UK tourist attractions need to "work harder" on accessibility for visitors with disabilities, says charity Vitalise.
The firm that carries out assessments for disability claimants is quitting its contract early, the Government has announced.
Elderly and disabled people who receive "flying" care visits are being forced to choose between staying thirsty and going to the toilet.
As Atos says it has ended its contract with the Government over controversial assessments of whether benefits claimants are fit to work, we asked you if you had been through an Atos assessment and what you felt now that the IT company will no longer be responsible for them.
- Anne Elsdon: "Too little too late, they have caused far too much suffering to ill people."
- Sarah-Jane Darbon-Tailby: "Yes I have and they have a lot to answer for. Have caused people a lot of stress and illness when people already suffering!"
- Kaye Edwards: "I've had a ATOS assessment, but what worries me the most is who/what is going to take over now and are they going to be better/worse or same? It's all too worrying for those who have to go through these assessments yet!"
- Irene Baldwin: "Best thing that's happened. They've caused so much heartache and distress to genuinely ill people. Glad to see them go hope the new company takes on board the short comings of ATOS."
You can join the conversation and tell us about your experiences on the ITV News Facebook page.
– Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Minister
People have been badly let down by Atos which is why Labour has repeatedly called on the Government to sack them with immediate effect.
But changing the contract isn’t enough. It’s time for the Government to reform fundamentally Work Capability Assessments so that disabled people who can work are given support they need to find a job.
Atos has paid a settlement to the Department for Work and Pensions Disabled minister Mike Penning has said after the IT firm ended its contract early.
A Department for Work and Pensions minister has said he is 'pleased' that Atos will receive no compensation after it ended its contract with the Government over controversial assessments of whether benefits claimants are fit to work.
Minister "pleased that Atos will not receive a single penny of compensation from the taxpayer for early termination" #esa
Today we are announcing we are seeking a new provider to replace Atos for the Work Capability Assessment
Atos is quitting its contract to deliver Work Capability Assessments before it is due to end next year, the Government announced today.
The number of people suffering from back pain will increase dramatically over the coming years because of the growing ageing population, researchers wrote in a BMJ journal.
In a report published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases on back pain and disability, the authors said:
– Report authors
With ageing populations throughout the world, but especially in low and middle income countries, the number of people living with low back pain will increase substantially over coming decades.
Governments, health service and research providers and donors need to pay far greater attention to the burden that low back pain causes than what they had done previously.
Pain in the lower back is responsible for more disability than any other condition, experts have warned.
Almost one in 10 people suffer from lower back pain which causes more lost years due to disability than anything else, fresh data published the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases said.
An estimated 9.4% of people suffer from lower back pain and the condition has the highest prevalence in Western Europe.
Researchers examined data from the Global Burden of Disease study which assesses the health of people in 187 countries for 1990, 2005 and 2010.
Out of 291 conditions, low back pain topped the league table in terms of years lost to disability.
Most people who are disabled or sick applying for Personal Independence Payment undergo a face-to-face assessment to determine eligibility, which is carried out by the private contractors, but the committee said some claims were taking six months or more to process.
Some of the affected claimants are people with terminal illnesses.
– Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee Dame Anne Begg MP
Many disabled or sick people face waits of six months... even those with terminal illnesses are having to wait far longer than was anticipated.
This not only leaves people facing financial difficulties whilst they await a decision, but causes severe stress and uncertainty. It is completely unacceptable.
It is vital that all disabled people, but especially the terminally ill, experience as little delay and stress as possible in making a claim.
Basic failures - from appointments being cancelled without notice to unsatisfactory responses to queries about claims - are happening too often.
The MPs said the backlog of claims should be cleared and the average time taken to process new cases reduced to the expected 74 days, and seven days for terminally ill people.Claimants hit by delays were facing stress and uncertainty, said the committee.
Disabled and sick people are having to wait six months or more to find out if they are eligible for benefit, which MPs have attacked as "unacceptable."
The delays were criticised by the Work and Pensions Committee, which called on the Government to take urgent action to clear a backlog of cases.
The MPs also urged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to invoke penalty clauses with assessment providers Atos Healthcare and Capital Business Services.
New claims for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as the benefit to help towards the extra costs of disability for people of working age, began in April 2013.