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Challenging the claim a commode will replace the need for help

13 March 2007

When is it reasonable to leave a claimant in a room with a used commode? Does a claimant have any right to dignity?

Sadly, in very many cases, if help with getting to or from the toilet or with using the toilet is given as part of the grounds for claiming DLA or AA, a decision maker will say that you can use a bottle or commode instead. If you have a visit from a Medical Services doctor in connection with your claim, one of the issues they will be asked to address is whether you could use a bottle or commode.

However, there may be many reasons why a bottle or commode may not be a suitable alternative to getting help with using the toilet. So, it's worth thinking about whether you should anticipate the decision maker's probable response and counter it when filling in your DLA or AA claim pack. Alternatively, you may wish to use some of the arguments in this factsheet if you are appealing against a DLA or AA decision.

The 7 page factsheet sets out eight different challenges to the suggestion that you should use a bottle or commode and includes sample texts for claim packs and appeal submissions. It looks at issues, such as:

Can you obtain a commode?
Can you safely use a bottle or commode?
Will you still need attention with washing after using a bottle or commode?
Would the bottle or commode need emptying and cleaning immediately after use?
A bottle or commode are not simple alternatives

The factsheet also includes details of some of the most important commissioners decisions in relation to bottles and commodes.

Members can download a copy of Challenging the claim a bottle or commode will replace the need for help.