Disability UK Online Health News Journal, Disability Business Directory, All-In-One Disability Business Solutions

Month: December 2022

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessments

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessments

What is a PIP assessment?

Under normal circumstances a  PIP assessment is an opportunity for you to talk about how your condition affects you – it’s not a diagnosis of your condition or a medical examination.

The DWP will use evidence from the assessment to help them decide if they need PIP.

Therefore it is best to make your own report and detail everything about your illness and how you manage your daily activities.

An in-depth report is evidence that can be used against the DWP if your claim is denied. Having a phone call you cannot record the conversation.

Concluding the call you should ask for a copy of the recording which you are entitled to have by law.

People have the right to request copies of the data that is held by an organization, the ability to search and copy recorded calls will be necessary. Requests of this type must be responded to within one month. GDPR and Legitimate Interest. https://www.compliancejunction.com/gdpr-rules-recording-calls/

A health professional will carry out your assessment, write a report and send it to the DWP.

Talking about how your condition affects you

A helpful guide on the Citizens Advice website says that you should be prepared to talk about how your condition affects you even if you have already detailed it on your PIP claim form.

This can be hard to do, but it will really help if you can talk about:

  • the kind of things you have difficulty with, or can’t do at all – for example, walking up steps without help or remembering to go to appointments
  • how your condition affects you from day to day
  • what a bad day is like for you – for example, ‘On a bad day, I can’t walk at all because my injured leg hurts so much’ or ‘On a bad day, I’m so depressed I can’t concentrate on anything

It is a good idea to have your own copy of your PIP claim form with you for telephone assessment, that way you can refer back to it.

I strongly suggest on headed paper write a concise report detailing your illness without leaving out a single thing.

Discrimination

A disabled lawyer launched a ground-breaking legal case against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over his claim that it deliberately discriminated against him in rejecting his claim for disability benefits. Daniel Donaldson founder of the Scottish social enterprise law firm Legal Spark, believed DWP chose to discriminate against him and other people with mental health conditions in the way it has dealt with their personal independence payment (PIP) claims.

This is very worrying if the DWP has discriminated against a lawyer. Although the article about Donal Donaldson was published in 2018 it is very worrying how the government is playing God with people’s lives who genuinely need help.

Daniel ended up taking the DWP to Glasgow Sheriff Court and was seeking nearly £5,000 in damages, to cover bank charges, the removal of his bus pass, and £4,000 in compensation for the discrimination.

Donaldson sued the DWP Equality Act against the Scottish government because it failed to take on responsibility for PIP from DWP when it had the powers to do so in 2016.

A Scottish government spokesman said:

“We have repeatedly called on the UK government to halt the roll-out of PIP in Scotland, most recently following the report of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which called for a review of PIP due to the damage it is causing people”.

Donaldson said the “UK government had created “a hostile and degrading environment for disabled people” by “using public policy to strip people of their statutory entitlement to benefits”, including PIP and employment and support allowance (ESA)”.

You can read the full story here: Disabled solicitor launches ground-breaking legal case over PIP discrimination – Disability News Service

Useful Links

Discrimination: your rights: What you can do – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

My Concerns about the up-and-coming assessment for my daughter

Circus Monkey!

Assistant Editor

My concern is my daughter who has Multiple Sclerosis and is also the assistant editor of ‘Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Journal’, according to the MS Society, the DWP is making it even more difficult to claim. PIP fails | MS Society

It is soul-destroying having to justify you have an illness. People should not have to be made to perform like circus monkeys to prove they are ill. The assessment is on the 5th of January 2023. I will be listening to the call.

My daughter has already expressed anxiety and stress and is worried about taking the call.

PIP Email Address

I have advised my daughter to write a letter and attach it to an email prior to the assessment call, this adds extra weight to your claim and creates a carbon footprint of evidence.

PIP say they do not have an email address even though they do😂 : contactus@capita-pip.co.uk

Medical evidence should suffice. A primary neurologist consultant is far more qualified than any PIP assessor”.

