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£84k Maximus salaries raise repeat WCA fears

Maximus is offering salaries of up to £84,000 for doctors, and £44,500 for nurses, to carry out medicals for employment and support allowance (ESA). The high salaries and a vigorous new recruitment drive are raising fears that more existing claimants are set to be reassessed.

‘Great opportunity for overtime’
Adverts for doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to carry out work capability assessments (WCAs) have been posted on Maximus’ Bring Your Expertise recruitment website.

There is also a very rosy recruitment video in which staff tell viewers that Maximus “are there for the claimant” .

And, in case potential recruits are worried they won’t be able to manage on £84,000 a year, one Maximus employee explains happily:

“There’s a great opportunity for overtime.”

So keen are Maximus to recruit more staff that they even list events around the country that they will be turning up at.

But, with the drive to move incapacity benefit claimants onto ESA almost completed, there is a big question mark over why Maximus are recruiting now.

Enormous backlog
The answer may lie in a story that Benefits and Work broke last year: that because of an enormous backlog, the DWP had stopped sending existing ESA claimants back for repeat medicals. According to a memo seen by Benefits and Work, the last list of names sent to Atos, since replaced by Maximus, for reassessment was on 20 January 2014.

From that date, as claimants came up for reassessment, their medical was deferred for two years without informing them that this had happened

Where there was a change of circumstances, such as a change in the claimants condition – notified by the claimant or alleged by someone else – then a repeat WCA would still take place.

Since then there has been no information about whether repeat assessments – or a proportion of them - are still being deferred for two years.

Posts on our forum suggest that some claimants are being told, when they ring the DWP to enquire, that their WCA has been put off for another two years. But others are being called for a reassessment around the expected date.

Benefits and Work has now made a freedom of information request to try to discover what the current situation is.

But the major recruitment drive by Maximus, at a point where they might be expected to be scaling back their operations, suggests that change may be coming.

Comments  

+1 #11 Paul Richards 2015-10-09 17:55
Please have a look at this - it is good and to the point. Also in the 'comments' section near the foot of the page, there is a long 'letter' directed at IDS - If this has not already been sent to IDS - then it should be! (Link to it below)

https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/camerons-plans-mean-poverty-assaults-more-people/
#10 tintack 2015-10-09 13:17
Quoting carruthers:
Possible, but I think that the more likely explanation is that Atos had a reputation of being very bad employers. You have to pay doctors rather more if you are going to bully, patronise and over-rule them.


That's possible too. It's not either/or of course, there may well be a variety of reasons.

Whatever the explanation, I find it very hard to believe that Maximus would be offering such large salaries to frontline staff if it hadn't been having considerable trouble with recruitment. Unless they're just offering this kind of money out of the goodness of their hearts of course. Call me cynical, but I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that that's not it.
+1 #9 carruthers 2015-10-09 10:34
Quoting tintack:
it's possible that the adverse publicity that surrounded the WCA with Atos has been putting a lot of potential assessors off.

Possible, but I think that the more likely explanation is that Atos had a reputation of being very bad employers. You have to pay doctors rather more if you are going to bully, patronise and over-rule them.
+1 #8 shell 2015-10-09 09:47
any doctor nurse or any other medical pro who goes to work for these companies should not be allowed to work back in he nhs or ay other caring post due to the fact it has been shown time and time again the lack of care and understanding shown to disabled people so therefore how can they show compassion when going back to the nhs I think this matter should be address out in the open even if nothing comes of it but makes people aware of this matter because the next time I go to hospital I will be asking anyone who looks after me if they have and will refuse to receive care from them knowing what I know about these companies and will explain this to the person involve asking them the same thing how can you it is your right to know and choose who looks after you after all it would be a conflict of interest and might make them think before drinking from the poison chalice in life they are consequences for your action and this includes them I have a lot of friends who are doing this all ready with very interesting results
+2 #7 tintack 2015-10-08 15:01
Quoting naheegan:
Still, 84k is a lot of taxpayer money for DWP to spend on a single employee, especially at a time when the current government is screaming that 'cutting welfare spending is imperative to getting the deficit under control'!


It's not primarily about saving money and it never has been. If that were the motive they wouldn't be paying Maximus even more for carrying out the WCA contract than they paid Atos. The main reason for the farce of the WCA is anti-welfare state, free market fundamentalist ideology. Whipping up hatred towards those on benefits is also an effective way to deflect people's anger away from the right-wing economic ideology which caused the crash, so that that ideology can be maintained.

And unfortunately it works. The idea that we had a global crash because Labour spent too much is ludicrous and demonstrably false, but people believe it. The barrage of propaganda is doing its job, except in Scotland of course - where, by an extraordinary coincidence, the Tories don't have friends in the press to pump out their propaganda for them. Funny that.
+2 #6 naheegan 2015-10-08 00:29
tintack makes an important point about recruitment problems that may have to do with controversy about assessment outcomes, as well as appeals decisions, the FoI regards ESA claimants deaths and the media reporting on the UN investigation of violation of disabled people's rights. There also seems to be a massive rise in claimants willingness to post online commentary about negative, harmful or unjust WCA's and the online media is not deleting those comments; MSM is more often publishing freelance writer's investigative pieces about problems facing claimants too. It makes sense that all of this would impact on recruitment success.
Still, 84k is a lot of taxpayer money for DWP to spend on a single employee, especially at a time when the current government is screaming that 'cutting welfare spending is imperative to getting the deficit under control'!
+2 #5 Effie 2015-10-07 19:50
I have been informed that a physiotherapist who ignored a consultants recommendation and subsequently caused me irreversible nerve damage ,discharged me and left the hospital department the same week has been taken on by maximus to become one of their health assessment advisors.Not good news .High wage does not mean high quality .
+2 #4 Paul Richards 2015-10-07 13:03
After Cameron's disgraceful 'speech' of today - please read this!
This is where some of the 'saved' money is going - amongst other things, a new order for 4 new trident submarines!

www.dpac.uk.net/2015/10/that's-why-weve-ear ned-the-right-t o-call-you-tory scum/
#3 Just Me 2015-10-07 12:42
Maybe this new recruitment drive has something to do with IDS's desire to merge PIP and ESA and so new assessments would be required for all existing claimants?

That and the fact IDS has been reported as saying he wants to make passing the WCA much harder all goes together to form a very bleak picture for the sick and the disabled people of this country. :(
+2 #2 Plonker 2015-10-07 11:51
Offerings doctors £84000 is a way of trying to fool us that the assessment will be done correctly. I also think our own doctors will be less inclined to back us in any appeals. I hope I'm wrong
+4 #1 tintack 2015-10-07 00:43
While this recruitment drive may indeed mean that a return to reassessments is coming down the track - we know it's going to happen sooner or later anyway - it's equally possible that it means that Maximus have been having a lot of trouble with recruitment. A corporation like that doesn't offer such lavish salaries to frontline staff if it doesn't have to, so it's possible that the adverse publicity that surrounded the WCA with Atos has been putting a lot of potential assessors off.

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