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Everything posted by ScarletPimpernel

  1. I think it's certainly snake oil, and may just be an enormous bluff. Cireco is not registered with ICO, nor is it named as a trading name of RLP (which it should if they claim it's under their registration). They can't process data without consent, and I don't think their silly 'shoplifting register' falls under the data processing exemption for crime prevention or legal reasons, since all are just unsubstantiated allegations.
  2. Are you getting help for the obvious anxiety you are suffering? Although you may think it’s just how you are, anxiety can be treated successfully. If you find are often acting impulsively, I’d ask your GP about that too.
  3. This is an important development in the delivery of care for veterans: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/personalised-care-for-veterans-in-england-a-guide-for-clinical-commissioning-groups-and-local-authorities/ Bear in mind that the guide above is intended for those commissioning care. No doubt further details for service users will appear shortly.
  4. I can see that it's really difficult for you. As a veteran myself I know how much our pride can be a barrier to asking for help, but please don't think twice about it - you're entitled to the support you've earned.
  5. nick7602 - under the Armed Forces Covenant, as a veteran in housing need who has a serious medical condition or disability that has been sustained as a result of your service in the Armed Forces, you should be placed in Band A (top priority) by your local authority if you apply to them for housing. But do get in touch with the VWS as soon as you can - they have lots of experience in these matters. Shelter has veteran-specific advice - details are on the Veterans Gateway. There are also a number of organisations that provide housing for veterans - Alabare, Haig Housing, The Stoll Foundation and others; again, details on the Veterans Gateway. The RBL has a scheme to help with deposits if you decide on renting privately again.
  6. @nick7602 - thanks for coming back to me with those answers. There's one other question I should have asked, which is whether your PTSD is service-related - I'll assume it is unless you say otherwise. If so, you may be entitled to a War Pension and/or an Armed Forces Scheme Compensation payment - but bear in mind that I don't have all the info, so don't take that as a guarantee! I think your first port of call should be the Veterans Welfare Service. They are expert at providing advice in your type of situation, on benefits (including War Pensions and AFCS) , and making appropriate referrals. Just ring whichever office is closest to you. Short term, get in touch with the ABF; they can help with financial grants through Regimental Associations. You should also contact your local council, because you may also be entitled to Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit. Make sure you tell them you are a Veteran, because every council in the country has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, and that will help you if eventually you need rehousing. If necessary, ask to speak to their Armed Forces Champion. Also, have a look at Veterans Gateway; it's a one-stop shop that has lots of information, including on employment. It's good to hear that you're getting help from Combat Stress, so you know to get in touch with them if you find it all getting on top of you. Of course, come back here if you need more help. Let us know how you get on.
  7. True; PTSD is not an excuse for behaviours, but it can be a causal factor in why people suffering from it struggle with everyday life. Housing benefit is one source of help, but there are many others. It's pretty good, but doesn't factor in AFCS payments, or AFIP. There are better sources of advice for veterans, but without a bit more detail it's difficult to signpost appropriately.
  8. A couple of questions that will help me point you in the right direction: Was your PTSD diagnosed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist (not a GP or self-diagnosed)? Are you having treatment now? Are you claiming Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit etc.? Are you in receipt of a War Pension or AFCS payment? Which Service were you in? Which part of the country are you in (i.e. England, Scotland. Wales or NI)?
  9. I've just completed my SC review and the format and some of the questions have changed since my last review. You are now asked whether you have ever had any financial difficulties, so the idea that anything not on your CRA file doesn't matter is no longer current. My advice is to declare everything (or at least to call NVS and ask whether you need to declare); you can also add an explanation to your forms. My experience has been, in assisting someone who had £40+k debts, and speaking to NVS as her line manager, is that they are looking for you to demonstrate integrity. Being in debt is one thing - and it may be a pointer to susceptibility to risk, but not fatal, but showing lack of integrity is a surefire way to lose your clearance. In the case of my staff member, I explained that she had been completely honest with me, that I had helped her to access a DMP, but that some debts were disputed or statute-barred and no payments were being made on them. They accepted this, and she was cleared with a review at 6 months and 12 months - all they asked was proof that she was continuing to engage with her DMP. I friend of mine, who has a DV clearance, went over his credit card limit - NVS simply asked him to show that he was paying off the overspend, and suggested that he stayed within the limit in future! The thing is that NVS aren't looking to find ways not to grant clearances; they are looking to show that people aren't at risk or likely to become security risks. Showing that you are dealing with issues is the important thing.