An Assessors Qualifications

According to Capita’s, website to be an assessor you may be a nurse, occupational therapist, paramedic, physiotherapist, pharmacist, speech and language therapist, or clinical psychologist who is looking for a change, for new opportunities.

As a Disability Assessor, you’ll:

  • be a fully qualified healthcare professional 
  • have a minimum of one year’s post-full registration experience
  • be fully registered with a relevant UK regulatory body (NMC/HCPC/GPhC or other), without restriction or conditions and with a valid PIN
  • live and be based in the UK 
  • have sound written communication skills
  • be able to manage conversations and ask questions effectively
  • be confident with computers 

Who we’re looking for | Capita PIP Careers (capitapipjobs.co.uk)

This proves that they do not have to have to be specialists in any disorder. A nurse has general knowledge of how the body works but is not specialized in any field other than nursing.

According to the Royal College of Nursing:

All registered nurses must choose from one of four specialisms as part of their nursing degree – adult nursing, children’s nursing, mental health nursing, or learning disability nursing. It’s possible to change after graduating, but this doesn’t mean your career is decided. 

Adult nursing

Adult nurses work with patients over 18. They can work in hospitals or in community settings such as people’s homes, health centers or nursing homes.  Once qualified, they can take extra courses to specialize in areas such as cancer care, women’s health, accident and emergency, critical care, practice nursing, health visiting or school nursing.

Children’s nursing

Children’s nurses work with children and young people up to 19 years old and can work in a variety of settings, from specialist baby care units to adolescent units. Children react to illness in a very different way from adults, and children’s nurses are specially trained to understand their needs. Children’s nurses also support, advise and educate parents and carers. Once qualified, they can specialize in areas such as health visiting, school nursing, intensive care, child safeguarding, and cancer care.

You cannot confuse a nurse with a doctor or specialist. A nurse will not have the same qualifications as a doctor, neurologist, consultant, or psychiatrist.

What is Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, neurodegenerative condition for which there is currently no cure.

In MS, the body’s immune system attacks myelin, the protective cover around nerve fibers. Damage, which can occur anywhere in the central nervous system, interferes with messages traveling from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. Symptoms are many and varied but unique to each person. They can include problems with balance, vision, the bladder, bowel, speech, memory, fatigue, and painful muscle spasms, among many other things. MS affects over 100,000 people in the UK, many of whom experience their first symptoms during the peak of their working lives, in their 20s and 30s. MS is both a fluctuating and progressive condition. While the progression and symptoms of MS vary from individual to individual, primary progressive MS affects around 10 to 15% of people with MS. This is progressive from the very first symptoms. The remaining 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with relapsing forms of MS, where people have distinct attacks of symptoms with the underlying damage building up over time.

Many people with MS will go on to develop secondary progressive MS within 15 years of being diagnosed.

“Having MS is debilitating – it shouldn’t be made harder by a welfare system that is humiliating, degrading, and adds more stress which can lead to relapses. Stressing an individual out to the point that they relapse could consequently make that person lose their mobility and become bedridden”.

If a person with Multiple Sclerosis relapses because of the stress they endure fighting for something that should help them, then the government should be made accountable.

Relationship between stress and relapse in multiple sclerosis: Part I. Important features – PubMed (nih.gov)

From a personal perspective, my daughter did actually relapse after being frustrated with her laptop not booting up consequently hurling it across the room. So stress is definitely a factor, that should not be ignored.

PIP-2018-2021-update-MS-SOCIETY

#personalindependencepayments #pip #ms #multiplesclerosis #pipassessment #stress #anxiety #dwp #capita #msrelapses

Airport Parking Meet & Greet Service

Airport Parking Meet & Greet Service

Traveling abroad can be stressful at the best of times, but when it comes to traveling and being disabled you are automatically on another playing field. For people with disabilities, there are many obstacles that they may have to overcome, Getting from the car or coach to the airport, queuing to check in luggage, scanning passports, going through security, and then finding the terminal to queue once again before going to the boarding gate.

