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Atos home visit, my husband has severe mental health problems

T

thatsenough

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Jul 17, 2016
Messages
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Hi, I wonder if anyone can give me help. My husband has been on DLA & Income support for several years, now they say he has to be on PIP. He has various mental health problems over the years now he has another one, he will not leave the house, he has only left the house 3 times in four years twice during a heart attack and the last time last year with a severe panic attack, on all three occasions he was in a ambulance and off to hospital. He is frightened of so many things (to many to mention) but two of the things he is most scared of is hearing people talk, and germs.
So he will not go and see a GP, he discharged himself after a few hours in hospital after his second heart attack, (which was brought on by me telling him that I have had enough, and was demanding that he see a GP) . This is the problem, he has to have a visit next Monday 25th at our home, there is NO WAY he will agree to that, so what shall I do, I have a appointment tomorrow with his GP, I was thinking of asking for a letter from him telling them that he is too ill, our old GP did this two years ago, but they have just ignored this. I do know that they can not just take my word for it, that he is too mentally ill to speak to them, he wont even speak on the phone to people. When they wanted a face to face about 2 years ago, and he would not attend, they cancelled his claim, he had a Tribunal case, (which he would not attend) they eventually awarded him (after the second tribunal) his claim, and they back dated his money. This took months of having no money, I am frightened that this will happen with his ESSA as well, the only reason they have not bothered yet, is because they said a home visit will take time to arrange? All this is keeping me awake at night, he will not see anyone, he wont go anywhere, all I can do is go to see his GP.
Has anybody got any ideas what I can do.
 
Nikita

Nikita

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Would your husband agree to doing a telephone interview with them rather than a face to face home visit?Or perhaps you can ask them to send a letter with all of their questions that he could answer in writing ,sign and submit it to them?

You may need help from a psychiatrist to get Atos to agree to this.I don't know if they will.I know what they do do is if possible when someone has overwhelming evidence of illness on paper ie the filled in claim form and they can consult with a referee such as a GP or psychiatrist who confirms the severity of the illness then they often award the claim without a home visit.

The problem being it sounds like your husband has social anxiety and agoraphobia and I don't know if that is considered severe enough to be excused the face to face.

Your husband can refuse,but if they are going to turn up at your home, when he refuses to see them, they can write that in their report and then they will either see it as evidence he is entitled or as you say terminate the claim.

If I were in your shoes I would attempt to persuade ATOS to accept paper evidence or make an assessment on the claim form alone.Good luck!Nikitax
 
T

thatsenough

Member
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Jul 17, 2016
Messages
14
Would your husband agree to doing a telephone interview with them rather than a face to face home visit?Or perhaps you can ask them to send a letter with all of their questions that he could answer in writing ,sign and submit it to them?

You may need help from a psychiatrist to get Atos to agree to this.I don't know if they will.I know what they do do is if possible when someone has overwhelming evidence of illness on paper ie the filled in claim form and they can consult with a referee such as a GP or psychiatrist who confirms the severity of the illness then they often award the claim without a home visit.

The problem being it sounds like your husband has social anxiety and agoraphobia and I don't know if that is considered severe enough to be excused the face to face.

Your husband can refuse,but if they are going to turn up at your home, when he refuses to see them, they can write that in their report and then they will either see it as evidence he is entitled or as you say terminate the claim.

If I were in your shoes I would attempt to persuade ATOS to accept paper evidence or make an assessment on the claim form alone.Good luck!Nikitax
Hi Nikita, thank you for taking the time to reply. Yes I have just been told that you can have a atos paper based assessment, if your GP helps with a letter, so I will ask him tomorrow, he is new, and young and not as friendly as my last GP (who we have been with for 30 years). But he has my husbands medical records, and I have been to see him on several occasions about my husbands mental health, I can only ask.
My husband won't go out, won't see anyone, won't speak to anyone other that me, he has had really bad bouts of tooth ache for about 18 months, he wont see a dentist, he has been in a great deal of pain with his knee, won't see a GP, Money means nothing to him, he knows that we need it, but he will not see anyone, even if that means having his benefits stopped. But I can't let that happen, it happened about two years ago, and we won on appeal, and that had to go to two to a tribunals, both of which he did not attend, it just took months and months of no money, just worry. I have just got that sinking feeling all over again, only this time he is much worse. I am just wondering if I could see a mental health nurse or support team, are their such a thing for relatives?
Anyway thank you agian
 
Nikita

Nikita

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You are welcome,thatsenough.I hope your GP helps and you get it sorted.I know what a worry it is to face losing benefits.
I think if you ask at the GP surgery most practices run Carer's Support Groups where you can go meet with other carers and get support for yourself.

The mental health nurses and support teams do not support relatives of those who have mental illness.