  10. The reason is that they want you to give them money. . . You know what to do!
  11. Because the DSAR departments actually understand data protection, whilst all the others don’t, and seem to think their role is to try to prevent access. In my case I understood why, as the SAR showed evidence that HSBC staff had deliberately lied to me to cover up an error they made. Later, one of their in house solicitors told me that he was fed up of their in house DCA continuing to pursue people when the legal advice was to cease activity because they didn’t have the paperwork. So although banks would probably like us to see them as one big happy family, not all departments talk to each other and people aren’t always well trained. I suspect that targets have something to do with it too.
  12. It's not as easy to save in the Armed Forces as it was. There are daily charges for accommodation, utilities and a monthly charge called CILOCT - Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax. Then there is food - since the introduction of Pay As You Dine the cost of eating has generally risen, unless individuals stick to the Core Meal, which is cheap, but usually dire. However, it's still cheaper than living alone in the civilian world. For many young soldiers this will be the first time they have had a decent disposable income, and my experience is that many of them become expert at disposing of it! Most recruits earn around £15k when they start. There's some useful advice about saving in the Forces at https://www.moneyforce.org.uk/Managing-money/Save-and-invest In terms of the apprenticeship issue, I think I can assure you that for the first few months of his Army career, your son will be too busy to think much about it!
  13. The address I used was this: HSBC, Griffin House, 41 Silver Street Head, Sheffield S1 3GG Unfortunately I don't have any of the correspondence any longer, and of course the department may have moved, but the address might be a start.
  14. @craigten - which part of HSBC have you been dealing with? A few years ago I was in the same position, trying to get data from HSBC, and they were being difficult. Trying to deal with their customer services was hopeless - every letter came from a different person, and they often contradicted themselves. However, I finally discovered that they have a department in Sheffield that deal with data disclosures - and they did know what they were talking about, and organised sending my data quickly.
  15. It is very difficult to make stick, and from the cases I have read about, poor mental health is often a feature, whilst in the case of CWD and their clients greed appears to be the motivational factor.
  16. I suspect you mean vexatious litigants. In any case, it would be their clients, not CWD as lawyers, who would be barred from bringing cases as vexatious litigants if they were so classified.
  17. 18million - I know quite a few people who describe their PTSD journey in much the same way as you. But they’ve made it through, and you will too. Family support is crucial. All of them had difficult times during their recovery, setbacks and dark moments, but now have fulfilling lives - even though they aren’t doing the same jobs as they were before. There are some useful resources at Mind, Rethink and Combat Stress. You might also like to look on YouTube for talks by Michelle Partington about her experience. I know Michelle, and she’s amazing - you’ll see that you aren’t alone.
  18. PTSD is a complex mental health disorder which is often co-morbid with other conditions. It is not simple to treat, and one size certainly does not fit all. It’s often necessary to try several therapies before finding one that works. Talking therapies are often helpful, but again there are many different approaches and what works for one person may not work for another. I know of very few cases where medication has not been required at some time, usually in conjunction with a talking therapy. EMDR - eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing - has been found to be effective in some PTSD cases. But it doesn’t work for everyone. PTSD recovery is a long haul, often difficult, and every sufferers’ experience will be unique. Telling people they need counselling and not medication isn’t helpful. There are many medications that are useful; the only people able to determine whether they are necessary or not are the treating clinicians, who have not only the proper training, but also the full clinical picture that enables them to make informed and appropriate prescribing decisions. My job includes training people, including Armed Forces and NHS staff, about PTSD.
  19. You may find the Money Advice Liaison Group's guidelines on mental health and debt useful when dealing with creditors. Schizoaffective disorder is a serious mental health condition - creditors should be treating you as vulnerable, not trying to take your benefits. My suggestion is that you speak to your CPN or other mental healthcare professional, and ask them to complete National Debtline's Debt & Mental Health Evidence Form that you can then send to your creditors. It should take the pressure off and stop them chasing you.