Abled-bodied people, especially if they are in a hurry will push and shove, especially if they are running late. It, therefore, makes sense to get assistance without standing out like a ‘Belisha Beacon’ to get from A to B. When arriving at the airport you should go to an assistance point. An assistant point can be inside or outside of the terminal. Assistance points will usually have some type of disability-related logo, and include a buzzer or telephone to enable you to call for assistance should they not be staffed at that time.

It is reported that for around 22% of the population, traveling can be a difficult, even frightening, experience.

Thankfully many airports in the UK and around the globe are waking up to the needs of these passengers. For physically disabled persons there has for some time now been help available in the form of transportation around the airport. This is now being extended to passengers with other challenges.

Airports are now adopting a meet-and-greet policy to help aid people with disabilities.

Airport develops hidden disabilities assistance card

The OCS Group provides special assistance at the Airport, and local Dementia, Autism, and Alzheimer charities in developing invisible disabilities assistance cards in addition to the lanyard scheme.

The card, which is the size of a business card, acts as a discreet sign to airport staff to identify passengers who may need additional support or assistance as they travel through the airport. The card can be handed discreetly to airport staff along with the passenger’s boarding pass or passport.

The special assistance card advises staff that a passenger may need more time to process information, help in avoiding crowded places, or extra assistance in reading departure boards or flight information, for example. The card also encourages airport staff to use clear language when giving instructions.  Airport staff will also be aware that passengers carrying a card may need to remain with a family member or companion at all times.

Airport develops hidden disabilities assistance card – airport focus on international

In addition to the lanyard initiative, people with physical disabilities, as well as people with hidden disabilities will have a specialized team on hand to help passengers prepare for a journey and give additional guidance where need be.

Training and awareness program was adopted throughout all airports in the UK in 2017 where customers facing difficulties traveling can get assistance without the journey becoming stressful.

What is Airport Assistance Services

Airport assistance services can also be provided for abled-bodied travelers through this link: https://airportassistance.com/services/ This could be for businesses where CEOs prefer to have a concierge service and have peace of mind.

Departures

Flight monitoring
Coordinate with ground transportation
Personal curbside greet
Check-in assistance
Baggage and porter service
Security escort
Escort to departure lounge
Personal escort to the boarding gate

Connections

Flight monitoring
Personal arrival greet
Baggage and porter assistance
Check-in assistance to onward flight
Security escort
Escort to departure lounge
Personal escort to the boarding gate

Arrivals

Flight monitoring
Coordinate with ground transportation
Personal arrival greet
Baggage and porter assistance
Escort out to chauffeur

Disabled Travelers

For disabled customers arriving at the airport in a wheelchair or mobility scooter, there is usually a very efficient service in place. However, customers are advised to pre-book early, at least 48 hours before departure to avoid any unnecessary delays. The disabled traveler may use their own equipment prior to checking in, after which time they will be provided with a wheelchair or transportation to the aircraft, depending on their specific needs. 

Airline Policy on Assistance Dogs

The Civil Aviation Authority states that all airlines must allow assistance dogs on board with their owners, free of charge. There are certain stipulations to be aware of:

  • Owners must inform the airline in advance of travel
  • If a dog is too big to go on the floor in front of the owner, then an extra ticket may need to be purchased
  • Owners must supply a harness, food, and a blanket for the dog to lie on
  • The airline may ask if the dog is suitably trained for air travel with a certificate from an authorized trainer as proof
  • Some airlines won’t carry certain breeds of dog at all (for example pit bull terriers, mastiffs, etc)

Assistance dogs need to comply with the UK Government Pet Travel Scheme. For more information, visit the gov.uk website.

Emotional Support Animals on Planes

Current legislation in the UK will only accept dogs as emotional support animals, although not all airlines recognize this. For example, Thomas Cook and British Airways won’t allow you to carry them on board with you. However, Virgin, Ryanair, and EasyJet will allow emotional support dogs on the plane, so it may be worth checking this prior to booking your flight. Of course, all dogs must comply with the UK Government Pet Travel Scheme.

