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 Post subject: ESA. Had my medical "Assessment" today
 Post Posted: 14 May 2010 16:16 
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What an absolute farce! The assessor was a nurse. I had my daughter with me and she asked who she was, when she spotted my daughters notepad she asked if she was taking notes then gave her a sheet of paper which said notes taken will not be taken as evidence.
The questions about my health and what a typical day is like came thick and fast and everything I said she tried to contradict. Told her about my depression and she asked if Id had counseling, I said no. she typed it down. I have a feeling thats what they will tell me to do, go for counselling and I will then be fit for work. When she was asking about the fits I told her years ago the doctor suggested I take a higher dose of tablets which I did do and it made no difference, she asked if I was still taking the higher dose I said no because it didnt help, she typed this down and I know this will go against me, she also asked me how often I see the neurologist and I told her I havent seen one in years because all they do is ask how its going and whatever I tell them they just say keep taking the tablets, so that will go against me as well. I bet they say Im undermedicated and just need to see a specialist and adjust my meds. And she asked me how often I see the GP about my fits (!?)

Im furious at what I was made to do and Im going to put in a complaint! I had to lie down, lift my legs up one at a time and let them drop to the side (Like when you have a smear!) I had to lift my legs while she pressed down on them and then push them down while she had her hands underneath. What this has to do with working a 40 hour week I dont know! I had to squat, and I nearly fell over, I had to bend down and pretend to pick something up off the floor with my back bent - something youre not meant to do anyway youre meant to keep your back straight if you bend! These ridiculous tests had me in so much pain, especially the stuff I had to do with my legs my back and hips were killing me! I went to sleep when I came back I was so tired and stressed, Im going to complain about the humiliation of what I had to do and my doctor will be hearing about it. Apart from being sore and stressed Im absolutely livid!
:x


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 Post Posted: 17 May 2010 11:10 
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Oh HAPPYFEET

I am livid for you, the way you was treated was out of order. I'm not sure if a nurse is allowed to 'examine' you like that. How can they put people through this and cause them pain? It's disgusting, and I am not looking forward to the day when eventually I will have to apply for ESA, the medical sounds horrific. I have read such bad things about the process. We wouldn't be applying if we wasn't ill for gawd sakes!!

I hope you do complain about the medical, why putting your legs in the position for a smear is revelant I do not know. Can you get CAB involved in helping you complain? Also contact your MP in this, they need to know the humiliation that we are being subjected to.

Keep in touch,

Janie

P.S. try posting this on the LWA forum as well, you may get more tips/support


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 Post Posted: 18 May 2010 01:44 
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Location: on the sofa
:( thats exactly what i had to do last year, maywell have to go through it again now im off sick again, it is awfull isent it, my friend said she actualy refused to do the things she was asked the second time around, saying it would cause far to much pain, i may well do they same, i can remember i was in tears on that bloody bed and i still got turned down :cry:


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 Post Posted: 18 May 2010 09:34 
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Thanks for the replies, Ive been so upset, not just for myself but for everyone who has to go through this. I dont know how they can do this to people. I keep going from being upset to angry my emotions are all over the place. Im still in pain especially with my back and my doc is ringing me today. Im going to make sure hes aware of whats going on.
I dont know what sort of work they think youre going to do getting into that position?????? :shock: I dont mean to be uncouth but I wouldnt even get into that position if I were to have sex!!! :shock:
Something else also - I told the nurse the Rheumy was going to refer me for physio and said I hope they dont make me do this, her reply was "they probably will" Well Im going to tell the doc and ring the rheumy to tell him I`m not going!
Ive got the ball rolling Ive asked for a copy of the report and I have already sent an email complaint off. Im going to not just fight for myself but for everyone with arthritis or who suffers pain and has to perform these ridiculous tasks! Honestly I want to swear!!! :x


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 Post subject: Hope this helps
 Post Posted: 18 May 2010 10:54 
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Hi Happy Feet,

I would not just complain to the JCP or DWP I would advise you complain to your local MP and ATOS, who are the people who supply the nurses and Dr's.

Beleive me the more you complain to sometimes the better it is. I would also contact watch dog to see how you get on!!

