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The Assessment Carousel



Three weeks ago I had a mental health assessment as the result of me asking my GP to ask the CMHT about a diagnosis for aspergers/ADD/etc. During that assessment I asked about getting a diagnosis and was asked whether or not it would make any difference to my life, which, really, seems a rather negative thing to ask. I said that, per se, it would not, but the purpose was in respect of ESA and benefits. Unfortunately I have to navigate the DWP whether out of work or even trying to find work and so I need to have these things looked into and, if possible, rubber stamped. That’s just how the world works. He said there’s a possibility they could do a diagnosis locally and look into it.

Three weeks passes by and I hear nothing, so I rang them up yesterday. I had to ring three times over the course of three hours because I kept getting the run around. The person that was supposed to call me back didn’t bother. In the end I get through and I’m told that he’d actually written to me 10 days previously; I have received no such letter. He then explains that I don’t qualify for ‘secondary support’, which means they don’t think I’m ‘ill’ enough for their services. That is not unexpected, though of course it’s another avenue of potential support that just doesn’t exist.

When I asked about the diagnosis it turns out that he hadn’t bothered to ask. He said ‘oh you said it wouldn’t make a difference’. But that isn’t what I said: he, like so many people in the system, just doesn’t listen. This outcome is so common it beggars belief; I had to explain to him, again, the whole point of this, that I’m dealing with an ESA appeal and getting this looked at would be a great help (assuming a positive diagnosis of course). Oh, he says, and then starts saying that I’d have to ask my GP to arrange it, despite that being how I ended up talking to him in the first place! He then says that they can’t do the funding. Essentially just a load of excuses when all I wanted to know was whether or not he had done what he promised me that he would do: look into the possibility of been able to get a local diagnostic appointment.

He actually rang me back half an hour later having done just that and told me that they are in the process of setting up a local service and that it would really be helpful to get diagnosed. Well duh! So it’s back to the GP to ask for what I’d asked for in the first place. The system is its own worst enemy, and mine.

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Well that's that for pursuing a diagnosis for Aspergers or anything remotely similar.

I contacted the Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) to try and sort this out after being lied to by the clinician regarding referring me to the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) people. That never happened and she continues to deny saying she would. Of course I cannot prove this and so the patient-doctor dynamic kicks in: I'm the lowly patient, she's the expert doctor, her reputation versus mine and so who wins?

I could make a complaint, but what would be the point. I might get a nice letter in a few months time saying sorry in a mealy mouthed way, but it doesn't get me any closer to what I need. That being a diagnosis, a formal, written and recorded, recognition of the issues I deal with. Lacking that, dealing with the systems in society, chiefly the DWP, becomes more difficult. Unfortunately the medical profession doesn't seem to care about that.

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