Finally, new schemes are being rolled out by some airlines all the time to ensure that the impact of a flight for customers with ‘hidden disabilities’ is as stress-free as possible. Virgin Atlantic has a dedicated special assistance team in place to help with the needs of these customers, from the initial check-in right through the duration of the flight.

AIRPORT PARKING MEET & GREET SERVICES is Available For All Disabled Travelers. (Please note advertising below consists of affiliate links where we may get a commission).

HEATHROW AIRPORT PARKING

LUTON AIRPORT PARKING

LEEDS AIRPORT PARKING

BRISTOL AIRPORT PARKING

LIVERPOOL AIRPORT PARKING

BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT PARKING

MANCHESTER AIRPORT PARKING

GLOBAL AIRPORT PARKING

MEDICAL TRAVEL COMPARED

#meetandgreet #heathrowairport #lutunairport #leedsairport #bristolairport #stansteadairport #disabilitytravel #hiddendisabilities #travellandyards

My GP & Neurologist’s Negligence

My GP and Neurologist‘s Negligence

I phoned my GP today after waiting two months for a prescription that my neurologist consultant had prescribed for my unbearable pain which is caused as a result of my multiple sclerosis and yet, to this day I have not had the medication.

When I queried it today, the receptionist I spoke with stated that he was not ‘medically trained’ to read the letter sent from the neurologist at the hospital and that I would have to wait for the doctor to read it and approve. This goes to show the mentality of the receptionists at my GP as mentioned previously, he stated he couldn’t read my letter as he was not ‘medically trained’, when in reality, he shouldn’t be reading my letter at all as that would breach Data Protection Act 2015. None the less, I gave the GP the benefit of the doubt and continued to wait for my medication.

A few weeks go by and I get a call from the GP, although to my surprise it is not the doctor but a different receptionist. The woman I spoke with informed me that she was passing on a message from the doctor stating I had to have a consultation to discuss the medication at hand. When I questioned why I would need to discuss the medication when I had already done so with my consultant, she could not reply. As a result of this, it meant that I would have to ring up the GP at 8am the following day to fight for an appointment to then have to wait all day for a doctor to give me a call back.

Why do I need a consultation with the GP when my consultant who is a qualified neurologist has prescribed them?

I believe this is to test people and for them to beg to get medication. So am I to believe my general practitioner doctor is more qualified than the neurologist? This is now causing me anxiety and stress. Stress can lead to MS relapse.

So they cannot book an appointment at the time of the phone call, you have to be a good soldier and do as they ask.

When I told my mother who is also my carer, she said she would intervene and write a letter (which never gets answered, may I add) demanding that I have the medication otherwise my mother would take it up with the ombudsman.

I am worried I will get kicked out of the surgery as I am dependent on my drugs for the excruciating pain I endure, so told her not to pursue it. I have been threatened by this surgery before regarding not agreeing with some of the things they say. Both my mother and I have agreed that I contact my primary neurologist and explain not only have I fallen through the gaps regarding getting my monthly blood as stipulated on the Lemtrada website but my GP is refusing to give me the medication that the consultant requested.

This is Medical Negligence!

I am documenting this as evidence that my quality of life is being compromised because of my GP not giving me my medication and my concerns that my blood is not being tested to monitor any changes to catch them early.

This will be forwarded to PIP (Personal Independence Payments).

I will update again once I get further information.

My GP Google Reviews

Update 15/12/22

I phoned my GP to book a consultation under duress otherwise I would have had hope in hell to get my medication, even though it was prescribed by a neurologist.

The doctor did phone me back only to ask me what I needed to talk about…OMG.

When I said about my medication she continued to ask which medication I was referring to, even though supposedly there was a message on my notes. She then asked if I am capable to take them…..what the hell?

What a waste of time and resources.

The doctor did not even know why she was ringing me other than me requesting a callback which I was put on the spot to do, otherwise, I would not have had my meds.

