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Medical Appeal

So I had my medical in late February and I had my letter come through saying I failed on the basis of "your history of sleepwalking until at least age 14". The thing is when I got asked "when was the last time I slept walked?" I answered that the last time I know i slept walked was in year 7 at my aunts, but I THINK it could of been up till 14".
Now I'm quite angry at the outcome of this as the Dr told me that any sleepwalking over the age of 13 is classified as permanently medically unfit and that she had to take the last bit of my answer as a definitive answer, which I found completely ridiculous as I didn't really know and felt that I should be over honest rather than not at all.
 
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So how can I prove I don't sleep walk? It's never ever been an issue. The answer on the letter is not the answer I gave.
 
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They said I can appeal, just that I have to be clear and concise in my answer referring to the reason on my letter but the reason on my letter isn't true.. I was thinking of buying all my medical documents and send it off with my appeal as I don't have a clue on what to pick out from there as all that i'd prove by sending all my documents is that I've never had a problem with it or anything at all, but that's a tonne load of documents.
 

Sumo

War Hero
Go speak to your GP explain the situation and see if they can help, could be a private report at your cost but I do not know so go see and speak, in this instance you need to be proactive in providing evidence for your medical clearance, keep your AFCO in the loop as they may be able to point you in the right direction if you go of on an expensive tangent?
 
C

Cloudwalker

Guest
Without wishing to stir things up unnecessarily, I feel obliged to comment that this outfit SUPPOSEDLY doing medicals for all three of our Armed Forces needs seriously looking at by the powers that be (which powers presumably appointed said outfit in the first place). Said outfit is, in my carefully considered opinion, utterly incompetent and is doing little more than snuffling undeservedly at the trough of public funds.

My advice to ivorydown97 is essentially the same as Sumo's above. Seek expert advice and, if advised to APPEAL, then do so with polite and respectful vigour. You may do so in the knowledge that the vast majority of well reasoned appeals are successful. Take your AFCO's advice, bearing in mind that CAs cannot comment on medical issues. They do, however, frequently deal with unjustified medical rejections by this poxy, money-grubbing, private sector outfit.

I wish you the best of luck, ivorydown97. Go for it. :cool:
 
C

Cloudwalker

Guest
CW you are not the first to vent similar concerns

I do realise that, Sumo. In fact, I was told that by someone far more in the know than I will ever be.

This, to my mind, leaves a very important question outstanding: Why, if many have 'vented similar concerns', has nothing been done about it?

It seems abundantly clear that most in the services and in the know are well aware of how bloody incompetent this private sector outfit is.

Next question, then, is: Who is protecting this outfit and/or profiting from it and, more importantly perhaps, why is this shabby outfit being permitted to continue with its sham regarding proper medical assessment of potential recruits?
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Just to be clear, the medical standards applied stringently, are at the behest of the tri-service medical standards for entry (JSP950). In other words the respective services demand the standards are applied as much as a duty of care to the individual and indeed those whose lives may depend upon them whilst operating in extreme environmental conditions under potentially life-threatening duress.

All that said, every sympathy is afforded, no-one likes getting knocked back. Trust me, been there, got the teeshirt.

To appeal, you need relevant qualified medical data. A bucketload of irrelevant medical records doesn't actually help but a written summary of your medical records from a GP or relevant healthcare specialist indicating there are no further reported incidents of this particular condition beyond age xxx, will almost certainly help your case.

A short polite covering letter briefly explaining your situation and a request for review by the Senior Medical Officer (Service Entries), submitted via your careers adviser may well work in your favour. Again, note the keywords short & brief. Emotionally charged rants of several pages simply don't help - even though we appreciate it's an emotive subject.

Good luck, let's hope they give you the benefit of the doubt given the adverse anecdotal evidence already provided by your good self.




Hmmmn. Choccy hobnobs. I like hobnobs....om nom, nom, nom.
 

Sumo

War Hero
All good questions, I have know idea, probably buried in some contract stuff and they were cheap. In some cases you get what you pay for?
 

