Your article (Thousands could be left penniless, Society, 3 April) wrongly assumes that successful appeals are a measure of the quality of AtosHealthcare assessments. A recent National Audit Office report made clear that there were dangers in this assumption. Recently published data shows that in only 0.3% of cases was a successful appeal due to an error in an Atos Healthcare assessment. We know that even this is too high, which is why we work hard to make sure that the information we send to the Department for Work and Pensions is as accurate as possible.

We have a rolling and random audit process for our doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. We also redo any assessment the DWP sends back to us at our own expense, and this happens in less than 1% of cases. While we make no decisions on policy or benefit entitlement, we do strive to ensure that the service that we provide is as professional and compassionate as it can be.The DWP said we are doing the job we have been asked to do; not flawlessly, of course, but consistently and with regular progress in implementing improvements.
John Mackintosh
Atos Healthcare

The Guardian