And people wonder why they struggle to get a GP appointment, this is a perfect example as to how the GP waste resources, time and effort. This appointment could have been utilised for someone who actually needed it, not for a chit chat.

Further Reading:

https://cavuhb.nhs.wales/

Prescribing in general practice (bma.org.uk)

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

https://www.jcpsolicitors.co.uk

https://www.thorntons-law.co.uk/knowledge/to-sue-or-not-after-medical-negligence

Update 20/12/22 – Non-existent blood tests!

My non-existent blood tests (required by law).

After losing my patience waiting for my non-existence letter to arrive to notify me to have my blood test done, I decided to contact my primary neurologist by email. Baring in mind I am supposed to have a blood test done every month to prevent/pick up early, transfusion related conditions such as Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), kidney problems/anti-GBM disease and problems of the thyroid gland (hypo/hyperthyroidism). As I am writing this, it has been 7 weeks since my last blood test and yet my primary consultant could not care less, he is obviously happy I have lined his pockets ready for Christmas.

Granted he was quick to respond.

The unfortunate thing is, had I of not emailed him, he would have been none the wiser that I had not had any blood work done. Surely, as my primary consultant, it is his responsibility to ensure that as his patient, I am having the necessary tests to ensure I am ok.

Not only that, he confirmed my blood test on the 2nd November was okay, would he have not noticed that I was not scheduled for a repeat test for the following month? Would he have not spoken with the other neurologist that I saw last? Do people within the hospital even communicate with one another, or is that my responsibility too?

I did mention that I understood Royal Mail was on strike and the nurses and emergency service are following suit. I was concerned that I have not had any blood tests done and my neurologist replied to sort it out myself and phone his secretary.

Why should I go out of my way to chase blood tests?

I have always had my blood taken at the hospital so why suggest I have them done at my GP who is also as useful as a chocolate fireguard?

Why move the goalposts? Why try to fix something that is not broken, meaning continue to have my blood taken at the hospital?

It is the responsibility of the consultant to make sure I have a blood test done and not down to me to do their job for them.

I can see pound signs of their lack of empathy and aftercare for their patient.

If something is found that could have been prevented all hell will break loose, mark my words.

What the Government Has to Say:

Lemtrada▼ (alemtuzumab): updated restrictions and strengthened monitoring requirements following a review of serious cardiovascular and immune-mediated reactions

A review of the benefits and risks of alemtuzumab (including fatal reactions) in the treatment of multiple sclerosis has now concluded and recommended a revised indication, additional contraindications, and strengthened monitoring requirements before, during, and after treatment. Patients offered alemtuzumab should be alerted to the early risks of cardiovascular events and thrombocytopenia around the time of infusion and to the delayed risk of immune-mediated reactions. Healthcare professionals should inform patients what to do if they develop any symptoms of these disorders.

https://www.gov.uk/drug-safety-update/lemtrada-alemtuzumab

https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/referrals/lemtrada

Meeting highlights from the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) 28-31 October 2019 | European Medicines Agency (europa.eu)

He has had his commission so I am not a priority even though under the Alemtuzumab Guidelines I have to have my blood checked every month.

lemtrada-article-20-procedure-lemtrada-multiple-sclerosis-measures-minimise-risk-serious-side_en

My primary consultant came up with all these fancy words as if I am supposed to understand even though I am not medically trained.

And we wonder why the NHS is in the state it is in because no one seems to be doing their jobs properly, yet everyone is complaining they are overworked and underpaid.

Be lucky you have a job is all I can say”.

Lucky Black Cat
My MS Therapy Cat (Tibbles).

#gpnegiligence #prescribedmedication #neurology #neurologist #neurologistconsultant #consultant #specialist #ms #multiplesclerosis #MeddygfaAlbanySurgery

Anxiety and Panic Attack, Personal Perspective

Anxiety and Panic Attack, Personal Perspective

Article Written and Published 9th December 2022 19.45 pm

This is a health update on how I am feeling today. It started off with Evri supposedly delivering two expensive parcels to my property with a photo of what looked like the side of a package and the pavement.