Taztiff

War Hero
Personally I did more sleep walking after I joined up.
But to be fair it was probably more due to the CSB than any previously undisclosed medical problem.


Mind you - not what my wife says.
 
C

Cloudwalker

Guest
Just to be clear, the medical standards applied stringently, are at the behest of the tri-service medical standards for entry (JSP950). In other words the respective services demand the standards are applied as much as a duty of care to the individual and indeed those whose lives may depend upon them whilst operating in extreme environmental conditions under potentially life-threatening duress.

As an avid admirer of Ninja_Stoker it does not sit well with me to challenge him in any way. However, I respectfully suggest there is a significant difference between medical standards being applied 'stringently' and those same JSP950 medical standards being applied inappropriately, without proper interpretation and in the complete absence of intelligent consideration by a private sector outfit using only 'hired gun' nurses to make assessments by way of a telephone chat lasting a few minutes with applicants upon whom those nurses have never laid eyes, let alone a stethoscope (apologies for the long sentence).

It is all very well to wax lyrical about a duty of care but it is, I think, important to ensure that the stringent process in place does not unjustifiably and inappropriately cause harm to an enthusiastic and compliant applicant of sincere intent.

Yes, it is not nice to be knocked back and NS is quite right in that respect. However, it is something far worse than just not nice to be WRONGLY knocked back. And when very many applicants are being knocked back by the private sector outfit only to be passed on appeal to SMO(SE) in Portsmouth then it is perhaps time for the relevant tri-service bigwigs to reappraise their system to right the many wrongs occurring currently.
 

Sumo

War Hero
Personally I did more sleep walking after I joined up.
But to be fair it was probably more due to the CSB than any previously undisclosed medical problem.


Mind you - not what my wife says.
funny you mention CSB, I have known many go a wondering after drinking CSB and many wonder what the fcuk happens after drinking CSB, normally visiting septic
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
As an avid admirer of Ninja_Stoker it does not sit well with me to challenge him in any way. However, I respectfully suggest there is a significant difference between medical standards being applied 'stringently' and those same JSP950 medical standards being applied inappropriately, without proper interpretation and in the complete absence of intelligent consideration by a private sector outfit using only 'hired gun' nurses to make assessments by way of a telephone chat lasting a few minutes with applicants upon whom those nurses have never laid eyes, let alone a stethoscope (apologies for the long sentence).

It is all very well to wax lyrical about a duty of care but it is, I think, important to ensure that the stringent process in place does not unjustifiably and inappropriately cause harm to an enthusiastic and compliant applicant of sincere intent.

Yes, it is not nice to be knocked back and NS is quite right in that respect. However, it is something far worse than just not nice to be WRONGLY knocked back. And when very many applicants are being knocked back by the private sector outfit only to be passed on appeal to SMO(SE) in Portsmouth then it is perhaps time for the relevant tri-service bigwigs to reappraise their system to right the many wrongs occurring currently.
To be fair, we probably agree that there is unnecessary duplication and upset caused by what seems as pedantry. Similarly, many people think it fair game to lie about their health to gain employment. Triage relies on the individual being honest and there are mandated guidelines in which certain conditions are an automatic bar to entry.

At the face to face medical, there are dozens of Medical Examiners, all of whom will inevitably interpret the standards slightly differently. The Doctors are employed by a single company. The company is specifically directed by the services to ensure the Doctors do not make "benefit of the doubt" judgement calls (or apply a 'common sense' risk management approach). The reason for this is that the average civilian Doctor will not always be familiar with the unique nature under which Armed Forces operates and will usually err in favour of the individual on the grounds that in most cases, they'll be OK. Trouble is, the potential consequences in combat can be far worse than inconvenient. The service wants the Doctor, if in doubt, to either forward for review by an Occupational Health specialist or apply the guidelines to the letter.

Whilst no apologist for the contracted company (Capita) or suggesting they aren't completely without fault, it's the Armed Forces who write the contract and ensure it is complied with.

