Tribunals - can we request doctors who are aware of FM & CFS?

I was successful at my Tribunal this week, though I felt my words fell into empty space when trying to explain about FM & CFS. Post-exertional fatigue, fluctuations, etc., it was taken into account what I can do rather than the fact an activitiy can be carried out but not repeatedly or reliably, or safely - the fact that it can take me 4 hours to get up, have breakfast, dress (and this is not every day) was that I can do this. I realize that we write on the form about our worst days, though when you are asked 'can you' it's a case of (for me) 'I can and I can't'. It was agreed on mental health grounds rather than all the rest of the symptoms which are interlinked and compound each other - I think it's really important to have a doctor on the panel who understands these conditions as they are specialized. (Even though I am relieved on the success) - I went into shutdown mode during the ordeal where I was unable to present my case to be placed in the support group (I was unable to get a Welfare Rights Person to represent me and would only have been informed if I were to be represented a few days before anyway). I feel if I were able to put my case forward or had someone to represent me I would have been placed in the Support Group as I had loads of examples to give and was unable to pull anything out of the bag so to speak - my brain felt as if it were filled with solidifed cotton wool. It has made me realize how I need to never go in alone again unrepresented - has anyone any suggestions where I will be able to ensure I obtain a welfare rights persons for next time and not land up in this situation again (I had tried to get an Adocate - not possible - also CAB do not accompany). Thanks.

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  • There would be a doctor sitting on the panel and they should of done training with regards fibromyalgia so that they understand the condition.

  • Hi Josie, thanks, that's my point - there was a doctor on the panel who I was instructed to address - but asfaras I'm concerned these conditions (CFS/ME) were not taken seriously or into consideration - which is too complex to go into in any detail. It is a concern as I felt the doctor did not understand these conditions in depth and there are biased opinions also within the medical profession - which leads me to requesting a doctor on the panel who is not only well informed but empathetic.

  • I was told at tribunal by the gp that people with fibro get better. Luckily I am an adults social worker and had a colleague with me with 40 years social work experience. We were able to challenge him that in our professional opinion, we may have a bit of remission but does not totally go and we see quite a few people each year who need assistance. Told him that if in fact I do actually get better and am cured, I will certainly seek him out. Said a if I would try to lie, I would put my whole career in jeopardy. They may be taught it but do not necessarily believe us.

  • Good for you for challenging the doctor - it is amazing how tunnel visioned some doctors can be - thinking that it is all in the mind etc, or that we are exaggerating how debilitating these symptoms are. Unfortunately my cognitive ability literally shut down in the Tribunal. Interestingly my Rheumatologist said that it will get better too.

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