However it is clear to me that your husband cannot continue to bury his head in the sand.

I had both agoraphobia and social anxiety as well as other more severe mental illness like psychosis.

I went from being housebound and refusing to see anyone for nine years to being able to go out and about alone and to be able to talk and encounter strangers again, so your husband's condition isn't really so severe that he can't recover from it.

He really should see a GP or a psychiatrist who should arrange exposure therapy.What he has is an emotional and psychological problem which with the right help he can get over for sure.

Though I have no doubt it is a painful condition and feels insurmountable from his point of view because I was the same at one point.Some help for your husband,I can offer are two books which helped me a great deal.

Self-Help for Your Nerves: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear: Amazon.co.uk: Dr. Claire Weekes: 9780722531556: Books

Dr Clare Weeks has helped me overcome agoraphobia through her books and CD's any of her stuff is excellent.

And

Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (New Harbinger Self Help Workbk): Amazon.co.uk: Edmund J. Bourne: 9781626252158: Books

This book is excellent for agoraphobia and other phobias,it is self help CBT therapy and helps us change the way we think thus healing emotional pain and blocks.

Both these authors helped me to overcome agoraphobia.I am sure they will help your husband a great deal.He cannot continue to avoid addressing his issues,he will feel much better if he resolves to get to the bottom of his problem and make it his goal to overcome it.All the best to you both.Nikitax
 
T

thatsenough

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
14
You are welcome,thatsenough.I hope your GP helps and you get it sorted.I know what a worry it is to face losing benefits.
I think if you ask at the GP surgery most practices run Carer's Support Groups where you can go meet with other carers and get support for yourself.

The mental health nurses and support teams do not support relatives of those who have mental illness.

However it is clear to me that your husband cannot continue to bury his head in the sand.

I had both agoraphobia and social anxiety as well as other more severe mental illness like psychosis.

I went from being housebound and refusing to see anyone for nine years to being able to go out and about alone and to be able to talk and encounter strangers again, so your husband's condition isn't really so severe that he can't recover from it.

He really should see a GP or a psychiatrist who should arrange exposure therapy.What he has is an emotional and psychological problem which with the right help he can get over for sure.

Though I have no doubt it is a painful condition and feels insurmountable from his point of view because I was the same at one point.Some help for your husband,I can offer are two books which helped me a great deal.

Self-Help for Your Nerves: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear: Amazon.co.uk: Dr. Claire Weekes: 9780722531556: Books

Dr Clare Weeks has helped me overcome agoraphobia through her books and CD's any of her stuff is excellent.

And

Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (New Harbinger Self Help Workbk): Amazon.co.uk: Edmund J. Bourne: 9781626252158: Books

This book is excellent for agoraphobia and other phobias,it is self help CBT therapy and helps us change the way we think thus healing emotional pain and blocks.

Both these authors helped me to overcome agoraphobia.I am sure they will help your husband a great deal.He cannot continue to avoid addressing his issues,he will feel much better if he resolves to get to the bottom of his problem and make it his goal to overcome it.All the best to you both.Nikitax
Hi Nikitax,
Thank you again for replying. I will ask the GP for more help, my husband has had mental health problems since his was 17, he was sectioned for the first time then, he was on medication for 5 years, then he met me, he weaned himself off his tablets, went to the other side of the country and got himself a job, he lived without much of a problem for 22 years, then a death in the family, and he just went to pieces, he was sectioned in 2001 because he would not swallow his saliva, since then he has worked his way back up, and he was nearly ok, then we had such nightmare neighbours move in next door, that made our life a total misery, they were very violent and shouty people, we could not sleep properly for years, we used to walk around with headphones on, and once they left, I thought that would be it, but no, he won't leave the house.
Thank you for the book advice, and I will buy them. But one of his many problems is, he will not (which means me)buy anything, (only food). The other day we had major words, over a light bulb going in the bathroom, he went into meltdown, because I needed to buy a new one, in the end he took one out of an other room ? He gets himself worked up so much. Now that it is summer we have changed our sleeping pattern to going to bed at no later than 4pm and getting up at about 2am, just so that he does not have to hear the neighbours. He also asks me to take things back that I have said, (normal things) he says its not you its me, but he does this about 20 times a day.
So he really is not in the best mental health, I do not hold out much hope that this GP will help, last time I went, I was so upset, and he did not offer me any help, other than say he may section him. My husband thinks that I just go for a walk around the green and our street, he does not know that I go to see the GP, so how will that work, if some men knock on the door to take him away ( he never ever answers the door either) He would never trust me again.
If he is left alone he mainly manages himself, he does not watch tv or read a paper, or anything like that, when he was in hospital with his second heart attack the Dr asked him a few questions, about modern day, he could not answer any of the questions, and got upset because he did not like the questions being asked, the DR stopped because he could see he was getting worked up.
So you see how hard it is, I know he does need help, but it has to be the right help.
I will see what the GP has to say, the appointment is for 9.10 am, last time he said he was in a hurry (he was running late).
I will let you know what happens.
Thank you again Nikitax.
 