I really hope this helps as I really feel for you. This system is no way helping people when they are in so much pain. A specialist should of been seeing you. How can 20 mins or an assessment know the ins and outs of your illnesses.
xxxxxx Thinking of you Lots xxxxxxx


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 Post Posted: 18 May 2010 11:47 
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Happyfeet,

We are right with you on this, you have our support. Keep in touch.

Janie xx


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 Post Posted: 18 May 2010 21:53 
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Joined: 10 Nov 2009 14:41
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Location: North Lanarks, Scotland
Hi happy feet,

what a terrible ordeal :( to be 'made' to do things that caused you such pain and humiliation is completely unacceptable. :x

quite right to complain... and as Claire said also copy your MP into the e mail. The more we do this the more we will raise awareness of this unfair system.

I hope the pain eases in your back and hip....and that you can get a proper sleep tonight.

gentle (((hugs)))
Iris x


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 Post Posted: 19 May 2010 20:02 
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Thanks everyone for the support. Hope youre all keeping well this is just a little update for you.
Ive got the doctors in the morning but my back has eased off now, and I hope theres visible psoriasis on my scalp for him to see, I mentioned it to him but theres not even a flake there now and this appointment is for him to see that as well as my back. :roll: I got diagnosed last week with inverse psoriasis and got steroid cream which is a huge help and Im glad to get a name to whats going on down there!!

Ive formally and strongly complained to Atos and the DWP, and asked for the name and qualifications of the HCP who did the assessment, and the same about the person who reviewed the info I gave them on the ESA form, decided an assessment should take place and decided the particular tasks I had to perform. I also complained I wasnt asked if I could manage the tasks - I was ordered to do them.
I copied it to my MP and complained to him. I told him it confuses me how a 5 minute set of tasks, instructed by a nurse with no expertise in epilepsy, depression, and skeletal problems can determine anyones capability to work. Got an email back from Atos saying they would forward my mail to the DWP (The same one I already sent them but never mind) for them to investigate. I said I found it alarming that sick and disabled peoples appointments were delayed with no word as to how long they would wait to be seen. Mine was delayed on the day so I image everyone elses was, there were people on sticks much worse off than me and it sickens me to think they might of had to wait for ages and do the same as I did.
Not heard anything yet from my MP or DWP but those mails were only sent today.
:x So much for them being the caring profession I would hate one of these people looking after my family in hospital!
Im only a little fish, but I know the more complaints they receive the more they have to take notice and each complaint costs them nearly as much hassle as it does us.

I got a copy of the rheumys report today, hes said I most likely have mild Psoriatic arthritis. Im dreading it being severe if this is what mild is like. He didnt know I had psoriasis then as I didnt know myself so I emailed him today (Ive been very busy with emails today!) to update him, probably that will make him positive its PA.
Hes mentioned trying me on non steroidal and regular physio on flare management before considering more aggressive treatment such as dmard therapy.
Hes said the pains in my feet might represent plantar fasciitis, something I know nothing about or what they do for it, he didnt suggest treatment or anything when I was there but its not very troublesome all the time. Its all a lot to take in, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, hypothyroidism and now this thing with my feet so Im a bit all over the place at the minute and rambling. :oops:
Hugs to everyone and thanks again for the support.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: 19 May 2010 21:18 
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my sister has a bone spur in her big toe joint, the docs have told her its a form of arthritis, and with me suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis all my life its a little worrying, anyhow shes a fit lass and worked all her life, but due to the sever pain that the foot is causing her and waiting for an operation, she hasn't been able to work for 8 months, she's having to go to a tribunal as they refused her last time, and because they refused her she could not get the higher rate or the extra heating money that anyone on benefits would have received, it all stinks really, she loves to work and cannot wait to get back, but because the operation has been put back several times last time due to the doctor breaking his arm she has had to live on a pittance with her two teenage children, who are always needing money for school, bus fares dinners, trips, cooking art paints, prom, you name it, good job she has me and my mam to hep subsidise her, as the benefit system she has paid into all her life has totally failed her.


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 Post Posted: 20 May 2010 10:14 
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Hi happyfeet. I too have PA but without any major episodes of psoriasis. I had problems with my scalp in 1997-98, which was when the arthritis began. The next episode was for a few months from Oct 06 - Feb 07, when I had it on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet. Since then I've been clear of the skin part of it (probably due to sulphasalazine) but the arthritis side has carried on its development.