When I received the email I immediately went downstairs because I live in a First Floor Flat only to find nothing in the communal area, so my initial thought was to buzz my neighbor to see if they heard the buzzer go (seeing as I am partially deaf) and the woman said she did not hear anything. I then went outside and could not see anything.

So now I am starting to panic, I could feel my heart pumping faster and I started to shake.

Although this post is not entirely a medical guide I will still include a few links should you need to research further.

The symptoms I had were:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilating
  • Fastened heartbeat
  • Feeling ill and lightheaded
  • Feeling out of control or like you’re about to die (a distinctive sign of a panic attack!)
  • Tingling sensation in your fingers or lips
  • Shaking and sweating 
  • Chest pain 
  • Tearful
  • Anxious
  • Feeling out of control

Fear, Anxiety & Panic Attacks

My Anxiety

I continued the small talk and asked if they had sorted the problem with British Gas chasing them for £2K even though they have only lived in the property for two months if that. Now, this is the bit that started alarm bells ringing because I am in communication with British Gas who have said my address has been reverted back to Ground Floor on the 8th of November 2022 where the debt is (which has nothing to do with me). I was even told by British Gas that my meter was associated with the building rather than the flat according to the national database. I have not had any problems for 23 years and all of a sudden I am.

  • I am feeling very anxious over a lot of things right now. My brother and his wife and son are coming to the UK for Christmas and although it would be nice to see them, I am anxious because I do not know how well I can cope with my OCD. Furthermore, they expect me to travel which is a journey of 3 hours and I need to go to the loo every hour. Public toilets are out of the question. I can cope with my disability at home but doing what I do is humiliating and embarrassing when it’s done in front of other people that do not understand.
  • I feel anxious just in case they make a diversion and want to come to my home, I have anxiety issues when workmen and contractors come in let alone anyone else. If I had more money I would make the place look more liveable but as it stands it’s I place I work and lay my head to sleep.
  • Although I have agreed to meet with my brother, he does not realize the ordeal I have to go through to get from A to B, It is stressing me because he is not taking my disability seriously. I am already leaving my comfort zone and am testing my OCD thresh-hold. My daughter said if I do this now I won’t have to go through this again for a while. So fingers crossed on how well I cope with my disorder.

So going back to my missing parcels they were wedged between the pavement and the bin where anyone passing by could have swiped. Nice one Evri part of the Hermes group shower of company.

I feel very on edge and feel very tearful. My tolerance levels are nil. I have no patience and am very irritable. Put it this way I found one last valium that I saved in case of emergencies which was prescribed donkey years ago. I still feel my heart racing and the valium pill did jack sh#t 💩 to calm me down.

A few hours have now passed since the fiasco with the courier this afternoon and writing how I feel down has actually helped to a certain extent.

It’s easy to say don’t worry, or things will be ok, but unless you are walking in my shoes it’s hypocritical for someone to judge.

“I will continue carrying on, one step at a time, until one day the universe manifests my desires”.

I believe one day I will have everything I dreamed of. I believe nothing stays in the same place forever. I continue to keep myself busy, to stop myself from thinking about my past. I have set myself goals that I will strive to achieve and from this, I will be able to eradicate my memories. I will be able to help others to also put their past behind them and learn to overcome their fears. Everyone has down days even the richest people on the planet and everyone has a story to tell. The trick is learning to love, respect yourself and learn to forgive. My therapy is called “writing”, this can be a letter, a diary, a blog, or a book.

Writing releases the tension and puts it out to the universe, it is up to God to punish the perpetrators that have hurt you, whilst allowing you to rebuild your life.

“I carry a battlefield of wounds and from my own personal experiences will tell my story”.

My Book Is Coming Out In 2023

“Like a Pheonix, From the ashes, I will rise and God help anyone that stands in my way. I am a survivor warrior and am iRenata”.

#anxiety #panicattacks #depression #uncertanty #insecurity #lowselfesteem