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Advocate "Unable to attend"

Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Posts: 100Member Courageous
Hi all, I don't know if anybody else has experienced this. I posted last week that I have been invited to attend a PIP assessment this coming Monday, at 08.45 hrs. I have been in contact over the last few months with a local group who provide advocates to attend WCA/PIP assessments with claimants (where I live, the rule of thumb from all advisers has been to NEVER attend an assessment unless accompanied by someone in the know). I was contacted by the group yesterday, and was informed that their advocate would not be able to accompany me, as "Its too early" - apparently, they dont start work until 9am! I'm a bit prone to 'seeing' bigger schemes in things than are actually there for real, and my head's been doing cartwheels since receiving the call. Has anyone else ever had this happen to them? Is this just a one-off, or is it something that others have experienced?


  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,255Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Not heard of this before. Sounds a bit inflexible of the advisors

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,761Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello just like to say you are not alone in this.  I have had in the past differculty with advocates I had appointed to help through certain problems I was experiencing with some medical professionals.  Had to cancel I afraid when they could not attend.  I know its annoying and frustrating.  I understand.  I agree that they should some flexibility here why not.
  • Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Posts: 100Member Courageous
    edited September 2017
    @CockneyRebel Inflexible is exactly what I thought mate, especially when its a group who deal with mental health issues, and are totally up to speed with how difficult it is for me to attend such as this, the problems it can cause me, and the trouble I can end up in, etc.
    @thespiceman While I'm sorry to hear that its happened to you, its a relief to know that its not a case of it 'just being me', if you get my meaning? Since posting this this morning, I've heard from two unconnected people locally who have both recently had it happen to them, for reasons different than the assessments being too early in the day. I've spoken to someone else from a health group I attend who is trying to sort someone to accompany me, and she did tell me that the workload for advocates in my area is through the roof, and, while I'm not the ideal person to be allowed to run round free among the humans, I do appreciate that there are some who are a lot worse off than myself, who should take priority if the need arises. I'll just have to wait it out and see what happens.
    Thank you to both of you for responding (I've calmed down a bit and come down off the ceiling now)

  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,761Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello thanks for comments which I enjoy reading by the way.  I have found in the last couple of years that all these services are so overstretched and I have to recognise that.  I was startled the other day when I received an E-Mail the other week that the support worker had sent me.  It was sent late evening.  I know that it is not easy getting help and support especially mental health and advocate services.  I have said this computer I use is a lifeline.  Because my support goes like this initial contact then face to face then E-Mail support.  Then if my problems they can come back in to support me as recent ESA issues.  Plus other help such as appointments, form etc.  I am only too aware of so many of these services is now funding.  I am sure in the future SKYPE will be used to check how you are doing.  I know this was discussed at a conference I was attending on Mental Health. Wish you the best in your assessment
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 947Member Pioneering
    Hi @Barrylad1957,

    Sorry to hear about your advocate not being able to attend with you.

    Is there anyone else who can go with you? 

    I think it would be reasonable to talk to the assessment provider to see if you can re-schedule the appointment. Is this something you'll do or will you try to find someone else to go with you?

    Best wishes
  • Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Posts: 100Member Courageous
    Hiya Debbie, I spent the past few days getting it sorted. I panicked a bit ('cos I do), I called Involve NW/Connect us (who have been helping me with adjusting since having to finish work) and the person I deal with there is coming with me, and, she couldnt understand why I had sought advocacy elsewhere. I honestly didnt know they did attending assessments, etc., and to be honest I'm a lot more comfortable with her than I would have been with someone I only half know. I'm extremely grateful for her help, just as I am to yourself, and the others who have posted supporting comments. Scope, and this forum in particular, have been invaluable in helping me to realise that when something like this occurs, it is'nt "Just me" that things like this happen to, and it means so much to me to have that reassurance. Thank you again, everybody; I hope that I can use my experiences over the coming weeks to help others as I have been helped.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 947Member Pioneering
    Hi @Barrylad1957,

    I'm so pleased to see that you've got support on the day now and with someone you already know. 

    I wish you all the very best for the assessment next week. I know you'll be anxious and for most people it's an exhausting day. If you're able to, make some notes after the assessment while it's fresh in your head just in case you need them.

    I look forward to the next update and thanks again for sharing with us.

    Have a good weekend
    Debbie :)
  • Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Posts: 100Member Courageous
    Thanks, Debbie. Also, probably worth mentioning, that the group who are helping me on Monday are also taking steps (via contact with our MP) to hasten the date of my WCA; I've been in UC limbo since January, but apparently, I'm not alone - some people have been waiting over 18 months(!) already. So, fingers crossed  :) Have a lovely weekend yourself
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