Written evidence submitted by Helena Cairns |
October 2010, an initial letter was received by Mr G (my patient),
requiring that he make contact, or risk his benefits being stopped.
Mr G who has an extensive history of Paranoid Schizophrenic Illness,
became very anxious about the process from this point, until its
eventual resolution in January 2011.
5 November 2010, he and I had completed the form, and posted them
off. In the form, we made explicit that:
illness means that he requires assistance to communicate with
people he doesn't know well;
illness and its treatment mean that his day starts around mid-to-late
would attend any appointment with him.
received an appointment for 08.50am on 23 November.
G contacted me, and I contacted the relevant agency on his behalf
to reschedule the appointment with reference to the previously
described information. A new date could not be arranged at that
time because of their diary constraints. I was advised to call
back on 21-22 November.
back on the 22 November, and was informed that any rescheduling
information could not be shared with me because of the Data Protection
Act. Eventually, and following an impasse, this was resolved and
a new appointment agreed for the 16 December at 11.00am.
with Mr G at Atos Aberdeen at 10.45am(we'd been told to
arrive 10 minutes ahead of the appointment time)in blizzard
conditions. The waiting area was full of others who'd been there
for more than an hour. We were finally seen at 12.15pm having
had no explanation for the delay, and having to request that the
heating be increased in the waiting area.
medical assessment lasted for one hour, and appeared to consist
predominantly of the doctor transcribing information from the
original assessment form, onto the computer.
G was contacted in January 2011 and informed that he'd transferred
from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support Allowance (Support
Group)much to everyone's relief.