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Frustrated with Review result

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scape1960
scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected

Unfortunately I’ve just had a disappointing result. After almost a year of waiting I’ve lost my mobility and and lost points on my daily living.

I was wondering if anyone would have any advice on how to proceed with my MR paper form. First sentence in the letter said DM had changed the descriptors chosen by assessor based on medical evidence received. She also wrote that I had difficulties taking nutrition but that I eat every day. My difficulties with eating are caused by GERD and I have significant problems with swallowing, taking me about 30-40 mins to eat a meal. The worst problem though is regurgitation where I can easily start choking. Although I explained my husband has to help me when choking from regurgitation I was given 0 points saying I can eat and drink unaided.

Similarly, I was give 2 points for Preparing Food (Need an aid or appliance). I didn’t once say I needed this, I can’t prepare or cook food because of how the danger of cuts or burns would be life threatening for me.

I also have to have warm water therapy on a morning which my husband has to assist me with, along with other assistance he gave me, but I was awarded 0 points. I know it’s their judgement but it really makes me wonder what is the point of giving all this evidence if it’s not acknowledged.

Can I phone up and ask what medical evidence they need so I can provide it? Do I point out responses that are not correct or do I just write down the correct information? Throughout the assessment, whenever I tried to tell the assessor something, she said we would come back to it. However that didn’t happen and after one and a half hours I was exhausted and forgot about the information I was going to give them.

I would be grateful for any advice!  TIA

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Comments

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,706 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @scape1960 I'm so sorry you didn't get the result you were hoping for. Unfortunately it's all too common! Sounds like your assessor was in a hurry, which really isn't helpful. 
      From what I've gathered from our super knowledgeable regulars on here, the best way to do a MR is by addressing where you think you should be getting the points, with real life examples. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
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    They went against the report, which is quite rare. Did you read each piece of evidence before you sent it? 

    The therapy you have must be recommended or prescribed by either nurse, doctor, or pharmacist. Are your health conditions likely to deteriorate if you didn’t do the therapy? 

    Why doesn’t an aid help when preparing food? Why would cuts and burns be life threatening to you? Did you explain everything in detail and give real world examples? 

    Please do not ring to ask what evidence you should send. They are call centre staff with very little benefits knowledge and you should never ring them to ask any questions like this. They will not know how your conditions affect you or be able to see what evidence you have. 

    Please put the MR request in writing stating where and why you think you should have scored those points. If you didn’t include real world examples in the form then you should do that now. Adding detailed information such as where you were, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were. Please do not request the MR over the phone. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    Thanks Poppy, yes my therapy was recommended by the rheumatologist, however because I can’t go to a swimming pool I just use the bath and explained the exact support my husband gives to relax muscles and ease pain. I also explained why cuts/burns are and have been life threatening for me. I agree about just ringing call centre staff, but because the letter said I could ask to have the decision explained, so thought the decision manager might be able to explain which medical evidence was ‘missing’ to cause the low scores so that I could provide it.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
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    Was the therapy that was recommended actually swimming, rather than a bath? I'm not convinced that a bath would or could replace swimming to be honest.

    I use the bath during cold weather too because it eases my pain considerably but i wouldn't expect to score points for that.

    Regarding medical evidence, it's not up to a decision maker to advise you what medical evidence is needed to support your claim. Not only that, medical evidence is vital for a successful PIP award.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    Sorry for the late reply! The therapy programme given to me involves stretching exercises which my husband has to help me with, as well as helping me to get in and out of the bath. In total this takes me approximately 50-60 mins including time for the warm water to relax my muscles, however I still got 0 points. Having asked for the assessment report, I’m interested to see if the assessor actually gave me any points for that - not that it makes any difference now, but I really think it’s wrong for a DM to go against a health professional if she had done. 🤷‍♀️
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2023
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    I'm still not convinced that helping you into the bath can be classed as therapy (more washing/bathing) but i'm happy to be proved wrong by any other members here. Stretching exercises, should be yes providing that your conditions would likely deteriorate if you didn’t do the therapy.

    If there was contradictions in the evidence you sent then i can potentially see why the decision maker went against the report. As i said, it's rare they do this but it can happen.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    The act of being helped in the bath was not classed as being therapy, that was classed as needing support whilst washing and bathing. Being assisted with the stretching exercises is the therapy, but was where I was also receiving assistance.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    I’m just trying to make some notes for MR while I’m waiting for Assessors report to arrive. I’ve just had a thought, when the new DM completes my MR does she look at original review form I completed as well?

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
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    They should look at everything before making a decision. Sometimes they will also look at your previous claim. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    I’m hoping they do because they will see the evidence on there about what I can’t do, including real life examples of what happens, which the DM said I was able to do.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2023
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    This has been on my mind quite a lot today so needed to come back to respond further. What you wrote earlier in the thread has got me thinking because it's just very confusing. Here, you mentioned about the bath and needed help to get into it, including time for the warm water to relax your muscles.

    scape1960 said:
     The therapy programme given to me involves stretching exercises which my husband has to help me with, as well as helping me to get in and out of the bath. In total this takes me approximately 50-60 mins including time for the warm water to relax my muscles, however I still got 0 points.
    You also said "because you can't go swimming" are you using the bath as a replacement for swimming? I questioned that and advised that i didn't think that bathing would be included as part of therapy. You said here..
    scape1960 said:
    The act of being helped in the bath was not classed as being therapy, that was classed as needing support whilst washing and bathing. Being assisted with the stretching exercises is the therapy, but was where I was also receiving assistance.

