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This is a really long post sorry but please do read it.
I have been on DLA middle rate care and high rate mobility with an award time scale of indefinate also i am in receipt of ESA in support group with a review time of long. Also i am in receipt of a Armed Forces Pension paid out early after examination by MOD Medical Board and deemed incapacitated for remainder of life. I have a long list of medical issues as follows:Ischemic Heart Disease that also includes unstable Angina also Heart Failure with the NYHA Class III to IV this include severe Left Ventricular Dysfunction and a faulty Heart Valve caused by a massiv e heart attack which i had emergency open heart surgery to perform a quad bypass operation which sadly was not too successful because the 4 heart grafts started to fail and over time i have been in and out of hospital having repair operations putting stents in to grafts whilst under one of the proceedures i had a cardiac arrest so they have said enough is enough no more interventions also i now have a implanted Bi-Ventricular Pacemaker with ICD this it to help my heart pump by shocking the damaged left Ventricle also protection from ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation i also suffer from Atrial Fibrillation so on Warfarin for all my heart care i am under the care of 2 hospitals also due to these problems i am being considered for a Heart Transplant and on the reserve list if my condition really get bad then i will be bumped up the list. I also have numerous non Cardiac conditions as follows: Cervical spondylosis causing severe pain in upper spine and neck area also Chondromalacia patellae of both Knees which causes loads of knee pain also Osteoarthritis of both hips and base of spine , also Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) also Incontinence also Polymorphic light eruption which means my skin reacts to strong UV light this caused by my medications. also depression which i have to self manage because of all my heart medications i am unable to take any anti depressants also i have PSTD caused by Combat in the Armed Forces and subsequent trauma caused by my severe heart attack and a further cardiac arrest. also i have memory impairment possible the onset of dementia accelerared by the heart failure and certain medications that i take. so a long list of Medical Problems.
So becasue my conditions were getting worse and i am needing more care i thought i would contact DWP who said i would have to transfer over to PIP so did the telephone questions and answers and they confirmed i would possibly be eligible for the new benefit and i would have to fill in the how my condition affects me questionaire. so i did with the help of the Royal British Legion sent it back with loads of medical letters from Consultants, doctors, nurse specialists, carers with a request for a home visit due to my mobility issues and poor breathing. after a few days had passed a appointment came through for me to attend a ATOS PIP Centre in Warrington so we challenged them because we had requested an home visit and there was no parking at the centre the reply i got on phone was "we apologise but it looks like who ever looked at your form didn`t notice that request we will get some one to look at it again i also i was going for rest care in august and gave them the dates. We were hoping they would sort it out and look again at the paperwork including the DLA file and all the medical reports and grant the home visit and rearrange it at a centre which had either a car park or was easier to access. well a few days later the letter arrived and it was a new appointment and it was not a home visit it was another assessement centre in Crewe and it was for a date bang in the middle of the rest care so you can guess we were not happy at this stage we got our MP involved who wrote a strong letter to the Chief Executive of ATOS regarding the lack of home visit and asking them to reconsider. Then i phoned Atos to try and get some kind of sense from them but all they told me that after they had read the files there was nothing to suggest i was entitled to a home visit and they came up with an excuse that with my conditions i may get aggressive well far from the truth i avoid situations that my be stressfull and put pressure on my very poorly heart.
Anyway my Cardiac team have told me to avoid stress etc because my heart is in so bad of a state another heart attack would put me a situation that it is doubtful i would come the other side of.
Well the outcome was they booked another appointment at a later date which was 0900 on the 7th of September 2015 well the appointment day arrived and i was very apprehensive arrived at the PIP Centre which was on a busy road with no car park and the road outside the reception entrance had double yellows and also railings along the footpath the full length of the road and around its corner so no where for my friend who drove me there to stop so he pulled up right at the end of the railings which was around 100m from entrance i got out walked to the reception after stopping twice outside to get my breath and use my GTN spray for my Angina got inside and sat down out of breath the receptionist asked if i was ok and my reply was no as i was trying to get my breath back she apologised then i was called in.
The first thing i noticed that the room looked like it had been specially set up the chairs were pushed right up to the desk not sure if this was a trick to see if you would pick them up and move them then i looked at the interviewer and noticed that i recognised her face i told her this because she is in fact married to a person i went school with and have had association with in adult life so she had to ring some one for guidance she came back and said that because she does not recognise my name and could not remember my face they had deemed it safe to proceed if ok with me but i had struggled to get myself to the appointment and i was also told by atos that if i did not attend this apointment and due to previous cancellations i would have my benefit stopped so i agreed to proceed. The assessment then commenced with loads of questions about my health and obviously double checking the answers that had submitted on both the phone and on the form. i then asked to be excused to use the toilet due to my incontinence and the effects of the water tablets i take for my heart my carer helped me i was breathless on return and also i was getting more angina pain than i normally have so used my GTN spray in front of the assessor she asked me if i was ok to proceed i reluctlantly said yes but i made it known that i felt under duress because of the threats of stopping my benefits if this was cancelled. i was given 3 items to remember and then asked further questions on how my condition effects me then i was asked to fold a piece of paper and place it on the floor and then pick it up again i could not complete this task by this time the whole process which had gone on 1 and half hours was stressing me out and i could feel myself becoming more unwell the Angina pain was still pretty bad so used my GTN Spray again she then said not long left then proceeded to asked me to stand up and checked my hands and grip and then asked me to get on the couch to lie down bend my feet at this stage i was really struggling as my back went into spasm and i got pain in my back and i still had angina i had problems getting up of couch and nearly fell off she then asked me to sit down which i had real problems doing due to back spasm when she started doing a memory test asking me to recall the items from earlier i struggled to get one right then she asked me to start at 100 taking 7 off and then repeating it taking a further 7 off but i could not do this so she then said that the end and asked for any other paperwork i would like to submit at this time i gave her further medical reports from my GP and a forthcoming memory clinic appointment to see a Consultant about my falls and memory loss.
I came out of this assessment totally in pain, breathless and fatigued and after getting home i felt unwell for most of the day with a very restless night and sat on the bed crying the following day was not much better but the angina had eased but i do suffer from unstable angina but i had real bad back pain. but on the third day i woke up with severe angina that would not be controlled by my GTN spray so an ambulance was called and a paramedic said i was having a heart episode and of to hospital i went which was our local one after being in there for an hour they did more tests and things were getting worse so i was Bluelight ambulance to my Cardiac Centre for further treatment they managed to get my Angina under control but it has further damage my heart and they have added another medication to the 26 i am on already i remained there over night after further tests and the pain reducing i was allowed home but the Consultant is pretty certain the stress i was under for that PIP Assessment and the she could not understand why it was not terminated when i developed Angina also she could not understand why with all the medical information and history i had to have an assessment and why a home visit was denied.
Do you think i have a case to make a formal complaint?
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