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PIP Assessment

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ash5896
ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
edited April 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Good morning. 

First of all to introduce myself most family and friends call me Ash which is a shortened version of my name.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome. I was rushed into hospital for emergency surgery.
currently I’m on Fentanyl Patches, OxyContin, Oxynorm, Amitriptyline, lamotrogene and Diazepam.
these are just my pain relief meds. I also have an implanted spinal cord stimulator to help with the pain. I am diabetic and suffer from incontinence, urine and bowel.
anyway I was awarded DLA indefinitely in 2010 after it became virtually impossible for me to hold my job.  This is has been a life changing disability.

I received a letter to say that I need to make a claim for PIP as DLA was stopping. I filled in the form with a copy of my prescriptions and supporting letters from GP and consultants which stated my disability and that it’s a life long disability which will gradually get worse as I get older and taht I also suffer from severe depression.

An appointment was arranged by DWP to have an assessment which is all fine and good as I have nothing to hide.

it started off really badly and the assessors body language and the way she was speaking was with a real attitude. I was asked why I haven’t brought a copy prescription and I told her that a prescription was attached to the form however I have bought my Dossette box which you can have a look at. Her response to the prescription was that the systems are down and she has no access to my form. I found that a little silly as she was clearly typing and asked the diagnosis of my disability which was only on. the form and I had not mentioned this so quite obvious she lied. Moving on I was asked a load of stupid questions like do I have Facebook? Can I drive? and so forth the most unusual question was “how is your relationship with your GP and consultants? My answer to that was that it’s a patient and GP relationship so not even sure why that would be a relevant question to do with my disability.
As most people would understand with a spinal cord injury it’s quite painful to sit in a comfortable position. It started getting painful and uncomfortable so I was constantly changing positions after a few mins or so. After a while it became very painful and I was moving position and as I shoved myself back a little and to lift the weight off my back I put my forearm on the rest and was sort of leaning on that. After about 30 seconds or thereabouts the armrest broke sending me sideways down on the floor. I’m some sort of hanging onto the side partly on the  floor and partly on the chair. The pain was immense. My wife quickly got up came over lifted me up and pushed me back on to the chair and stood next to me whilst I was sat. She stood in a position so taht I don’t fall again. 

This all happened really quickly and obviously unexpectedly but it felt like it was slow motion and going on forever. Whilst all this was going on the nurse (so she said she was) got up, picked up the broken part and put it on her desk. She then continued typing and said “so tahts the end of the assessment and DWP will be in touch in the next 4-5 weeks” and with that she walked out of the room. 
By now with the pain I was actually crying due to the pain and felt humiliated. I said to my wife I need to get out of here and just get me home. I sat for a few minutes and composed myself the best I could and my wife helped me up and we left. 

The problem I know have is that I don’t know how to deal with this. Do I complain to DWP or ATos? Will she have reported this? This is the first time I’ve had an assessment and never had any dealings with these people before. Are they going to deny this happened and how do I prove it? I went to see GP yesterday and she was livid taht despite the evidence and my medication why the hell are they putting me through this.

I really would appreciate any advice. I have now calmed down with my anger and even though it’s still painful I need to get this sorted and just want an idea of where to start and how do I go about it.

Tha is in advance

ash


Ash 
«13456

Comments

  • wilko
    wilko Community member Posts: 2,458 Disability Gamechanger
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    @ash5896, hello and a big welcome, it make me and many others wonder why having all your medical papers, diagnosis, why you needed to have an accessment at all. I would report this incedent to bothe the DWP and to Atos in writing. Also request a copy of your accessment report this will allow you to see how the accessor awarded you points and reported any incedents incurred during your accessment. Good luck and keep posting Ash your input is and will be of intrest to other members and give your opinions and comments on others posts.
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    Hi Wilko 

    tha k you for your reply.
    this is the same question my GP and myself have been asking. Despite the evidence why was I still called in for an assessment. I also receive ESA contribution based in support group and no assessments just the medical evidence.
    can I aske for the report straightaway? My assessment was on Monday (26th) I’m also thinking of co tasting my MP to see if she can help too.
    Thank you again for your reply 
    Ash 
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Community member Posts: 5,209 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi Ash and welcome

