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TOPIC: GP letter

GP letter 5 months 2 weeks ago #161410

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Hi, I'm about to request a letter from my GP in support of my claim for PIP. I'm unsure what to put in my request letter as I don't want to be accused of leading if this letter needs to be produced later for a tribunal. My GP is very good and has already offered to write a letter but I want to be sure that the letter includes details about how my condition impacts me in relation to the PIP criteria rather than just confirming my diagnoses, tests and treatment. I'm not sure how best to word the request.

Also, how should the GP letter deal with issues such as washing and bathing, preparing food, taking nutrition etc. that they don't actually witness? From your guide I see the GP factual report request says

"please only include information about symptoms that are recorded in the patient’s records and information about disabling effects that you or another healthcare professional have directly observed."

My GP is aware that I have difficulties in several areas based on me reporting a difficulty and follow up tests confirmed problems which would cause the stated difficulty. However, the difficulties weren't observed so it's only possible to confirm the diagnosis. For me this leaves only the Moving Around section that has been directly observed which I'm concerned will mean the GP opinion may be dismissed for all other areas.

I also need to be assessed locally and my GP will confirm this in the letter. I'm concerned from reading this forum that the first assessment appointment is automatically generated and could be some distance away and only then will they consider the GP letter and send a new appointment for a local assessment centre. If I couldn't attend this for some reason I wouldn't be able to rearrange. Is there any way to get them to consider the GP letter and specific requirements before this automatic, potentially unsuitable, appointment is generated?
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GP letter 5 months 2 weeks ago #161422

My doctor, who unfortunately is leaving :( , asked to see my answers and wrote a letter using information on my records and these for my letter.

Mags
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GP letter 5 months 2 weeks ago #161424

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A couple of quick points, your GP is not completing a GPFR, it's a letter for you, but even if it was a GPFR, they are not bound by the request to only provide factual evidence.

Your GP can provide three levels of support depending on your underlying conditions.

They may be able to provide direct testimony based on their observations of your limitations, as an example; if you have severe Arthritis then in your legs then they should be able to comment on your ability to stand and to walk.

Through knowledge of your conditions they may be able to express an opinion on the effects of your condition, using the previous example; they may reasonably be able to state whether they would expect you to be able to stand at a worktop to prepare and cook a meal or whether you could stand in a shower, if you have OCD then I would expect then to be able to comment on how your rituals would impact on a number of your daily activities.

Lastly, they can comment on information that you provided them with, this might cover issues such as your Washing and Bathing or Dressing and Undressing. If they believe what you have told them is reasonable and consistent with your conditions then they can state this, if not they can make no comment.

They will either offer a home assessment from the outset or one at their offices, if the latter then there is a good chance that it will not be close. If this happens then you can submit the GP letter and try to arrange a home visit or at least one closed to your home. If you are unsuccessful then you will need to attend or you risk your claim being closed.

Gordon
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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Cognitive impairment 2 months 3 weeks ago #168585

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The section below is taken from admp2.pdf
Cognitive impairment encompasses orientation (understanding of where,
when and who the person is), attention, concentration and memory.

Conditions that may impair cognitive function include physical conditions
(such as stroke, head injury, dementia), learning disabilities, and mental
health conditions such as bipolar disorder or psychotic illnesses (e.g.
schizophrenia). Mental health conditions involving anxiety, panic attacks
and psychological distress are only relevant for consideration for the
purposes of descriptors 1d or 1f if at the time of the attack they cause
the claimant specifically to lose the faculty of navigation. If not,
descriptors 1b or 1e are instead relevant for consideration

I'm quite confused about this because I have significant problems while out because of mental illness so I don't see how 1a would apply.

1b or 1e wouldn't apply because the majority of the time I do go out despite the problems and I haven't had anyone prompting me so I'm not going to say that I need prompting. Only occasionally am I so badly affected that I stop going out which might be 1e except for the fact it's not more than 50% of the time.

Planning a route isn't a problem so 1c wouldn't apply.

I believe I would meet the criteria for 1d and 1f but as it's due to a mental illness I'm not sure if they would be chosen.

So, that's my situation as I see it. Now two questions:-

The new guidance seems to strongly suggest 1b for most people with mental health problems and then 1e if the person almost never goes out due to agoraphobia.

Do you think 1d and 1f will not be chosen for people with mental illness even if the mental illness results in impaired cognitive function and difficulty following a route?

Do you think the assessors use the above definition of cognitive impairment? I get the impression from several posts that they use intelligence and good academic qualifications to decide that a claimant doesn't have a cognitive impairment.
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GP letter 2 months 3 weeks ago #168632

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The issues are covered in the PIP Clai m guide.

Gordon
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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GP letter 1 month 4 weeks ago #170657

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I'm still not clear from the claim guide about the mobility criteria. It seems to put mental illness and cognitive impairment as two completely separate issues. I have a cognitive impairment as a result of a mental illness. I'm not clear if they're going to ignore my problems because they're linked to a mental illness - that's how I'm reading it at present.

My problem with following a route isn't due to anxiety so if I had someone with me they would be navigating rather than prompting or supporting. It seems that I could have exactly the same problem going out but if it was due to a head injury for example d and f would be possible but because it's due to a mental illness they might automatically rule out d and f. This seems to be against the whole idea of PIP being about how your condition affects you rather than the condition itself.

I have done what the guide said and explained the problems I have following a route. I would be grateful for your opinion on this. When the problem is clearly a cognitive one do you think they'll ignore it if it's caused by an underlying mental illness? Or, do you think if they accept that I have a cognitive impairment that they'll consider descriptors d and f even though the cause is a mental illness?
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