  20. There seems to be a lot of confusion around mental health services for veterans. There's a myth that circulates, usually on social media, that there's no support for veterans with mental health problems, especially PTSD. It's untrue, and it's unhelpful for those who are suffering because it could make them think it's not worth asking for help. Part of my job is training people in mental health, including the Armed Forces community. I also train NHS and local authority staff around the Covenant and working with the AF community. I thought it might be useful to post some up to date information. The NHS has specialist mental health services for veterans: NHS Transition, Intervention & Liaison Service A dedicated, local, community-based service for veterans and those transitioning out of the British Armed Forces with a discharge date. The service provides a range of treatment, from recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early support, to therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma. Where appropriate, help is also provided with other needs that may affect mental health and wellbeing, for example housing, finances and employment, reducing alcohol consumption, and social support. Veterans can self-refer, or can be referred by a GP or charity. Veterans Complex Mental Health Service This is an enhanced local community based service for ex-service personnel who have military attributable complex mental health problems that have not improved with earlier care and treatment. Many ex-Service charities also provide health care help and advice - see Veterans' Gateway or COBSEO for details. My own view is that if you are looking for treatment from a charity, stick with COBSEO members (all those on Veterans' Gateway are), because they use evidence-based therapies which have undergone clinical trials. That is not to say that other therapies don't work, but without proper trials it's not possible to know whether they are genuinely effective, and whether they stand the test of time. Personally, I wouldn't go near anyone who says their therapy 'just works', or says that they don't need clinical trials. It's also worth remembering that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another; finding the right treatment can involve trying several different methods and referral to different specialists; and recovery takes time, patience and commitment, and often includes highs and lows.
  21. The NHS has codes to identify those who've served in the Armed Forces. The assists the NHS to enable veterans to receive appropriate support when needed. GP practices should ask patients whether they have served, but this doesn't always happen, so if you're a veteran, ask your GP or practice staff to ensure that your records are coded appropriately. The codes are: 13JI - Military veteran 13JY - History relating to military service 13q0 - History relating to Army service 13q1 - History relating to Royal Navy service 13q2 - History relating to Royal Air Force service 13q3 - Served in Armed Forces Some GP practices are now (or soon will be) 'Veteran Aware' NHS England and the Royal College of General Practitioners have endorsed the 'Military Veteran Aware' accreditation. Accredited practices will: have a lead for veterans’ issues within the surgery identify and flag veterans on their computer system undertake dedicated training and attend armed forces healthcare meetings increase understanding of the health needs of veterans amongst both clinical and administrative staff This scheme is being rolled out nationally from late 2018.
  22. The Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance is a group of NHS hospitals that are leading the way in caring for veterans. The first 25 hospitals are: Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, Sussex Armed Forces Network; Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust; Doncaster and Bassetlaw Foundation Trust; East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust; Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust; Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Norfolk and Norwich NHS Foundation Trust; North Bristol NHS Trust; North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust; Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust; North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust; Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust; Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust; Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Edinburgh Hospitals, NHS Lothian; Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust; Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust; South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Cardiff and Vale University Health Board; University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust The recognition means that patients who have served in the UK armed forces will be cared for by frontline staff who have received training and education on their specific needs and who can also signpost them to other local support services e.g. Mental Health.
  23. The MoD has published its Strategy for Veterans, a 10 year plan around how support for veterans should be formed.
  24. Robinson Way once told me that they'd confirmed I was resident at an address. I replied asking them how they'd managed this feat, given that it was a spoof address that doesn't actually exist (for security forces in NI). They never did get back to me. . .
  25. If an individual is detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act, that ought to be a simple set-aside. I'd have thought that someone suffering from any acute psychotic illness would have a good defence, as they may not have had capacity (defined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to make an informed decision at the time. If the PDL company weren't aware of satstc's condition at the time, they should certainly think twice about proceeding with a claim once they are aware - their actions should be guided by CONC 7.10. Organisations including National Debtline, MIND and Rethink are reliable sources of information on mental health & debt.
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