    Yes you can ask for the report staright away ( PA4 )

    Your complaint should be to ATOS


    ATOS Contact Us
    www.atoshealthcare.com/contactus

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    Hi Ash and welcome

    Yes you can ask for the report staright away ( PA4 )

    Your complaint should be to ATOS


    ATOS Contact Us
    www.atoshealthcare.com/contactus

    CR

    Hi CR 

    Thank you for your reply I’m in the process of writing everything down on paper so I don’t miss anything out. 
    I called PIP today and they said I can’t have the report until after a decision has been made. Would taht be correct or am I being fobbed off?

    ash 

    Ash 
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
    edited March 2018
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    Almost everybody is called in for assessment on conversion. Your complaint is more about the HCP but that will be pointless until you have requested a copy of the report and know what the actual decision is and whether it needs challenging. Bear in mind that the length of your impairment; it’s degenerative nature and your previous DLA award would have negligible influence on a decision as to whether to call you in and certainly wouldn’t unless during the initial conversation you requested that your DLA evidence should be taken into account and can evidence that through having a copy of your PIP 1 form.
    Hi Mike 

    yes its it’s about the nurse and the fall. I appreciate the fact that they may call you in which didn’t bother me as I’ve nothing to hide. It’s the way I was treated after the arm of the chair broke. 
    Any sane person disabled or not would not ignore you and leave you to it after a fall. Being a a health professional you would’ve thought your well being would be a priority. 
    Im not really fussed about what the decision is at the moment as my main concern is I should’ve had some sort of support from them which as you rightly said is about the nurse. I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out in respect of the decision they make as I have more than enough evidence to challenge it.
    no i didn’t ask them to take into consideration the DLA evidence as that was awarded nearly 8 years ago and I didnt have an assessment. That was all done via social services at the time.
    im under 4 consultants at the moment pain mangemany, urology, gastro here but my main surgeon is at the Royal Orthopaedic hospital in Birmingham who I used to see 3 times a year but now once a year.
    Ash 
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    Those stupid questions have a very specific and relevant purpose by the way but the extent to which an assessor would intervene after what happened would very much depend on their specific profession. It would be reasonable for example for an OT to not intervene and leave any help to those who know you best.
    She said she was a nurse at the beginning of the assessment. Ok if she didn’t want to help me get up or see if I was ok then surely she could’ve asked for help. I’m sure they must have a first aider or an appointed person in the centre. To not even ask if your ok or can I get anything for you? Do you need an ambulance is beyond belief.
    to carry on typing as if nothing has happened is wrong and that’s what my complaint is. If I saw someone maybe I can’t do anything physically I would still ask if they’re ok or call for help or whatever I need to do. 
    You can’t leave someone on the floor and expect them to get up on their own. It’s imunprofessional and where is the duty of care?

    Ash 
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
    edited March 2018
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    So are you saying if for example someone has a heart attack they need to leave them to it?
    Even places like supermarkets have at least someone who is a first aider.
    ok, another scenario there’s a fire in the building and there’s people in being assessed will they just be left behind? 
    I wasn’t presenting myself on my worst day I’m sure they would read your notes at least before you go in.
    I know for a fact she’d read my letters that my wife handed in reception as she said she had. I’m not trying to get in an argument with you but you can’t just ignore and leave someone on the floor. 
    Ok, fine don’t lift me up she could’ve asked if I’m ok? She could’ve asked do you need to call anyone? I feel like your trying to say it’s my fault and I should’ve been left there. Don’t understand where your coming from and you seem to think it’s ok for these so called professionals just to ignore people who may have injured themselves 
    Ash 
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    “My wife quickly got up came over lifted me up and pushed me back on to the chair and stood next to me whilst I was sat. She stood in a position so taht I don’t fall again.”

    I am saying that in the circumstances you describe above there was no need nor obligation for anyone to intervene. A duty of care has a precise legal meaning and only exists in certain situations. I doubt this is one of them. 

