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Everything posted by kirstyo

  1. Days and nights make a huge difference in this case because the pay per hour is much higher on nights, weekends and public holidays. It used to be that they always put annual leave through as Monday Tuesday Wednesday dayshift and that was doing people out of a lot of money compared to what they would get from their 'average' working week so there was a campaign to make them pay holiday fairly and lots of people got backdated money.
  2. I'm also on the staff bank and had a substantive post too until recently. This was something our health board did ages ago, it is basically to make you actually take holidays. They should be paying you the average of your last 12 weeks rate, thats what a lot of people got backdated pay for a few years back (sure it was the 'pay as if at work' campaign they called it) but you need to request annual leave and wont be allowed to work the days you have taken leave. This was a huge issue in my health board and I would be surprised if other boards didn't take the lesson mine learned the hard way on board because they ended up having to pay a fortune out to people for leave and sick pay that had been paid at basic rate. Its the same calculation for sick/carers/parental/maternity leave too, its always based on an average of the last 12 weeks pay
  3. There are lots of reasons why these drugs are more commonly prescribed in more deprived areas, addiction is of course an issue but it is not the cause. The vast majority of working people in deprived areas are in jobs where they are more likely to have injuries or wear and tear that would require these medications - manual jobs are likely to lead to back pain for example. People in deprived areas are far more likely to suffer from depression for multiple reasons, some of which are obvious but also reasons like a lack of facilities, a lack of green space, job stress, an inability to take time off work; there are tonnes of reasons. The social determinants of health are really interesting, 'the Glasgow effect' is fascinating, although old research now I guess. People in more well off areas are likely to have more money and perhaps go for a massage to relieve stress, go to the gym or any number of other things they can do to improve their health simply because they have the money and facilities that people in deprived areas are less likely to have. Those in deprived areas sit taking medication whilst they wait on ridiculous waiting lists for the services that do exist in their area which are usually few and far between. Research also suggests that people from more well off areas are more likely to actively seek alternatives to medication such as talking therapies or physio than someone from a more deprived area (off hand I cant remember which piece of research this was but it was fairly recent). I referred myself to physio some time ago, waited a while then someone pointed out to me that I had access to physio through my job so I referred there I was seen the next week and started my course of physio which gradually reduced my need for painkillers. I forgot to cancel my referral for NHS physio and eventually an letter came to tell me I was high enough up on the list to make an appointment for three months time - that letter arrived at least six months or so after my original referral so that means it would have taken the best part of a year to be seen. That would have been almost a year of strong opioid painkillers. I was fortunate to have access through work, people in deprived areas are less likely to have access like this so they need to stay on the painkillers whilst they wait - what choice do they have? Should the GP not manage their pain while they are waiting for an alternative?
  4. Sorry DX I never seen your reply, yes I record calls. The letter has now arrived saying they are not changing his points, although at least it has an actual description of why that I can argue against at appeal. One example is that he can take his own tablets which is true, but if he cant/wont order them himself then he wont have them to take will he? they are also still adamant that he can budget and make financial decisions which is news to me because this wasn't something he was capable of before the depression got bad due to a learning disability, but because he has a bank account apparently that means he can manage. Given that money is his biggest trigger, I don't think it would be safe for him to even try and deal with money. he spent the whole day yesterday in an extreme amount of anxiety because the letter arrived and that was without even reading it. I don't think he can go through the appeal if I am honest and his mental health has to be my priority and if he has to physically go to an appeal I cant imagine what will happen to him. On the other hand, I don't feel like I should just let this drop either. I feel quite strongly that these people shouldn't be allowed to damage someones already fragile mental health in such a way and I know what he has been put through isn't even bad compared to some people. he has me to fight for him and I do, I got him the home visit when they were determined not to give him it, what if I wasn't here? I just feel like these people have to be stopped from treating people like this. on a rather funny side note - I happen to also be a nurse and recently put my CV online just to see what sort of other jobs are out there because im struggling with an injury - guess who have called me and emailed me several times offering me a job?
  5. I know with the NMC they see the difference between a motoring conviction and a criminal conviction as being the issue. motoring you don't need to report, criminal you do but just because you need to report it doesn't mean it will actually have any effect. It will go on your PVC/DBS check though so it is likely something you will need to have a discussion with someone about if and when that gets renewed. I haven't personally had an issue like this but a nurse friend has a criminal conviction for a car related offence and they just asked her what happened and if it had any effect on her doing her job - the thing that most went in here favour: she had admitted guilt, hadn't tried to get out of it and had been honest about the whole thing. I assume the GMC are as big on honesty as the NMC. I doubt very much the GMC cares that you were speeding, but they may very well care how you handle it. honesty is definitely your best policy here.
