Medical standards

My daughter has just been told she has failed her medical? Doctor said her big toe was not straight, she has never seen a doctor for it, never had a problem with it, plays rugby to a high level and trains all the time. How can she not be fit to undergo basic training? All seems wrong and I can see no way for her to appeal as this is the doctors decision, although she had to go away to check if it was a bar to her joining. Is there any grounds to appeal?
Thank you, read all that before. To be honest it is the rant. Think I'll write to director navy recruiting. Must cost a fortune to go through all the process to come up with something like this. If she had a per existing problem, or something that she has had problems with you could understand, but it has never been in a problem before and if she lives to a hundred will more than likely never effect her. Seems daft to let recruits in that scrape fitness tests, scrape psychometric testing but stop some on the very unlikely event that it may effect their training. Falling over twisting your ankle can effect your training.


Lantern Swinger
It may be that the condition the ME is talking about is commonly called Hammer Toe(s), which is a bar to entering the Armed Forces. It may be that your daughter hasn't had any problems, plays sport etc, but she doesn't do it in Service footwear, marching etc etc.
An appeal can only occur if the condition doesn't exist, as in she doesn't have the problem, or if it has been corrected. There can be no appeal against the medical standards. The appeal must come from your daughter, not you, as it is her application and be accompanied by expert evidence such as from a GP / Consultant. I would recommend a visit / call to the AFCO for more advice.
I suggest the above is better than a letter to Captain (not Director) Naval Recruiting as there that will simply result in an advisement to appeal along the lines above.


War Hero
Yep, the head honcho is no more qualified to give medical advice than I am as he isn't a Doctor and even then, a service doctor isn't going to enter into dialogue regarding medical suitability of a third party.
Thank you very much for the sound advice which will be passed on to my daughter. I don't believe it was hammer toe but of course I wasn't there to hear that from the doctor. I have told her to seek advice from our family GP who I'm sure will not follow the advice of the ME to have corrective surgery for a condition that is not affecting her normal life (more risk with surgery than leaving it as is). I feel she will now lose hope as is the case with a lot of excellent candidates (nepotism aside). Seems to me that failure rates of recruits has not changed much from years past but if these standards were being used 20 or 30 years back none of us would have been allowed to join (says me that served with a bloke that had his big toe missing from frost bite)


War Hero
One thing that does surprise many is the standards for entry are different to the standards applied to those already serving. We wouldn't necessarily discharge someone who was unfortunate enough to injure themselves or develop a medical condition whilst serving - if they can still do the job.

A good example of that is a person with a missing thumb or big toe if they remain employable, they won't be discharged. The service would however, not consider recruiting them as historically there is a higher than average risk there would be limitations. If there were limitations and the service was aware from the outset, then the argument would be "Well why did you recruit them, knowing the risk?". They would then be sued by our litigious society for "misleading" the individual.

We get people complaining when they declare a condition upfront and fail the medical The question then is "Well if you knew they would fail the medical, why did you send them to a medical in the first place?" Fact is, if we hadn't given them the opportunity they would argue we are not medically trained to turn someone down on medical grounds.

The problem the service has, is that some people forget it is a job and sometimes take the medical standards as a personal affront. In actual fact the medical standards have evolved over many years, often through tragic occurrences, and are there to safeguard the individual as much as those who may have to rely upon them in extreme circumstances in life or death situations.

Good luck to your daughter, I hope the medical circumstances are such that it is possible to cure the condition.

Similar threads

Latest Threads

New Posts