Nikita

Nikita

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I am so sorry that your husband gets so distressed over things.The right help is difficult to find I agree and it must be a big strain on you.It sounds extreme going to bed at 4pm and getting up at 2am to avoid noise from neighbors,I do understand it though.It isn't possible to adapt like that without messing up routine normal life and emotionally it must be very painful for you both.It sounds like his condition is quite serious and he has spent his whole life in such distress mentally.

I wish you every luck in getting your husband help to get his health back and I hope the GP or CMHT can be of some help,getting your husband to see a psychologist would be a start.I hope those books do help him.
All the best to you both thatsenough as I said before.Nikitax
 
T

thatsenough

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
14
Hi Nikitax,
Thank you again for replying. I will ask the GP for more help, my husband has had mental health problems since his was 17, he was sectioned for the first time then, he was on medication for 5 years, then he met me, he weaned himself off his tablets, went to the other side of the country and got himself a job, he lived without much of a problem for 22 years, then a death in the family, and he just went to pieces, he was sectioned in 2001 because he would not swallow his saliva, since then he has worked his way back up, and he was nearly ok, then we had such nightmare neighbours move in next door, that made our life a total misery, they were very violent and shouty people, we could not sleep properly for years, we used to walk around with headphones on, and once they left, I thought that would be it, but no, he won't leave the house.
Thank you for the book advice, and I will buy them. But one of his many problems is, he will not (which means me)buy anything, (only food). The other day we had major words, over a light bulb going in the bathroom, he went into meltdown, because I needed to buy a new one, in the end he took one out of an other room ? He gets himself worked up so much. Now that it is summer we have changed our sleeping pattern to going to bed at no later than 4pm and getting up at about 2am, just so that he does not have to hear the neighbours. He also asks me to take things back that I have said, (normal things) he says its not you its me, but he does this about 20 times a day.
So he really is not in the best mental health, I do not hold out much hope that this GP will help, last time I went, I was so upset, and he did not offer me any help, other than say he may section him. My husband thinks that I just go for a walk around the green and our street, he does not know that I go to see the GP, so how will that work, if some men knock on the door to take him away ( he never ever answers the door either) He would never trust me again.
If he is left alone he mainly manages himself, he does not watch tv or read a paper, or anything like that, when he was in hospital with his second heart attack the Dr asked him a few questions, about modern day, he could not answer any of the questions, and got upset because he did not like the questions being asked, the DR stopped because he could see he was getting worked up.
So you see how hard it is, I know he does need help, but it has to be the right help.
I will see what the GP has to say, the appointment is for 9.10 am, last time he said he was in a hurry (he was running late).
I will let you know what happens.
Thank you again Nikitax.

I have just seen the GP, and he said that he will write a letter to them explaining that my husband can not see them on 25th, it would be detrimental to his health. I am going to ring them this morning to explain that he will not let the Atos people in. Last time ESA wanted him to have a face to face his GP wrote a letter, and they backed off for a bit (they said he will have a home visit in the future, that was two years ago) So they will also want him to have a home visit soon. They stopped his DLA about 2 years ago, and we had to appeal this twice at a tribunal. They know full that he does not go out of the house. I have told the GP that they might want him to fax a letter to them, is that what they usually do. The GP has agreed to do that.
I hope that they will just accept a paper based assessment, but I can't see that happening.
The GP has also put me in contact with a carers group that meets once a month at the GP practice.
Thank you again.
 
T

thatsenough

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Spoke to a very nice woman, who listened and even suggested a paper base assessment ?? But she said she will give the details to the medical team to decide if
he can have a paper based assessment, I also told her that the GP was willing to fax a letter to them, and she said they don't have a fax? Oh well the appointment for 25th is now cancelled, and I am just waiting now.
Thank you for your help, I will keep you up to date.
 
M

MYTIMEHASCOME

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Messages
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Spoke to a very nice woman, who listened and even suggested a paper base assessment ?? But she said she will give the details to the medical team to decide if
he can have a paper based assessment, I also told her that the GP was willing to fax a letter to them, and she said they don't have a fax? Oh well the appointment for 25th is now cancelled, and I am just waiting now.
Thank you for your help, I will keep you up to date.
hello :)

Can you not have the letter scanned and then emailed over electronically? - sorry if I've missed something as this may not be viable - hope you get it sorted X
 
T

thatsenough

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Messages
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I am so sorry that your husband gets so distressed over things.The right help is difficult to find I agree and it must be a big strain on you.It sounds extreme going to bed at 4pm and getting up at 2am to avoid noise from neighbors,I do understand it though.It isn't possible to adapt like that without messing up routine normal life and emotionally it must be very painful for you both.It sounds like his condition is quite serious and he has spent his whole life in such distress mentally.

