ESA medical (ATOS) meeting cancelled for the second time!

I have been on ESA for approximately 40 weeks. The system of being seen within 13 weeks has not happened. Today my medical appointment was cancelled by phone for the second time apparently due to only one member of staff being on duty. They were unable to give me a new appointment on the phone and apparently I have to wait for another to arrive in the post. I had to change the first appointment date sent - now if they send me another appointment at short notice for a day that I cannot make I cannot change it. It seems to me that there are 2 sets of rules. Are the people you see actually Dr's as the wording used today did make me wonder?

13 Replies

  • Hi, on tv the other night (Panarama) it was all about ESA and their points with medicials, it was a totally sham, I reckon after airing that ESA will change the way they do things, try and get it up on I player it's worth watching. I have been onESA for two months now and I must say I've had no problems (everyone I know has had problems) so I have properly just doomed myself lol. I do hope you get on ok with it all as I know it can be very stressful x

  • Thank you for this I will watch it. I hope you have no problems!

  • Hi, I have been on ESA for 16 weeks and as of yet I have had no review. It also took them 8 weeks for them to get the benefit payment right, as they made a mistake on my banking form. I wrote 4 times and rang that infernal number 3 times.... thank god I like vivaldi that's all I can say. The longest i held on for was 25 mins before they answered. I had gone onto hands free by then as my hand sometimes locks.

    I have been OK with Atos but the last time I was interviewed by a nurse. She had never even heard of lupus! I think a doctor should do the assessing. The Atos doctor for my work place was good. He didn't have a very high opinion of my work place.

    Monday morning shall be interesting as my circumstances have changed. I wonder how long I shall have to wait for a pickup.

    I think the old system was best face to face. Hope you get on OK Liz

  • Like you I had a few early problems with my form being lost and benefit lost. Eventually it was found and my benefit reinstated. I also had the "joy" of waiting about the same length of time as you. It is the last thing you need when you are feeling ill. I cannot believe you had a nurse who had not heard of Lupus...that is dreadful!!! Thank you for letting me know as I now know to expect anything! I am waiting for another appointment to be sent still.

  • Hi, my brother-in-law had problems with DLA. I know its not ESA but he wrote to our local MP about it and when he turned up for his meeting it had been cancelled and he was told he would receive a letter of confirmation of benefit in the next few days. Coincidence I think NOT.

    It might be worth your trying, it might nudge them in to doing somthing for everybody.

    Best wishes Helen

  • I totally agree hardly a coincidence! I will follow the same lines as you have mentioned if I get a 3rd appointment at short notice that I cannot make. It takes organising as I do not want to go on my own. I don't know why they couldn't have given me another appointment when they rang to cancel then simply put confirmation in the post.

  • No I don't think they are always doctors at the medical (they call it it a medical but it is not really, it is a test of what people can do on a given day and time). I am waiting on a decision on this, I had a severe anxiety reacation as I did not know how to answer the question on the form about your hospital visits, I phoned the job centre for advice like it said and was ADVISED to list all my hospital appointments since my first one in 1978, I nearly had a nervous breakdown.

    GP said give a summary, include consultants letters, fortunately I had legal advice and my adviser said it specifically says visits in the last 3 months, so that was easier. I put the detailed summary in the big section.

    The people at ATOS do not have the final say in your claim, that is up to the judge at an appeal if you decide to appeal against the descision if you think it is wrong.

    It is really important to get support on this and do not try to deal with it on your own. Enlist friends and relatives and the GP and CAB or other welfare rights service. I nearly had a relapse and I only coped with my friends and supporters and my meditation which I was doing each day. I am still worried but not quite as much now. I have had to take more medication as my antibodies go up when I am under stress.

  • Thank you for your reply. It is such a ridiculous situation. I don't know how anyone can assess you in 20-30 minutes. From now on I will get a book and list all GP/Consultants appointments for future use. I haven't kept a record. I filled my form in so long ago - last October so the information has changed anyway. I am going to send ATOS a letter asking for my medical to be recorded. This way there will be a record if I have to appeal. I still haven't received a new appointment since they cancelled so am going to go and see my GP to ask for an up to date letter. I am also going to take my son to my appointment with me as he sees and helps me.

    Lupus is bad enough without the additional stress. I am sorry to hear of your stress. Good Luck.

  • Ask your son to take a notepad and pen and takes notes of all the pertinent things they say to you at the assessment, in case you need to appeal. It will give you confidence. If you fill any more forms in get a advice on filling it in and take a photocopy of the completed form.

    Also remember anxiety is part of our condition, so don't feel bad about being anxious. Planning ahead is very good and helpful but anxious preoccupation and imagining the worst is not helpful and will be stressful. No one can force you to do something which YOU know will harm you, you just have to say No. That's what I keep telling myself.

    Good luck anyway.

  • Thank you again. I have just got printed out a copy of Paul at Lupus UK emails asking that my assessment is recorded! It is a brilliant letter with reference to legal aspects. I am going to post it tomorrow to ATOS so they have to sign for it and I will keep a copy of proof of posting. After what you have said I will keep copies/dates etc. I will then be ready if I have to appeal. I too get anxious and stressed by it all - even the thought that I have to travel an hour each way (car journey) to get there. That is enough to wipe me out for the day! Good luck to you too.

  • Hi im Amanda and im on esa for ongoing spine condition, chronic pain due to this problem and restrictions on day to day life

    Ive had 2 assessments cancelled.

    I get the letter of cancellation on the day of the appointment. If i had been picked up by my parents early id of not got the letter and would of attended both cancelled appointments.

    I also have server depression and anxiety so this doesnt help.

  • I am sorry to see this has happened to you too. It is very stressful. It is enough coping with ill health without the additional stress.

  • Yes im in agony and i dont sleep either...

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