    I would be very surprised if the assessment provider had no first aider but the bottom line is that you didn’t need one and didn’t apparently ask for one. I’m all for encouraging complaints against assessment providers as my other posts on here will testify but this isn’t going anywhere. People in need of urgent help tend to ask for it if they are able and if the nurse could see your wife address the matter quickly and you didn’t ask for help then no reasonable person would see grounds for complaint. I have a degenerative spinal issue and, at its worst, I was prone to spontaneous buckling and would fall to the floor from either a sitting or standing position. Help up was positively dangerous and I would have rejected it for my own safety. Anyone with reasonable medical knowledge would have let you get up yourself if able unless you had injured yourself in some other way when falling. 

    You refer to the assessor obviously lying but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to you for example that she could be working offline. You call her questions stupid but driving gives a good indication of flexion and stamina. Using Facebook can indicate your pain isn’t so great that you can’t concentrate and so on. 

    There are several assumptions about the HCP in your post and you may want to consider whether they are in fact unfounded. 
    I don’t think my assumptions are unfounded. I have friend that’s paralysed waist down and can drive and use Facebook so yeah questions like that are pointless. 
    She read my supporting letters, she saw my meds your not going to be prescribed Fentanyl, OxyContin, Oxynorm just for the hell of it are you? 
    Do they expect you to be paralysed neck down to be classed as disabled now? I try and do as much a so can as I try not to let my disability prevent me from living my life to the fullest. My children to this day don’t know I have incontinence nor do my other family members apart from my wife.I’ve been told to use a wheelchair but I try not to and use crutches mainly so does that mean I should be treated as if there’s nothing wrong with me? Was she under the assumption that I deliberately broke the chair and fell? A decent human being would at least ask if you was ok would g they?
    Ash 
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    By asking those questions she makes the best use of a short time. It’s your opportunity to explain whether you can do those things and what restrictions you have. 

    Being prescribed meds is nothing to the point. The level of meds and the frequency are relevant. The mere fact you have them tells them very little. 

    You don’t think your assumptions are unfounded? Where on earth have you gotten the idea she assumed you broke anything deliberately? From her silence and typing? Yeah, those would be big clues to any reasonable person and your assumptions are entirely reasonable!!!

    By all means obsess and rant on her not being a decent human being but it’s not a winning strategy for PIP and any complaint based on what you describe would likely fail. You asked for advice and you’re rejecting it out of hand. There is nothing to sort here. You request a copy of the report and await the decision. 
    I’m not fussed about the decision as I have more than enough evidence to prove my disability and how my daily living is if she wants to lie then that’s up to her as I’ve nothing to hide.
    Also I’m sure a place like that has an accident book and I’m assuming that she would’ve logged it. 
    Up until this week I had no idea how pathetic these assessments are. 
    Like I said my issue is that any decent human being would’ve at least ask if someone is ok.
    i couldn’t careless what she’s written in the report and if it’s a load of rubbish which I’m assuming it probably will be reading other people’s comments I’m happy to fight it. 4 consultants can’t be wrong can they? 

    Ash 
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    As I’ve explaimed before this isn’t about what the decision is I can cross that hurdle when it happens. My concern is how I was treated after the chair broke. 
    Ash 
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Community member Posts: 297 Pioneering
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    Hi @ash5896, sorry to hear about your problems and the bad experience you had at the assessment center, most people medically trained or not would have automatically come to your aid or at least asked if you were okay, alas not everyone has the same level of concern when it comes to helping others. : ( 

    Whilst Mike can be a bit blunt at times (not just with you) I think he is right in saying you would be wasting your time with a complaint as she could just say she was doing an assessment and it is not in her contract to provide any assistance to clients.  People automatically think nurses, doctors etc are caring people and the majority probably are but some like in many other professions don't give a flying duck just so long as they get paid.

    I hope your pain has eased since and you can put this traumatic experience behind you and focus on better things.  Hugs Rosie




  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    sleepy1 said:
    Hi @ash5896, sorry to hear about your problems and the bad experience you had at the assessment center, most people medically trained or not would have automatically come to your aid or at least asked if you were okay, alas not everyone has the same level of concern when it comes to helping others. : ( 

    Whilst Mike can be a bit blunt at times (not just with you) I think he is right in saying you would be wasting your time with a complaint as she could just say she was doing an assessment and it is not in her contract to provide any assistance to clients.  People automatically think nurses, doctors etc are caring people and the majority probably are but some like in many other professions don't give a flying duck just so long as they get paid.