  6. The only time I have called is when they have given so little notice of appointments that I have no choice, I think thats why they do it so you have to call rather than write. They have received my letter, now we wait I guess
  7. not the exact same thing, but the other half got a text saying something like 'thanks for filling in your form' we hadn't filled in a form, then another one a while later saying something about an assessment that never materialised his money has continued and the only other thing we have had from them was a confirmation letter that his ESA wouldn't change when his PIP did
  8. We aren't entitled to anything as i work full time. We have applied for the mandatory reconsideration but i can see us having to go to a full appeal, although i haven't told him that yet the stress will be far too much for him. Got the text to say they have got my letter and to wait up to six weeks for a decision, just a waiting game now i guess
  9. Well the home assessment eventually got organised and the woman that came was quite nice. I did make a point of explaining to her the stress this situation caused and how it had made things worse, particularly them causing him to be struck from the GP list. They have taken his mobility away from him which we expected, he only got the mobility component because he was having back issues related to the job he had just been unfairly dismissed from before getting PIP the first time round, because he is now not working his back pain is well controlled with medication so we knew we would lose that. They have also put him down to the low level daily living - apparently there is no evidence he cant budget and manage money - strange thing is, he has never been able to do that even before he stopped working due to a learning disability he has obviously had all his life. there were a few other things they said there was no evidence of that they never even asked about so I have sent a four page letter off for a mandatory reconsideration basically asking them what their evidence is that he can in fact do these things, so we await their reply to that. Given that we have lost over half his money, this month is a real struggle, I literally have a fiver in my account and its a long way till payday but we will get by. The most upsetting thing about all of this is the negative effect it has had on his mental health. he has been set back so badly by all this. Prior to this reassessment nightmare he was actually doing pretty well, now we are back to square one almost. No doubt his ESA will be reassessed next
  10. I used to freelance through sites like that when I was in college. obviously I don't know what site you are on but they are all pretty similar and usually have a way to contact the site itself about disputes, although I have never had to use it so I don't really know how it works. I stopped doing it in part due to clients demanding more and more for less and less and I found there were better ways to make money to get me through my studies. you should ask the site itself to take a look and see what the outcome of that is
  11. all trusts are probably slightly different but I do know people argue about 'implied contracts' in my trust all the time, the general feeling is that if you have been getting the shifts you want for two years or more you have one of these magic implied contracts and there is nothing anyone can do about it. As far as I know there is no policy on the same, but it seems that in my trust anyway that it is the way it goes. and yes I am bitter about it because when I came back after a significant injury I couldn't even get my shifts split despite that being the recommendation of everyone I ever spoke to, including occupational health - apparently I was assessed as fit to come back full time and therefore nothing else mattered but people on these implied contracts to accommodate their childcare get what they want, despite no longer actually needing the childcare as their kids are older. you will almost certainly need to involve your union to get this resolved, in my experience management do very little without their involvement, but again that could just be my trust
  12. We had a nightmare with them the first time round, but it did all get sorted out in the end. All I hope at this point is that they don't send out another unsuitable appointment because I know what happens if that becomes the case. I just wish that they would give you a choice of dates when you call to change an appointment but they don't and they just don't give enough notice for me to be able to change my shifts in work (I have just started back part time after my injury) i'm a nurse so I can only get a day off if I can organise it in advance or possibly swap with someone at short notice. I think they assume because he is not able to work that automatically means he should be available any time, but they have been told time and time again that someone has to be with him and it is better if its me because obviously I live with him and I can help explain things they know I work and whilst I don't expect them to do ridiculous things to accommodate me, surely a little advanced notice of an appointment isn't too much to ask? Last time they gave us three days notice that someone was coming to our house then complained to me when I tried to explain to them that I was unable to make myself available at that short notice.
