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PIP ASSESSMENT. TAPES ERASED. OVER 4 HOYRS AT HOSPITAL .
I was up at 6.30am and started going into Jack to encourage him to wake up about 6.45am. After going in several times, turning the lamp on, and putting his underwear and socks out alongside his clothes, I threw the sheets back..and brought an aerosol deodorant to jack and I proceeded to spray his armpits. This helps to wake him up. Getting him out the bed took 40 minutes of going in and out the room. The taxi was booked for 8am as rush hour to ormskirk from southport the traffic was very heavy and wanted to avoid being caught in a jam and missing the appointment.
We arrived at the hospital at 8.40am and were in plenty of time for the appointment. We arrived and jack walked slowly along the corridor towards bickerstaff house. We arrived at 9.05am and i proceeded to book us in and even though i brought lots of I.D he only took jacks passport. Then the receptionist stated oh your the one thats recording. I then had to fill out a form because i was using an audio recording of the assessment. My sister and Jacks Aunt [removed by moderator] was a third party attending the assessment.
I was then called over to the window at 9.25am and told that we would not be going in on time as the previous appointment had overrun. Jack was feeling sick and wanted to vomit and was very red faced and hot. I said what time would be seen. The receptionist stated go to the restaurant just a few yards away and come back at 10.05am. So we went and had a cup of coffee and jack sat feeling like he was going to throw up.
We went back to Bickerstaff House and were there dead on 10.05am. We were then told it would be another 30 minutes so approximately 10.35am before we would be seen… I told the reception that this was not good for jacks mental health state as he was already in a high state of stress. I asked would we definatley be seen by 10.35am to which i was told the other person will only come out at 10.35 and then the assessor has to write up notes. Then he has to look at your notes before you can go in. I stated that I had sent my evidence and it had been received by special delivery on December 27th 2018. I asked how he was going to read all the evidence before seeing us. The receptionist then enquired how much evidence i had sent. I said 400 pages of documentation dating from 2009 to present. He was not going to read all that before seeing us. The receptionist then stated the assessors do not read any of the evidence sent before the appointment which i found quite bizzare.
I was then told it was going to be about 11.30am before we were seen… We had been at the hospital since 8.40 and I was not very happy about Jacks mental state waiting that long. I was told that it was up to you to contact the DWP to re arrange but they still wouldnt read any evidence until the day of assessment, so we would just have to do this all again. So i said we would wait, but would take jack outside for fresh air as he was becoming extremely anxious and very hot. I was told that someone would ring my mobile or pop outside and call us when they were ready.
A person [edited by moderator] came out at 11am on the dot, and apologized for the delay and said we could now be seen.. He also said he was training and someone would be sitting in listening. I confirmed that was ok..
I had two brand new cassette recorders bought new from argos a few days prior to this assessment. I still have the receipt and i paid 49.98 for the 2 together. I also had 2 sealed brand new BASF cassette tapes with me. Both the recorders and the tapes were not opened till we entered the room and the assessor saw they were sealed.
One recorder was plugged in by myself, my sister (jacks aunt) and jack and the other the assessor took and plugged by him on his desk. I then pressed the play and record buttons on the one by me and he stated he pressed the same on the one by him.
I first asked was he qualified medically to carry out an assessment and did he have knowledge of the Autistic Spectrum and Aspergers. He stated he was a paramedic and had an Autistic son. I then asked why the 400 pages of evidence had not been read prior to the assessment, I felt that the assessor would not have a clear view of jacks history from 2009 when he obtained his diagnosis. I was told that if the assessor reads the notes prior to the assessment and we dont turn up for the appointment, he would be in breach of confidentiality having read jacks notes. I could not understand why this would be the case, as knowing the full background was important to make a fully informed decision. I was then told he had read the bullet points a few minutes before we entered the room on the application form. I know that the assessor would not have the full details of the evidence, and as such would not have a clear, concise and full view of jacks needs.
A number of questions were directed towards jack re why he cant do this or that and as jacks appointee I also answered as well .. Jack did struggle on understanding some of the questions and needed clarification.
I then notice the recorder by me had clicked stop and needed turning over. I then mentioned it to the assessor and he then checked the recorder by him. He then stated that the record button was not down and it had not recorded anything. He thought that he might have knocked it. He then stated oh well at least you have one recording.. I then said one is not admissible as evidence, two were required. The person listening in at the back then stated one was no good and two were needed. The assessor then said, well we are finished now so why dont you leave both recorders with us and we will play the one you have a recording on and re do the one that hasnt recorded from this one. I asked could i stay while he did this and i was told no, but we could wait in the restaurant area and he would come and get us when it had finished.
I then asked could i see a copy of the notes he had taken on his screen. Which i have been told that i was entitled to do. I was told no, you will get a copy of the report from the DWP and i could read it then. So i have no idea what was written down or even it was what had been discussed or correct.
I had not choice as one tape was no good, so I agreed to leave the two recorders with the assessor.
Myself, Jack and my sister then went to the restaurant and ordered something to eat and a drink.
We had almost finished our meal and drinks when the assessor came into the restaurant. He crouched by the dinner table and said there is a problem with the recordings. There was nothing on either of the tapes just white noise. I stated that both recorders were brand new and i still had the receipt so they would not both be broken. He then said there is a few seconds of voices then it goes to white noise. I was extremely upset and really wasnt sure what to think at that time, but it did cross my mind that the tapes had been erased on purpose.
I have since tested both recorders with the same tapes to record voice and they work perfectly fine.
So i have no transcript of what was actually said at the assessment and no proof as evidence. I am extremely upset and disappointed at the way we were treated and how we were made to be at the hospital for over 4 hours. We left the hospital at 1pm in a taxi to get home as quick as possible as Jack was drained mentally and physically. It cost 15 pounds both ways, so this assessment cost 30 pounds for travel….. Im also annoyed i paid 40 pounds for 400 pages of evidence that was not even looked at and I paid special delivery charges to ensure that it was received which also cost 16 pounds. The recorders cost 49.98 and the 2 tapes were 12 pounds as they were new and sealed.
All in all i feel like ive been stitched up I have since found out the assessor [edited by moderator] has been at Ormskirk as an assessor fir at least a few minrhs and is not a trainee. Iv been ti the CAB and contacted my local M.P Damien Moore who unfortunately is a Conservative. ATOS complaint form is being completed at CAB on 18th March. What advice can anyone give.
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