The CAB wrote to me the other day; a bundle of letters with a covering note explaining that this, what the GP has written, isn’t really going to help my appeal by and large. There may be something within that tangentially helps, this being the response to my GP writing to the JC last year. This was a naïve attempt by him (now her thanks to the difficulty of seeing a regular doctor, which I’m sure doesn’t help) to ask them how they are helping me. Of course they weren’t helping me, and neither were the Salvation Army whose own bullshit response was solicited; because of that bullshit quotient I’m reluctant to use that letter so I’m forced to try the GP again.
What the CAB need is for the doctor to verify how and which of the ESA descriptors affect me. Her response was to tell me that she couldn’t do that. Now I have to try again otherwise my appeal may be compromised. It certainly would benefit from a concrete diagnosis. The problem is that because mental health is invisible and because I have yet to hear back from the Asperger/ADD diagnosis people (despite being contacted at the start of August, apparently) she is antsy to write anything in support. From this I can infer she – cards on table – doesn’t really agree with my assessment of my issues and needs. I haven’t directly confronted her about that; in fact trying to do this with any GP has been extremely difficult. They do everything they can to head off any such attempt. I suspect that, if duly confronted, she will try to have it both ways and claim that’s not what she’s saying. I hope I’m wrong. I don’t have an infinite number of attempts to persuade her.
Thing is they don’t have nor do they offer any kind of alternative. It’s all very well to say this is my professional opinion, but where does that leave the patient? If you are to claim that you cannot verify then are you not making a diagnosis of some kind? Is that not a medical opinion? But where is the evidence to support that – no doctor, not even the person at the CMHT (I say person, they weren’t a doctor and I don’t know what their official title is), undertook such a process with me.
Equally, to sit and wait for an external body, in this case the Asperger/ADD people, to present the GP with a diagnosis, is unhelpful. With all due respect to her, I think the GP is relying on that too much, and that also puts me in an unfair position. I doubt also a tribunal hearing will agree to wait until such an appointment can be made and any subsequent report.
Doctors are still too naïve about this process. Still too reluctant to understand how it truly works (or doesn’t). Any attempt to explain it’s real purpose – curtailing entitlement and support – is regarded as being a bit silly, or worse. You – I – am just not taken seriously. That has to stop. The BMA has emphatically spoken out against the Work Capability Assessment, yet still individual GP’s are not interested; they don’t want to get their hands dirty. Perhaps they feel doing so will attract blame and censure. It is not enough to dodge your responsibility as a carer in helping people. Again ESA is, according to the government website, not solely for people that cannot work at all: it is for people who need help and support. I have yet to see either.