    You also agreed with me that it wasn't classed as therapy. If this was what you wrote in the form then i can see why potentially no points were scored. May i ask why you mentioned needing help into the bath for activity 3 managing therapy and monitoring a health condition.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • woollywonder
    woollywonder Community member Posts: 47 Courageous
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    scape1960 said:
    The act of being helped in the bath was not classed as being therapy, that was classed as needing support whilst washing and bathing. Being assisted with the stretching exercises is the therapy, but was where I was also receiving assistance.

    You also agreed with me that it wasn't classed as therapy. If this was what you wrote in the form then i can see why potentially no points were scored. May i ask why you mentioned needing help into the bath for activity 3 managing therapy and monitoring a health condition.

    Poppy, I've been reading this thread too just now... could it be that scape1960 meant that the assessor/DM classed it as washing & bathing even though scape meant getting into the warm water to relax muscles was part of the therapy?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
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    scape1960 said:
    The act of being helped in the bath was not classed as being therapy, that was classed as needing support whilst washing and bathing. Being assisted with the stretching exercises is the therapy, but was where I was also receiving assistance.

    You also agreed with me that it wasn't classed as therapy. If this was what you wrote in the form then i can see why potentially no points were scored. May i ask why you mentioned needing help into the bath for activity 3 managing therapy and monitoring a health condition.

    Poppy, I've been reading this thread too just now... could it be that scape1960 meant that the assessor/DM classed it as washing & bathing even though scape meant getting into the warm water to relax muscles was part of the therapy?

    That was my thoughts too but they also mentioned swimming but they can't go. Bathing in warm water doesn't replace swimming. Even if they did go swimming this would not be considered as part of this descriptor because the therapy needs to be at your home. I can't see how a bath of warm water could be therapy.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    Sorry if I’m confusing things, I’ll try and clarify. I have significant joint and muscle pain and this is why I was recommended to attend hydrotherapy, but because of my medical condition I am unable to attend the hydrotherapy centre at the swimming baths (this, I think, is where I caused confusion mentioning swimming instead of swimming baths) to take part in this activity. 
    That is why a modification of this is carried out, with specific movements and stretches, in an extra large bath I have had installed. So, yes the programme I have been given is warm water therapy, consisting of small exercises and stretches, given approximately 5 times a week. Ideally, it should be every day but I honestly can’t bear it, in fact carrying it out 5 times a week is bad enough and will often miss it, even though my husband pesters me to do it.
    So, hopefully this is clearer - the warm water, simple exercises and stretches is the therapy, whereas getting in and out of the bath would be ‘washing and bathing’ and needing assistance.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2023
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    Thanks for explaining that. I did think it may have been hydrotherapy that was recommended to you. I still don't think it would be possible to score points here but that's just my thoughts.

    I would be very interested to hear anyone else's thoughts on this.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    I would really be unhappy if it was shown that needing assistance to get in and out of the bath, as well as needing assistance to complete my therapy was not applicable for any points, as this therapy, as well as other therapy my husband has to help me with, takes at least 4 hours a week. 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm also finding this a bit of a dilemma. If your rheumatologist recommended hydrotherapy, then this can't possibly be something you can do at home, & 'therapy,' as far as this descriptor/activity goes, means something prescribed that you do at home, as poppy has mentioned..
    Speaking as a long retired physio that has given hydrotherapy sessions, I can't see this either. Sorry to say, but I doubt anyone would have a programme of hydrotherapy 5x a week, let alone daily.
    I understand why you're exercising, & stretching (& great that you're doing this), but you can't achieve the buoyancy hydrotherapy may give, & even with a large bath there's going to be limitation of even your lower limb movement. Therefore I can understand the decision that has been made, & why your medical evidence possibly didn't help you here. Hydrotherapy would indeed be redundant if a bath was just as good!
    If someone prescribed this programme of 'warm water therapy' in your bath, who was that, or is it your modification? What is the reason behind 'simple exercises & stretches' that cannot be done without the aid of water if you're unable to attend hydrotherapy sessions?
    What you haven't mentioned is the 'other therapy' your husband gives, & why you need his assistance; is this also prescribed? It's just difficult to see where you need such assistance, & exactly why.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    My rheumatologist recommended hydrotherapy until he found out that because of a different medical condition I was unable to attend and take part in any water activities in a public venue, that is used by other people. No, it is not my modification, I was given a series of stretches and simple exercises that were to be carried out in warm water, which would assist in loosening up the stiffness first. With regards to the ‘other therapy’ which my husband carries out, yes it is prescribed but I fail to see why you need to know where and why I need such assistance. The assessor was informed of the need for this assistance and subsequently awarded me the relevant points for this.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thank you for clarifying that your warm water therapy had been recommended. Apologies, I just asked about your other therapy hoping we could see if you could get points for this instead. You should of course say as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. You had previously said you hadn't got any points for therapy, so perhaps you can understand it being a little confusing that you now say you got relevant points for this other therapy, but I'll leave it there. I hope you get sufficient points to increase your award again.
  • scape1960
    scape1960 Community member Posts: 75 Connected
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    No need to apologise, my only reasoning was that I was wanting to focus on the area that caused me the greatest problem, which was the act of getting in and out of the bath and then carrying out therapy in it. The frustrating thing is that the descriptors state:  ‘Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week’ - which is approximately how long it takes but it was just disregarded. I feel that the only thing I can do now is write my MR using each descriptor that I am appealing, stating how and why I am affected by this and what the impact is. Once I get my assessment back if there are glaring ‘errors’ ie DM disagrees with assessors judgement, without a valid reason I will also challenge that, asking for evidence that shows I can complete the activity. If this fails I think I will just give up because I really can’t go through any more stress.
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