Services Contract Correspondence Unit, Department for Work and
Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA

Please consider the environment before printing

show quoted sections

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Atos norms'.

3756 IR 543 attached here is nothing to do with this request.

This request is outstanding since 02/08/12
The first IRR is outstanding since 31/08/12

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/at...

Yours faithfully,

J Newman

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Newman

Please find enclosed a response to your request for a review of the
information previously supplied   under the Freedom of Information Act by
the Medical Services Contract Correspondence Team Freedom of Information
Internal Review Officer.

<<3756-IR 543 Mr Newman Response.pdf>>

Kind regards

Medical Services Contract Correspondence Unit, Department for Work and
Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA

Please consider the environment before printing

show quoted sections

Dear DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence,

Please get a grip!!!

IR543 posted 3/10 is the same as IR543 posted 1/10 and as I told you in between it does not relate the this FOI Act request. It refers to a request raised 02/09 when this was raised 02/08 to which I still do not have a response.

A few more days and I will refer to ICO.

Yours sincerely,

J Newman

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Newman

Please find enclosed a response to your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act by the Health and Disability Assessments
(Operations) Correspondence Team Freedom of Information Officer, who
apologises for the grave delay in providing you with a response.

<<3642 Mr Newman Response.pdf>>
Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessment (Operations) Team, Department for Work and
Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA

Please consider the environment before printing

show quoted sections

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Newman

Please see your FOI response attached

<<IR 538 & IR 647 Mr Newman Response.pdf>>

Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)/Department for Work and
Pensions/Room 306/Block 31/Norcross/Norcross Lane/Blackpool/FY5 3TA

show quoted sections

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Atos norms'.

Firstly I must correct your statistical assertions. The arbitrary and “pragmatic” exclusion of outlying data is NOT sound practice – clearly not all outliers are illegitimate data contaminants and cannot be discounted without good reason – they may just reflect the inherent variation in the data population. Your use of the word “pragmatic” is revealing as it demonstrates a focus on (desired) results rather than statistical rigour. At very least the effect of these exclusions should be closely monitored if accuracy is the prime objective. The public concern is therefore obvious – that this undocumented elimination of data is used to massage averages in a predetermined direction.

Q1: There must be some rules around what data can be excluded to ensure consistency of approach and I would like to know what they are currently.

Q2: What evidence is there to show that outlying data at BOTH ends of the spectrum are equally discounted and the net effect it has had on averages?

If you do not have the information, please just say so, but it will of course mean that you have adopted an ad hoc method of data manipulation without interest in the potential consequences.

The fact that you have throughout avoided any degree of quantification is best dealt with through a separate request at another time..

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/at...

Yours faithfully,

J Newman

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.

By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 

If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.

Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

J Newman left an annotation ()

The other major flaw is of course is that a proportion of the data is subsequently found to be erroneous and corrected by a DWP DM, the reconsideration process or a 1st/2nd Tribunal hearing. These known errors are only in one direction – FFW recommendations that were incorrect – which spuriously inflates the FFW ‘norm’ and correspondingly reduces the WRAG/Support Group averages. By not correcting the source data, the errors are perpetuated and the data becomes progressively more heavily biased. The fact that one HCP is above the norm could well mean that he/she is right and the norm is wrong, but if they are eliminated, the norm is never adjusted.

There is a distinct difference between a ‘target’ and a ‘norm’ at least in theory and DWP will continue to defend the use of the latter and deny the existence of the former. If it seriously believes that its method of managing the latter does not turn them into the former they are naive in the extreme.

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Newman

Please see your FOI response attached

Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)/Department for Work and Pensions/Room 306/Block 31/Norcross/Norcross Lane/Blackpool/FY5 3TA

show quoted sections

Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

My comment on 'norm' is not very scientific, but it might interested you.
It is an extract of Hansard in 2007, and an intervention by a Conservative MP who is talking about the Personal Capability Assessment (before WCA):

...At the moment, we have the latter, at least in principle, and that is what is proposed in the personal capability assessment. However, I can imagine circumstances — Ministers might say that they are inconceivable — in which a future Minister, under financial or even political pressure, might wish to say, “We will introduce a norm. We are not going to have, by definition, more than 1.5 million people on employment and support allowance,” and the tests will, in effect, be geared to deliver that result.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

J Newman left an annotation ()

Anita, a man who clearly understands political reality as this is precisely what is going on with ESA. You only have to think about standard management processes......

The ESA proposal would obviously have been evaluated against the desired objectives at the time and was deemed fit for purpose. One of these would have been cost which must have included an estimated mix of WCA outcomes – for Support Group it was 8%. This data would have been used to calculate forecasted costs over a number of years. This would effectively become a budget/target against which actual progress would have been measured.

Support Group % is somewhat larger, so costs will be running over-budget which needs to be addressed and there is a limited range of possibilities – dig up more money from somewhere or work or drive costs down.

DWP is in a corner – it would rather infer poor management than admit to its real agenda and methodology and it will continue to disingenuously manipulate the WCA/ESA rules until it gets to where it wants to be.

So undoubtedly in practice the predominant philosophy has been “top-down”, not “bottom-up” as we are regularly told. It is all designed and modified to meet a financial target with a half-hearted attempt to suggest it is based on evidence, research, expert opinion and consultation that does not withstand any degree of interrogation.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Atos norms'.

IR0035 states that no data is excluded in total contradiction to VTR 3642-2998. Please explain.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/at...

Yours faithfully,

J Newman

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.

By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 

If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.

Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Newman

Please see your FOI response attached

Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)/Department for Work and Pensions/Room 306/Block 31/Norcross/Norcross Lane/Blackpool/FY5 3TA

show quoted sections

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org