Last year the RN medically discharged 120 recruits at HMS Raleigh either because they arrived with an undeclared pre-existing medical condition which is a bar to entry or because the Medical Examiner took it upon themselves to make a judgement call based on their experience of civilian practice. It costs something like £7000 to get each recruit as far as entering the gates of HMS Raleigh.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Ninja_Stoker, I believe you are still in service as a CA in an AFCO and I know my son is training at Raleigh. So, I don't want to press this subject any further than saying, with the greatest respect for you, that what I have been witness to, first hand, over the past 18 months or so (and not only with the RN,) has left me with a distinct distaste for the lack of integrity and/or capability of the private outfit you now name as Capita (note that I did not so name this outfit before this post).

Sorry, but I cannot possibly agree with what you say in Capita's defence in your post above, although I can perhaps understand to some extent why you repeatedly attempt to defend it. Unfortunately, my view, which I can support with absolutely irrefutable evidence, is that Capita must surely be run either by morons or by exceedingly clever milkers of the public purse and most certainly employs many morons in its workforce.

You say above: "Last year the RN medically discharged 120 recruits at HMS Raleigh either because they arrived with an undeclared pre-existing medical condition which is a bar to entry or because the Medical Examiner took it upon themselves to make a judgement call based on their experience of civilian practice. It costs something like £7000 to get each recruit as far as entering the gates of HMS Raleigh." That is surely an admission that the system in place as we write DOES NOT WORK. If it did work, then there would be no need for Raleigh to medically discharge a single recruit other than for an injury sustained while training there. As to what it costs the RN to get each recruit to HMS Raleigh, I would respectfully point to the fact that Capita's incorrect and unjustified rejection decision-making can WITHOUT JUST CAUSE cost potential recruits a very large quantum in having to sort out some glaringly obvious mistakes made.

I have it on good authority that 8 or 9 out of 10 medical appeals by potential recruits are SUCCESSFUL these days whereas in the days of medicals carried out by the RN itself less than 1 appeal in 10 ever succeeded. Time then, I suggest, to wake up and smell the coffee:

The solution to this problem is, I submit, Capita's total exclusion from any government contracts, now or in the future. And more importantly, an immediate return to using the Services' own trained medical experts (who must by definition be fully aware and compliant with the tri-service medical requirements) in examining all potential recruits.
I appreciate the frustration, truly and again am not an apologist or spokesperson for Capita. Nor am I angling for a job with them in future. Likewise the fact I'm a recruiter or the fact anyone has family in the service, doesn't weaken any argument against my viewpoint, rest assured I'm open and receptive to criticism, totally without bias.

In my experience far fewer than 8 or 9/10 appeals succeed but there is always the thought by the applicant "What have I got to lose?". Very often also, people apply knowing full well they are medically ineligible and will nigh-on invariably tell you it was their lifelong ambition and someone needs blaming. It's a government run organisation after-all.

I was knocked back two years for migraine when first applying. It's not nice. There was no point appealing as I did have migraine although my Dad said I was a fool for telling the truth. He also told me not to join the Army because I'd get blown-up in Ireland. He was right about one thing, but got the geographic location of the explosion and the medical advice badly wrong :)

The trouble with switching contracts, putting them out to tender and blacklisting a company is that it usually costs more, gets worse before it gets better and you end up with pretty much the same people doing the job with a differently-named management company, with the same people in charge of the helm.

The medical aspect of selection is, believe it or not, a frustration within the recruiting organisation on all sides and the cause of much heated debate because people are passionate about what we do and the fact it casts us, the careers advisers in a poor light. We do genuinely get it and although it may not feel like it, things are improving.

I like the idea of service doctors but am advised there aren't enough and they are the most expensive option, it would not be a quick fix. The solution could well end up that we simply scrutinise every single applicant's full civilian medical history, at great expense with huge delay and those passing this level of clinical screening, get forwarded to medical. Guaranteed people will retrospectively claim their medical records are incorrect and it will probably double or triple the cost, time taken and numbers of appeals.
 
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