I wish you every luck in getting your husband help to get his health back and I hope the GP or CMHT can be of some help,getting your husband to see a psychologist would be a start.I hope those books do help him.
All the best to you both thatsenough as I said before.Nikitax
Hi,
Received 3 letters today, two saying that they still want to see my husband, and the third saying they have arranged for him to attend a assessment 12 miles away on Aug 1st, what is going on, they were all dated 18th, well I rang them on the 18th at 1pm, so they did not give it much thought. I am fuming, and I do not know what to do next. I already know that they don't listen to a word I have said or wrote.
Please has anyone got any suggestions of what I can do next. I am due to get a letter from his GP today, the girl on the phone on 18th told me to send it in, I have got to ask myself what is the point, then I look how unwell my husband is.
Do you think that they have just given me the standard brush off.
 
S

Stray

Guest
I really feel for you. It may be that the computer generated letters were sent out before your call was logged, so you got a standard letter, or the system wasn't updated, or due to incompetence...
Do you have any contact details for the carers group you mention? Just wondering if they could help advise re any local advocacy service to help you with this, the GP surgery might give you a contact if you don't have one.
Is your husband under a mental health team? They could advise, may have a carer support officer who could support you.Or you could try your MP? Explain your struggle and ask them to intervene on your behalf? I had some success with this about another issue.
I am sorry you are going through this, wish the system was more humane and understanding. xx
 
T

thatsenough

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On reading the letter again , letter one and two says, We have looked at your claim again. Then thank you for contacting us, letter one, our health professional would still like you to attend a assessment, we will write to you again with a time and place. Letter two, our health professional has reviewed the information we have, and would still like you to attend an assessment interview, we still need to see you for a consultation, but that this can be done in your home so that you will not need to travel.We will write to you again as soon as we have an appointment available.
Are these just standard letters, I do not know what my next move will be, except I am going to have to phone them again, I will leave it till next week.
 
S

Stray

Guest
It sounds as though they are going to contact you about a home visit. Hope the GP letter and any other support you can access will help. x
 
T

thatsenough

Member
Joined
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Messages
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I really feel for you. It may be that the computer generated letters were sent out before your call was logged, so you got a standard letter, or the system wasn't updated, or due to incompetence...
Do you have any contact details for the carers group you mention? Just wondering if they could help advise re any local advocacy service to help you with this, the GP surgery might give you a contact if you don't have one.
Is your husband under a mental health team? They could advise, may have a carer support officer who could support you.Or you could try your MP? Explain your struggle and ask them to intervene on your behalf? I had some success with this about another issue.
I am sorry you are going through this, wish the system was more humane and understanding. xx
Hi thank you for writing, No my husband will not see anyone, I go to see his GP, for him. Just to bring you up to date, he was supposed to have a home visit on Monday 25th, I phoned to cancel, I told them that his GP had written a letter saying that it would be detromental to his health, I told them this on Monday 18th July, these letters are dated Monday 18th of July, one of which is stating that he can have a home visit. So if I hasd only received the two letters, than I would be back to the beginning, but it is the 3rd letter that has got me worried, it gives a time and place for a assement, which is 12 miles away from where we live.
As for me, the GP gave me a leaflet to join the carers group from his surgery, but they only meet once a month, I am just upset and panicking at the moment.
 
T

thatsenough

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Hi thank you for writing, No my husband will not see anyone, I go to see his GP, for him. Just to bring you up to date, he was supposed to have a home visit on Monday 25th, I phoned to cancel, I told them that his GP had written a letter saying that it would be detromental to his health, I told them this on Monday 18th July, these letters are dated Monday 18th of July, one of which is stating that he can have a home visit. So if I hasd only received the two letters, than I would be back to the beginning, but it is the 3rd letter that has got me worried, it gives a time and place for a assement, which is 12 miles away from where we live.
As for me, the GP gave me a leaflet to join the carers group from his surgery, but they only meet once a month, I am just upset and panicking at the moment.
Hi, Just phoned atos, got a very robotic woman on the phone. She would not let me cancel the 1st Aug appointment, I can't see GP till tomorrow now ?
She has told me to ring them on the same 0300 number, she was adamant that I should not contact the DWP, as they are not dealing with it, she is ?
Could not talk with her, she was very cold. We are not going to take your word for it that he is house bound. I will go to the GP surgery today to get the letter, and she what that says.
I have got the MP email and phone number, also my local CAB.
It is not even 9am and I feel so tired.
 
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