Jon Cruddas MP today welcomed the news that Atos Healthcare, the private company contracted by the Department of Work and Pensions to undertake Work Capability Assessments of people claiming disability benefits, will be exiting from its contract a year earlier than planned.

Atos have been the target of widespread criticism over the tests which are inhumane and performed by staff who are not medically qualified. The Department of Work and Pensions is now in the process of finding other providers to take over the contract.

Jon Cruddas MP said “I and my constituents will be glad Atos have exited the contract as at my advice surgeries I have heard firsthand the horror stories that some of my constituents have had to go through. The organisation has put so many genuinely ill and disabled people through unnecessary hardship. I have had many run-ins with this company when trying to resolve issues for my constituents and have found them difficult to say the least. The Government will now try replacing Atos with another company, but they need to focus on finding a provider who is socially just and not preoccupied with hitting targets at the cost of genuinely ill and disabled people”.