    I hope your pain has eased since and you can put this traumatic experience behind you and focus on better things.  Hugs Rosie




    Hi Rosie

    Thank you for you input and appreciate your advice. In terms of pain it’s still there and the frustration of going through the assessment will be with me for a while.

    Tha k you again for the advice 
    Ash 
  • debbiedo49
    debbiedo49 Community member Posts: 2,904 Disability Gamechanger
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    If you had an accident at your assessment then yes I would expect them to show concern, get a first aider and record it in an accident book. Their chair broke and the very least they can do is stop the assessment and get a new chair. That’s simple common sense. Then they should ask you are you okay to continue? It sounds quite odd to me that you were not offered either of these options. Why did you not stop the assessment? Yes I would complain to ATOS and get your local mp to support you. These people are paid to provide a service and while you are in their care, it’s their health and safety policy that should kick in, which did not.
    good luck.
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    If you had an accident at your assessment then yes I would expect them to show concern, get a first aider and record it in an accident book. Their chair broke and the very least they can do is stop the assessment and get a new chair. That’s simple common sense. Then they should ask you are you okay to continue? It sounds quite odd to me that you were not offered either of these options. Why did you not stop the assessment? Yes I would complain to ATOS and get your local mp to support you. These people are paid to provide a service and while you are in their care, it’s their health and safety policy that should kick in, which did not.
    good luck.
    I agree it’s common sense and that’s what my original post was for. I just wanted advice on how to do this as I’ve e it been through this before. Mike thinks that I’m wasting my time and the assessor has no reason to help me and I’ll be be saying my time complaining. 
    After the chair broke she picked up the arm put it on her desk carried on typing and said that’s the end of the interview you’ll hear from DWP within 4-5 weeks and with that left the room. 
    I cane on the forum as I was told  it’s a good starting place to get some advice and guidance. 
    I’m not really sure what to do now as it seems I won’t be taken seriously and it’ll just be a waste of time so at the moment I’m quite confused as what to do 

    Thank you for your advice
    Ash 
  • debbiedo49
    debbiedo49 Community member Posts: 2,904 Disability Gamechanger
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  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    Persevere  :)
    I’ll try thanks 
    Ash 
  • dee4848
    dee4848 Community member Posts: 256 Pioneering
    edited March 2018
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    The assessor had seen that your wife had come to your rescue and you was put back into your seat ..If you couldnt  carry on with the assessent due to your pain you had the right to stop that assessent so the assesor carried on with the assessment because you didn' stop it .
  • ash5896
    ash5896 Community member Posts: 148 Pioneering
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    dee4848 said:
    The assessor had seen that your wife had come to your rescue and you was put back into your seat ..If you couldnt  carry on with the assessent due to your pain you had the right to stop that assessent so the assesor carried on with the assessment because you didn' stop it .
    I suppose that makes sense and in all honesty I didn’t think I was allowed to the stop the assessment and that’s up to the assessor. It’s been a learning curve and if I do have to go through having an assessment again I’m going to be more aware of where what my rights are too.

    Ash 
  • dee4848
    dee4848 Community member Posts: 256 Pioneering
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    Hope all goes well for you whichever way you go with it 
  • debbiedo49
    debbiedo49 Community member Posts: 2,904 Disability Gamechanger
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    Going through Esa to mandatory reconsideration and now pip to appeal, I can definitely agree its a learning curve. However, why is the onus on the service user to know how it works? The service is for people who require support and therefore should be mindful of the service user. The way its currently working is unfairly balanced against the service user who is learning the ropes through experience. Unfortunately once you have failed in this process it is difficult to try again. In my opinion, it is wrong that atos is conducting these assessments and decisions are being made away from the service user by someone sitting behind a desk reading reports. Its also a very stressful experience and can make us very oversensitive. Is that okay? Why should it be so stressful? 
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