Undeclared medical conditions - A cautionary tale.


War Hero
Just a heads-up for those due to join the Naval Service.

It costs upwards of £7000 to process each applicant for entry into the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

In the six months since April we've wasted around half a million quid due to people arriving with pre-existing but undeclared medical conditions.

The daft part about this is very often the medical conditions themselves may not be an outright bar to entry but they prevent the individual undergoing training from the "get-go" and result in discharge.

If anyone arrives at HMS Raleigh or Lympstone CTC with an injury that affects their ability to undertake all elements of training, they will simply be sent home - this could also incur personal travelling costs. To rejoin after a medical discharge, it is not a straight-forward procedure and can add two or three months onto the joining process. This in itself puts you at the back of the queue, from scratch.

Undeclared medical conditions require background checks and the New Entry Training Establishments do not have the infrastructure to undertake these checks, even it the individual is subsequently passed fit to re-enter. There is no option other than to discharge.

The advice? Be honest & upfront before joining rather than risk an 18 year+ contract of employment. If you defer entry as an active candidate pending checks, you can immediately be re-allocated an entry date once found fit to enter. Training places pop-up at short notice due to last minute cancellations but once someone joins and gets discharged, the training place is wasted.
are your medical files checked randomly when you get to Raleigh regardless of being perfectly fit to start? I saw the doc about trapping my finger in the door hinge and am now fully healed but didn't realise I had to tell afco.


War Hero
It depends whether you broke your pinky. Broken fingers'n'toes are usually a 6 month temporary knock-back. Med records can be randomly checked if anything comes to light.

If in doubt, give your AFCO a call, just to check. Odds are it's otherwise nothing, but we do occasionally come across people with missing starboard index fingers which is interesting on the firing range and even more amusing when they are a fog look-out.
thanks for the info. it was my middle left which gets used for nowt so theoretically speaking rather than risk a 6 month set back as long as there's no reason for them to suspect Im injured then there's no reason for them to check my med files then?


War Hero
If you broke it, you need to declare it. If you don't declare it & are unable to complete an element of training (rope climbing for instance) then you face discharge for failing to disclose a pre-existing injury.

The AFCO Medical Examiner makes the call if needs be and may well concur with your evaluation. Conversely, it is better to defer entry than be barred from entering the service permanently.

Ultimately, it's your call whether or not you wish to follow professional advice, it matters not a jot.

Good luck.
sorry forgot to ask, if they defer me 6 months does that mean that as long as I prove to be fit within that time then I could still start on my original October start date? or does it mean regardless of what happens I can only start 6 months later than planned.


War Hero
Before flapping about it I'd just give your AFCO a shout, they may well say there isn't a problem & crack-on.

It's difficult to second guess exactly, but very often people can break thinks & recover in time to meet their original entry date. They won't take you off your entry date then re-bid when you are fit if they know you can be passed fit before your allocated entry date.
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