  13. Just thought I would update this thread as I know how frustrating it is when people don't update. So a while after my last post I got a text saying 'we have sent you the form how your disability affects you' so I figured we were going to be asked to reapply but nothing ever turned up and I have made the decision that I am not going to chase them. Weeks later I get a text thanking me for filling in the form that we never even received and that they would pass the info on to ATOS (that wasn't their wording but it was clearly what they meant) again I just ignored and left it to them to get back to me. another few weeks pass and I get a call from the PIP centre the guy said he was calling me to clarify my reasons for cancelling the appointment as ATOS had said that I told them neither of us would be home and they felt that if he wasn't going to be home that day for whatever reason then he should be fit enough to go to the assessment centre - I explained that what I had actually said to ATOS was that no one could be here with him and that at no point had I actually said my partner was housebound in the first place only that he was unable to cope with attending an assessment centre as agreed by his former GP and psychiatrist (we haven't had an appointment through for a new psychiatrist yet) he said he would pass that to ATOS but ultimately it is there decision. I pointed out to him that things are not yet set up since the move with regards to his mental health services, he has a new GP and has been referred to psychiatry but nothing has come through yet and that this may cause ATOS problems with conducting the assessment as they wont be able to get the information they need. given that the reason we are in this position is that ATOS informed our old GP we had moved when we actually hadn't yet (we had just given them the new address for the purposes of them organising the home visit as we would have moved by that time) causing him to be removed from the GP list which we didn't even know about till it was too late as the old GP sent the letter to the new address which we didn't yet have keys for at the time, I felt they should give us time to set these things up as obviously I had planned on getting the old GP to do referrals to the services in the new area so that things were set up for him here around the same time as we were actually moving but they took that away from me and have left him with no support. So my update is there is no update really, we are again at the mercy of ATOS and their stupid appointment system. I am still feeling like I really don't want this stress on him and wishing we could just live without the money, but I don't think we can if I am being honest
  14. I must dig out the paper work, I always meant to take it up with them after everything was finalised but then things got really rough for a few months there and to be honest it has been the last thing on my mind. Thank you to this thread for reminding me to chase it up, I will definitely do so. I only got the final bill a few days before it was due and had to extend my overdraft to pay it as I had no other quick way to access that much extra money. I am going to look out the paperwork tomorrow
  15. We used them to buy our house and ended up paying much more than we expected . I would need to dig out the paperwork to find out the exact figures but off the top of my head we expected to pay something like £800 but ended up paying nearly £2k what annoyed me most was that the seller wanted to move quickly which we agreed to as we were renting before so no reason not to - at no point did anyone tell me this would cost me more and as it wasn't my suggestion I didn't even think to question it they simply asked me if I could move by this date, would mortgage process be finished etc and I said yes , then I get a nice sum added to my bill for an expedited service!
  16. It is their own rule and took me about ten minutes last time round to get DWP to tell them to change the appointment. Frankly I just cant deal with it all right now, i am off work sick myself and stressed enough with that plus the move plus now him having no gp etc which i somehow need to get out and sort today. so i am tempted to try and just see how it plays out
  17. Well within about three days of the letter arriving to say they would try and do a paper based assessment he got another letter saying he would get a home appointment. they clearly didn't have time to do the paper based one before making this decision but thats not the point. We then get a letter a few days ago saying the health professional is coming in a few days time but it was the same day I was at a hospital appointment with my mum, since this is a yearly appointment involving servicing of equipment which was already seven months over due I was unwilling to cancel that. I called ATOS and went through exactly the same as last time, they cant change an appointment more than once, despite them allocating an inappropriate appointment in the first instance and then correcting it, but apparently that amounts to us changing it! The girl on the phone was quite rude actually and got really mad with me when I tried to explain that we never provided any information to them because she kept saying this was all based on information we provided which we have not done. So she then tells me she will pass it back to DWP who may require him to apply all over again, I told her that was fine because we haven't actually applied for anything at all as yet as his current entitlement is nowhere near finished. I was going to call DWP as last time they were actually very helpful when this happened, but do you know something? I don't want these idiots in my house, I don't want them upsetting my other half, basically I don't want them in our lives. I will do whatever I have to do to bring in enough money so we don't need them when the renewal comes through. My concern is that it will affect his current claim, how likely do you think this is? I guess we just wait for a letter from DWP telling us what they want us to do next? Also is it best to write a complaint to DWP? last time I complained to ATOS and got nowhere. On the plus side, we are all moved in to the new place, just to unpack the last of it really!
  18. Well a letter appeared this morning basically saying they are going to contact his health professionals to see if they can do a paper based assessment instead, letter does point out that they still might have to physically assess him and I'm sure that's what will eventually happen but it seems to have bought us the time we need to get over the house move at least. Hopefully we wont hear from them for another couple of weeks now and by then the move will be done so at least he will have one less stress I guess. I still don't understand doing this reassessment so early, a lot could change in 11 months.
