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Medical reports

Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
edited March 2017 in PIP, DLA, and AA
It appears that medical reports to support PIP claims/appeals can be a double-edged sword.  Many people have posted that they obtained numerous medical reports to support their appeals but still didn't win.

GPs/specialists often don't know how their patient's condition affects them on a daily basis.  These doctors can only report on the current medical evidence that they have available from notes and blood tests.  If it appears that the condition is 'under control' to an extent by medication, that is what they will report and, of course, assessors, DWP, and tribunals usually will take that to mean that the applicant concerned is not suffering any undue disability!  Which is not necessarily the case.  'Under control' can just mean that the condition does not cause as much disability as it would without medication but the patient might still suffer considerable disability none the less.

I'll consider my conditions as examples.   I was awarded standard PIP both elements and am awaiting a tribunal hearing because I think I am entitled to PIP enhanced rate both elements. I have rheumatoid (RA) and osteo arthritis and did not ask either my GP or rheumatologist to provide any letters in support of my PIP claim or my appeal.  My GP doesn't treat me for RA, anyway, just prescribes the medication the rheumatologist asks them to.  And the rheumatologist has very rarely ever asked how my condition affect my ability to undertake activities.  The rheumatologist is only interested in the levels of inflammation, pain, stiffness and fatigue themselves, not how they affect me.  In other words, neither of my doctors has any idea of my ability to carry out essential daily tasks and to walk - e.g they only know how I walk in and out of the consulting room.

My RA is controlled by medication to an extent (I wouldn't be able to move at all unaided without the medication) but I still have flare-ups and have permanent osteo-arthritis caused by frequent severe flare-ups over the past 29 years.  And the RA, compounded by the osteo, which is 'controlled' but still very active causes pain, stiffness and fatigue making it difficult to undertake daily activities and to walk.  But simple statements from my doctors saying that my RA currently is controlled by medication would not do justice to the reality of my disabilities on a daily basis.

The point I am trying to make is that, depending on the kind of medical condition(s) concerned, people might want to pause and think whether doctors' letters really would be helpful to their claims.


  • Mol
    Mol Member Posts: 52 Connected
    Hi Matilda, I agree with you as I have osteoarthritis in all my joints and all I got from the Rheumatologist was i had mechanical pain and they discharged me.

    They sent me to physio who has just given me exercises to do, I have been given a 12 week course in aqua aerobics which will start in mid April as I have to go and have steroid injections in my shoulders.

    My GP'S just dont seem bothered all they say is take paracetamol, they never seem to hear what I am saying to them about  pain, 

    Put me back on Gabapentin which do not do anything, but they wont have that.

    I hope I do not have to rely on my GP alone for a report.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Mol

    I don't think GPs know much about arthritis.  Suggest that you ask GP to refer you than orthopaedic doctor.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited March 2017
    My GP rang me with an Xray result one evening and knowing I was fighting a benefit claim and without me saying anything she said DWP had been told by the powers that be to believe what disabled peopled were telling them to cut down on the amount of paperwork GP's were having to do, so I don't feel I can ask her. However we have a website for our surgery and by producing ID you can have access to your own medical records including test results online. I copied and pasted a foot xray result to use as evidence but don't know if DWP will accept it. There are other ways to get evidence by first working out what you want to prove e.g. body strength. I am having treatment from a private physio who visits our surgery and I got her to do tests on me, she wrote a letter saying all my muscles and reflexes were weak especially; and named the worst. I'm using this in my MR and ATOS complaint to show how wrong the assessor's results were for MSE. I have to pay of course but if I get what I'm entitled to it'll be worth it. I've also got family and friends to write who see me on a day to day basis. DWP said I go to Church every week on my own so I asked our Church President (Spiritualist Church) to write a letter to say MOH always takes me and stays e.t.c. (The truth). They knew I didn't drive and couldn't walk 2 miles or go on public transport. Our President is a retired mental health professional and added all her qualifications at the end of the letter..:) Hope this helps someone else get the help they need...          
  • WaterLily
    WaterLily Member Posts: 55 Courageous
    Matilda, I totally agree with what you said. 
    I didn't have any evidence from Drs or consultants for the very reasons you have explained, in that they have no idea about what my life is like on a day to day basis. That is what the PIP form is for. 

    I just think there is a danger for those with a long term condition/illness to be so used to living the way you do that it is difficult for you to see the difference between a healthy individual and yourself. 

    I had my husband help me with the form and he made me realise how bad things have got for me. I actually cried when I got to the end,with the realisation of it all.
    You cannot be complacent when filling in the PIP form or when you see the HCP.


  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @WaterLily

    Very well put.  For example, we get so used to getting things done very slowly that it seems normal to us.  It's only when we see how much more quickly non-disabled people do things that we realise how slow we are.  So we shouldn't tolerate assessors and DWP trying to play down our disabilities.
  • Mol
    Mol Member Posts: 52 Connected
    I am currently under the orthopedic doctor the same one you operated on me to replace vertebrae discs, He has now sent me for steroid injections to try and reduce the pain in my shoulders. I hate to think what will be next if the injections do not work.

    But they are only doing one thing at a time and I am just hobbling now because of pain in my ankles(Arthritis), my GP said I need to wait and see the orthopedic doctor.

     I  do not have an appointment to see him so I could be waiting another 6 months.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    NHS rationing is getting worse and worse.


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