You appear to have an early diagnosis so that's good - they can get you on the meds at a stage where they might make a difference. I hope so! Good luck and keep us posted, either here or on the LWA forum. Dreamdaisy


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 Post Posted: 20 May 2010 13:11 
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Thanks for that dreamdaisy, isnt it weird the places you can get psoriasis all this scratching makes sense now and sometimes even my eyebrows get itchy, and Ive had the red itchy palms its enough to drive you mad!
Well I went to the docs, told him about my back and what I had to do at the assessment but didnt get out what it was all about, just that it was a nurse doing a medical, he said its arthritic pain and what Ive done has made the pain worse and there might be a bit of muscle strain and to see how it goes, but it doesnt feel like my muscles its the bottom of my spine in the middle and only where the bones are :x Its really bad again today It feels like my weight it making it worse but Im only 8 stone. Does anyone with back trouble feel like they could do with going on one of those rack things that stretch you?
Got some Tgel shampoo for my scalp, omg it stinks! :shock: He said he doesnt think its psoriasis but whatever it is its itchy as hell and burns!


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 Post Posted: 20 May 2010 16:59 
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Location: North Lanarks, Scotland
Hi again happyfeet!

sounds as though that ESA madical has caused you a lot of pain! :( Peeps with PA can get arther in lots of joints including the lower spine too....

I have PA and have had an L5 fusion because of arther in my spine so please take it easy and go back to the doc if it doesn't get any better and have it xrayed in case you need different meds. :wink:

I've posted you a link for info on plantar fasciitis....hope it helps!.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/plantar-fasciitis/ds00508

Iris x


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 Post Posted: 20 May 2010 18:00 
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dorcas wrote:
Hi again happyfeet!

sounds as though that ESA madical has caused you a lot of pain! :( Peeps with PA can get arther in lots of joints including the lower spine too....

I have PA and have had an L5 fusion because of arther in my spine so please take it easy and go back to the doc if it doesn't get any better and have it xrayed in case you need different meds. :wink:

I've posted you a link for info on plantar fasciitis....hope it helps!.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/plantar-fasciitis/ds00508

Iris x


Hi Iris :)
Thanks for the link, ill have a look at that. Whats an L5 fusion? :oops: I have lumbarisation of S1, something about the bones not fusing I think and they think it might be congenital, I hope my back doesnt snap!! :shock: :shock:
My Rheumy has been so sweet, I sent him a mail to tell him I have Psoriasis, he asked me as he was suspicious I might have PA and I said no, because I didnt think I did but I do and its inverse! And Ive found out nearly everyone on my dads side has it and my cousins so I think the specialist is probably sure now.
Anyway he replied and thanked me for the info, asked how I was getting on with the Nambutemone (Sp?) and if they werent working there are other things I can take which will also help my skin. Ive a sneaky feeling hes thinking of DMARDS but the thought of them terrify me. Do they try and persuade you to take them and hold it against you if you dont want to take them? Or do they understand some people just might not feel ok about it? Maybe one day I will go down that road but at the minute Im still trying to take it all in and I honestly dont feel the need, if I were to see deformities starting or pain that I cant deal with maybe then... Does that make sense?


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 Post Posted: 20 May 2010 23:18 
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Happyfeet, I am so sorry you had such a horrid experience. These professionals really have no idea do they.

Speedalong


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 Post Posted: 04 Jun 2010 09:27 
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Hi I dont want to be negative but I went through more or less the same examination as you. I have RA & depression.

I was made to remove the splints from both wrists that I wear 24hrs a day and am not supposed to do ANYTHING without them on. I had to do the assessment without them and was in great pain all through.

Despite this the result was a full list of '0's in every box and they said I was fit for work.

This happens for most people and what you need to do is to go to Citizens Advice or Community Legal Advice and they will fight your case for you. Do NOT worry if the ESA initially turn you down, do not get stressed!!. The other piece of advice is that IF the do turn you down you need to contact them IMMEDIATLY so that your ESA benefits are not stopped. They will reinstate them during your appeal process.

Best of luck


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