  19. Thanks HB, I may actually call the DWP themselves tomorrow I found them much more helpful than ATOS last time round. He seems a bit calmer now at least knowing that the appointment they had set up for Wednesday has been cancelled at least till they decide if they will or wont give him a home appointment
  20. I'm hoping that asking for the home assessment will delay things a little, it did last time for maybe a week or two. Im now wondering if the delays are going to make it worse in the long run stress wise for him, oh I just don't know what to do. why now? Why do they need to do this so early in the first place? I'm actually crying right now because he has been in a really good place until that phonecall and now he is cutting himself again - this whole thing is a huge trigger for him given how it went last time. I'm not even sure I want to put him through this again. maybe we can survive without the money somehow
  21. The other half's PIP is not due for renewal till next year (the end of april I believe it is) however he got a phonecall last week to say he hadn't replied to a letter he had never received saying he was to go for assessment. Now I'm raging about that to say the least as they are not supposed to contact him by phone on instruction of myself and his GP but that's a different issue. We are obviously going to have all the same issues we had a few years ago with regards to him getting a home assessment rather than going to the assessment centre. And given their 'health professional' apparently thinks he is not on any medication for mental health, only for pain when he is on max dose anti-depressants, I do not hold out hope for this going well. However my question is, given we are almost 11 months away from him actually needing this reassessment, is there any way to get it delayed even slightly? We are in the middle of moving house and I am actually off on the sick right now so the timing is just awful. We are moving out of the area we were in so that means all the health professionals he currently sees will be changing very soon. the stress of the move and the idea of moving away from health professionals he knows and trusts is more than enough for him to be dealing with right now without ATOS or whatever they are calling themselves these days joining in. Even if I could get it delayed till I have a new GP/CPN/Psychiatrist sorted for him that would be a huge help I think. is it worth asking the DWP for a delay? anyone have any experience of this?
  22. If you were following a strict gluten free diet at the time the test was taken it would give a false negative even if you are in fact coeliac. the blood test actually tests for a reaction to gluten, therefore no gluten = no reaction = negative test result. I would perhaps wait a while for your records to come over to your new gp then go back to them when they will be able to see your original results. it seems odd that they would test you again rather than simply wait for your records, its not the type of test that needs repeated
  23. I posted about it at the time, advice was to go to employment tribunal which in the end we couldnt afford to do. Our lawyer said there wasnt anything else we could do and his former employer folded his company to avoid goingto court as it turned out he had done at least once before with another former employee. Had we been able to see the process through at the time we may have been able to recover something before the company folded but we couldnt affordit
  24. The thing is its never going to be perfect and its people like us that suffer, those people who are always just over the earnings threshold for everything but barely have enough to get by. it just upsets me so much, we nearly lost everything because of what happened we were only just able to borrow enough to cover our rent and put everything else on credit cards but his former employer gets away scott free not having to even give him the sick pay he was entitled to, it was never about getting compensation as such to us it was about the fact that he couldn't claim benefits for six months because he should have been getting ssp and we couldn't prove he wasn't because his former employer wouldn't give us anything to say he wasn't paying it because obviously then he would have opened himself up to the tribunal going against him, it was about getting that sick pay that he was entitled to and we so desperately needed. Although I do know someone who stole from his boss (a four figure sum), boss sacked him but he ended up getting compensation for unfair dismissal which obviously isn't fair either
  25. We did not have a choice! I was earning pennies over the earnings limit by the time we got through to actually being able to put the claim in - as in I had just started work after leaving uni I had received one wage, which wasn't even a full wage because I had started half way through a month (but my yearly salary was over the limit) and we had nothing, not one single penny (no sick pay for him at all which was also part of the claim) coming into our household for three months prior as he went on the sick three months before I started my job (I work in a profession where you need to be registered, that takes time I couldn't start work any earlier legally) we were up to our eyes in credit card debt and had borrowed from everyone possible simply to pay our rent as we were entitled to no benefits while all this was going on. we did not choose to spend our money on other things we literally did not have it to spend, my months wage wouldn't have even covered it to allow for us to claim it back so we absolutely 100% went without because of this scheme. However there is nothing we can do about it now so I guess there is no point in worrying about it.
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