Keen eyes have spotted that Atos Healthcare has re-branded as OH Assist. However this isn’t quite all of the story. Atos Healthcare – a trading name of Atos IT Services UK Limited – had two main areas of business. One is the notorious DWP contract to carry out Work Capability Assessments and more recently assessments for Personal Independence Payments. The other is providing Occupational Health services to large companies. This led to contradictions such as Atos Healthcare telling someone’s employer that they are not fit for work and then Atos Healthcare telling the DWP that they actually are fit for work.
Since they are at the frontline of implementing savage Tory cuts, the name Atos Healthcare has become toxic. Business customers of Atos Healthcare have been pressured by campaigners to take their business elsewhere, and no doubt Atos has struggled to employ staff for that service.
It appears then, that Atos Healthcare has spun off those occupational health services under a new name, OH Assist. OH Assist has a new website and their customers have been informed of the change. (As noted on the Southern Health Website for example.)
Atos Healthcare is still operating and their DWP contracts are still being carried out under that name.
Atos Healthcare remains only to carry out the contracts for the WCA and for PIP assessments and that is all that is referenced on their website. I am fairly sure that Atos will not be part of any bidding to take on other social security related contracts. I suspect that once Atos can extract themselves from the contract for the WCA (Which seems to be happening fairly quickly) and if they can get out of the PIP contract too (Which they may as they have huge delays and are struggling to employ doctors) then the company will shut down and the Atos Healthcare name will disappear leaving Atos IT Services and OH Assist.
While I celebrate the downfall of Atos Healthcare it is important to remember that the problems they perpetuated are rooted in the Work Capability Assessment and that won’t be fixed just because Atos are no longer involved.