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Deb T

DWP and their blatant disregard for situations

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Helping a family member deal with a health issue.(or trying at least)


First claimed January 2009 due to back/lower spine, physical problem and terribly poor mental health.


Awarded low rate mobility and low rate care in April


Asked them to 'look again' at the claim


Mid July the DWP sent out their own Doctor to visit the patient (prior to surgery for spinal problem) Late July the claim was altered and Higher Rate mobilty was awarded. (still low care component)


Early August spinal surgery was undertaken


August 09 asked DWP to again look at the claim under the terms of them recently awarding the higher rate component up from the lower rate, so a second 'ask us to look again' request given the lower rate care component had not changed and since surgery the patients needs for care have increased.


September 09 Social services come on board, patient requires help with simple tasks in getting out of bed/ bodily functions/bathing etc. Patient since surgery is incontinent (number 1 only...and which is a result of damage sustained nerve prior to surgery (symptoms of cauda equina)


October 09 DWP stated that they need to write to one of two consultants involved with patient. on this occasion it's the consultant psychiatrist...


Early November - letter from the Consultant was in at DWP and the case was now in a queue


Early November but after the above - Emergency MRI given due to recurring issues with back pain and associated problems (continence)


Mid November - results of MRI are back, needs further surgery at the same site where the initial surgery took place. Date for surgery is pending.


End of November still a backlog with DWP


Early December, no longer in the queue but they are now writing for more information now from the Orthopaedic consultant (we had asked to look again at the care component but after speaking with DWP they state that the whole claim is again looked at)


This all seems a little bizarre, it's been ongoing since Jan 09, in that time they first awarded low rate on both components, when asked to look again they send out their own doctor out pre surgery and given his opinion they up the claim to higher rate mobility but leave the care component as low rate, post surgery and the patient is struggling, back problem still ongoing and now incontinent leaving them needing help from social services, a further asking the DWP to look at the low rate care component and now 11 months on and they're still wanting further information from yet another consultant? it's as if they're looking to reduce the high rate mobility even though it was awarded as 'indefinite'...It feels as if they don't believe anything you tell them regardless of the experts backing up the claim.


The patient has pain constantly, they can hardly walk and are in pain as soon as they stand, they are taking liquid morphine for the pain, they walk with a stick (forever falling which is initself starting to become an issue) they cannot motivate due to ongoing mental issues, are unable to dress or feed themselves boh from a physical aspect as well as mental, the DWP know this from their own Doctor visiting and yet are bring up hoop after hoop for the family to jump through?


This doesn't seem normal procedure to me, any ideas as to what gives, how to move these people along? it wouldn't be so bad if it was refused and we could go to appeal (which the family will) but while it's like this we don't know if they're looking at reducing the claim or what.


It seems a little strange that pre surgery and a DWP appointed doc visit and the patient is granted a higher rate and now post surgery and the complications since that surgery and with another op planned and a letter from the patients Consultant psychiatrist the DWP are pressing still further for more information from another consultant....


Social Services when they visited were suprised to hear that the patient was in receipt of the low care component, they have been golden and given plenty of help and granted the patient help by way of a specially adapted toilet, a shower seat pending a wet room conversion and help supply incontinnce pads for free.


I am at a loss as to what to advise them next, some of the family have stated that it was perhaps not the thing to do by asking them to again look at the care component but I feel this is wrong, the patient needs help is unable to do some very simple tasks such as get themselves clean in the bathroom (sure you know what I mean) and although they have limited mobility it is not without pain from the start. All an orthopaedic consultant can say is 'yes we've operated, yes there is more to do and it may or may not work, we cannot tell' which I can bear out because whenver I've asked them if they can make the patient better again they always answer 'we can try but we don't know' The patient also has a 'congenitally thin spine' which should always point to the issue that where their back problems are concerned there just is no faking it, it's there in front of you in an xray/mri etc.


It's distressing to say the least, not least to the patient who amongst other things has recently had to come to terms that they may be incontinent for the rest of their life and this to what was once a reasonably fit individual is probably not easy to take.

Edited by Deb T

I reside in Dawlish Warren but am not a rabbit.

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That does seem odd, yes. :-?


Maybe writing a letter saying that this has now been going on for months and well beyond what anyone could reasonably expect, and could they make a decision once and for all so that you can take them to tribunal sooner rather than later if they decide to play silly buggers? (or words to that effect, lol)

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