Medical Evidence

Hi, I've applied for UC and I will need to fill in a medical questionnaire; after the WCA etc I'll also be applying for PIP.

I haven't seen my GP since sometime last year; I've been off work since November and he supplies fit notes but doesn't know much about how ill I am day-to-day - I've deteriorated massively since whenever it was I last saw him. I have a diagnosis from a specialist service, but the letter they gave me at the time of diagnosis is extremely generic and says nothing about how it actually affects me (there's even a 'insert this as appropriate' field left in the letter!!) I do have an Occupational Health report from before I lost my job, thankfully, but that's all.

I've explained the situation to the specialist service, asking whether they write reports and asking to see a copy of my notes. They've written back saying they don't write reports, but at the end of treatment they write a letter saying how many sessions and what treatments you've had, amd they could write one of those earlier if need be. There was mention of making what they do write "as succinct as possible", which we all know is useless for benefits.

So, short of phoning my Dr and asking to see him with my form when I've completed it, is there anything else I can do? Can I do a subject access request for the specialist service - how does that work?

I'm not panicking just yet as my initial appointment for UC isn't until next Friday, and then they have to refer me and the form has to come, but I do need to have some robust evidence I can send when I have to return the form and right now that's severely lacking.

Comments

  • Alice_Holt
    Alice_Holt Posts: 5,946 Forumite
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    As you have deteriorated massively since you last saw your GP, I would have thought another visit is overdue.

    You can explain the difficulties you now face, and see if there is any more that your GP can do for you.

    This should be noted on your medical records.

    You can then request a copy of your medical records under GDPR:
    https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital/corporate-information-and-documents/publication-scheme/how-to-make-a-subject-access-request

    You could send a copy of this with your UC50 form.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • Thank you. As I'm still under the specialist service the GP can't do anything for me (and once I'm discharged from there, there's nothing more the NHS provides - 'get on with it and we'll send you follow-up forms every 3 months for a year' - can you hear my eyes rolling?!) but you're right, it probably is best to at least have it on the records.

    [Our GP surgery don't allow you to view records online and despite specifically requesting copies twice a couple of years ago when I was really starting to struggle and thinking about applying for PIP, they've never responded. Hopefully they'll have to comply this time, with an official request based on legislation!]
  • Update: saw the GP today with a typed overview of how things are at the moment. He looked through it, will put it in my records and ask his secretary to go through, pick out the symptoms and draft a letter. He's certain they will contact him, but if they don't at least I know he is willing to support me in applying for LCW/RA and later, PIP.

    Not sure whether to ask for a copy of my records anyway, but it went far better today than I could have hoped for (he sorted a few other issues out as well) and overall it was very reassuring!
  • Why are you delaying applying for PIP? If I were you I would be doing so.
  • venison wrote: »
    Why are you delaying applying for PIP? If I were you I would be doing so.

    I don't have the mental energy to go through both at the same time. I might be up to applying for PIP once I've recovered from filling in the WCA form, as I know that can often take even longer than a correct LCW/RA decision.
  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 17,935 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    He's certain they will contact him,


    I'm sorry but that's not correct, they very rarely contact anyone for any evidence. Just goes to prove how little a GP or any other medical professional knows about benefits.
  • poppy12345 wrote: »
    I'm sorry but that's not correct, they very rarely contact anyone for any evidence. Just goes to prove how little a GP or any other medical professional knows about benefits.

    I know, I'm not expecting them to so when they haven't contacted him after x amount of time I'll ask for a letter anyway :)

    [On the other hand, my council clearly contacted someone when dealing with my Blue Badge application because they didn't even call me in for an assessment! All I had for evidence to send them was my vague, generic diagnosis letter, nothing else, so miracles can happen.]
  • 50Twuncle
    50Twuncle Posts: 10,763 Forumite
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    poppy12345 wrote: »
    I'm sorry but that's not correct, they very rarely contact anyone for any evidence. Just goes to prove how little a GP or any other medical professional knows about benefits.

    If that's the case (and they never check any medical evidence) - what's to stop an applicant from lying "through their teeth" ?
    (Not that I am advocating anyone to lie on any DWP form)
  • 50Twuncle wrote: »
    If that's the case (and they never check any medical evidence) - what's to stop an applicant from lying "through their teeth" ?
    (Not that I am advocating anyone to lie on any DWP form)

    Nothing really, it seems, other than being caught out because their lies are inconsistent (which might explain why people with variable disabilities have to fight so hard for their entitlement).

    The best bit? I've read several bits of case law in which even the first-tier tribunal favoured assessors' evidence over evidence from medical professionals. Perhaps that's why DWP don't bother contacting health professionals - they don't plan to take any notice of what they might say anyway :think:
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