Medical Examinations - Avoiding & Resolving unnecessary delays

Ninja_Stoker

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AFCO Medicals are contracted to a third-party civilian company which employs civilian contracted Doctors to conduct the medicals to the required standard.

For those yet to attend a Medical Examination


For those yet to undertake the medical read the medical appointment letter (below) and act before it's too late

Medical Appointment Letter said:
Dear Thingy

With reference to your application to enter the Naval Service, an appointment has now been made for you to be medically examined by a Service Doctor. You should report to [location of medical examination] at [time/date]

It is important that before attending this appointment you should discuss your past medical history with your parents/guardian to ensure you can answer any questions that the Doctor may ask. If you suffer from a medical condition that may affect your entry as listed on page 4 and 5 of the Application Form Information and Guidance Form [Pdf, post two, below], it is advisable to obtain written details of the condition from your Doctor and take them to your medical*.

In order to verify your identity, you must bring an official document that includes a photograph. (Passport, Driving licence, Student ID etc)

You should avoid loud noises (ipods, night clubs, machinery etc) for a minimum of 48 hours prior to your appointment.

If you suffer from ear wax problems, please ensure your ears are clear by visiting your Doctor or Practice Nurse prior to your appointment.

You should be aware that you will be required to undress down to your underwear during this medical examination, therefore; accordingly, underwear of a modest nature should be worn.

If you would like to bring a chaperone to this medical examination you may bring a friend or a family member to accompany you.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend this appointment.

The Application form information and guidance notes are attached as a pdf in the post below, indicate which medical conditions are likely to require additional information. Don't wait - provide the information upfront and it will make life so much easier. Be aware however, for those with ANY a history of asthma, you don't know the precise questions on the asthma questionnaire or which method of measurement is used on the peak flow diary, you stand the risk of duplicating your efforts. In the case of asthma, you have to accept there will be a four week delay for the peak flow diary and completion of the asthma questionnaire by your GP.

For those who are currently Temporarily Medically Unfit TMU

Your AFCO staff cannot unfortunately communicate or intervene with the contracted Doctor due to medical confidentiality, beyond booking the initial medical appointment and subsequent appointments as advised by the civilian administration contractor, who act as intermediaries.

The civilian contractor can take up to 40 days to pay your GP for the information required. Very often GP surgeries insist on being paid first. The letter clearly states your GP cannot be paid until the information has been provided - according to , the contracted Medical company which employs the Doctors.

To speed up the process, talk to your surgery, tell them, this is delaying your application - ask them to provide the required information then invoice for payment - they will get paid as indicated on the letter from the AFCO Medical Examiner.

If your GP Surgery has sent the information as requested and you still haven't heard anything regarding your medical suitability after a couple of weeks, contact your AFCO to confirm they have received your GP notes and are ready to move forward with the next stage of resolving your medical suitability.

If your GP surgery won't do as you request, you then need to wait for the issue to be resolved via PMG and your GP surgery. You could, if you wish, ask your GP surgery for a Subject Access Request Form under the Data Protection Act - and request a complete copy of your entire medical records. They can charge for this, but only reprographic costs, which is a fraction of the fees they usually charge & they must respond within a much shorter timescale.

Your rights here, if you wish to go down the Subject Access Request route: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1309.aspx?categoryid=68

* NOTE: This includes ANY broken bones - even it it happened years ago.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Medical Examination - What's involved?

The medical consists of a check of your previous medical history & a run-through the medical questionnaire together with:

Hearing Test
Colour Perception Test
Height
Weight
Pulse
Chest
Blood Pressure
Urine test
Reflexes
Mobility of joints

In addition to the above, you will also undergo a dynamic musculoskeletal assessment. which includes couple of press-ups, gait - walking on your toes, walking on the heels, walking on outsides of your feet, "duck walking" (5 or so steps squatting flexed at knees, hips & ankles), heel raises - 5 on each leg, with other leg raised & the Beighton test for hypermobility (a score of 4 or more may mean further tests).

The majority of individuals are told on the day if they pass or fail. A handful maybe placed Temporarily Medically Unfit pending the gathering of more information regarding a condition termed significant. If needs be certain individuals are sent to see a service consultant for a definite way forward.

Standards for entry below:
 

Attachments

  • Standards For Entry.pdf
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Ninja_Stoker

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Medical Appeals and Deferrals

There is often confusion in this area.

To explain:

Medical Appeal

You cannot appeal against a medical decision before you have been formally informed you have not met the medical standards for entry, usually by letter - after the medical examination, often after the Medical Examiner has gained all relevant information about a medical condition in your medical history.

The letter advising the individual of the outcome of their medical will advise the procedure for medical appeal if applicable. The Medical Examiner will advise the individual the specific reason for the decision with regard medical suitability and the circumstances, if any, which must be met.

The medical standards cannot themselves be appealed against unfortunately. All too often people appeal because they simply don't agree with the medical standards, but they are non-negotiable. This means if a certain condition or treatment has ever occurred, then the circumstances unfortunately make the individual permanently medically unsuitable for service.

Certain conditions can be appealed if they can be proven, with qualified supporting medical evidence, to have been misdiagnosed or treated incorrectly - the medical examiner will advise if this is practical in your case.

The appeal letter should be sent to your AFCO, be polite, short & to the point, something along the lines of:

Dear Careers Adviser..........

Reference: Medical Appeal 'Your Full Name" DOB dd/mm/yyyy

Further to my Royal Marines Medical Examination at "time" on dd/mm/yyyy in London/wherever, I write to appeal against the decision regarding medical suitability for service.

I enclose medical evidence from my GP/Consultant Specialist [in a sealed envelope with your name/DOB on the outside, with the words "Protect Medical"] in support of my appeal with clarification of the specific dates and full historic detail and diagnosis of the condition including any relevant treatment or recurrence.


Yours Sincerely

..............

Deferral (TMU)

In some instances a certain period must elapse after surgery or a target weight reached before an individual can be passed fit to enter or the Medical Examiner requires more information regarding your medical history. In this instance you'll be placed Temporarily Medically Unfit (TMU) until those criteria are met. TMU is not a "fail" it's merely a deferral.

Beware "selective hearing". Very often the medical examiner will say something along the lines of "You've passed everything except..." - This means you haven't passed yet. It does not mean "You've passed everything". Those who don't provide the medical notes requested in the medical appointment letter (above) will be placed TMU until a decision can be made. You MUST drive the application forward, the AFCO cannot whilst it is in the hands of the contracted medical companies.

Some AFCOs will send a letter similar to this (below) to help clarify;

TMU example letter said:
Dear applicant ,

I refer to your recent medical examination for entry into the Naval Service. The Medical Examiner will have explained that your application has been deferred whilst you are ?Temporarily Medically Unfit? (TMU) pending resolution of issues regarding your medical history. You should read this letter carefully to enable a timely and definitive decision regarding your medical suitability for Service. You should be aware that due to medical confidentiality, the specific details regarding your medical deferral will not be disclosed to your Careers Adviser.

If you have been given a letter to pass to your General Practitioner (GP), you are advised to ensure your GP surgery has responded and, where appropriate, despatched the information required to the address provided. Your GP may be aware medical fees, where appropriate, will not be paid until the information has been provided.

Once the information is received by the Medical Examiner your Career Adviser will be directed to book a subsequent Medical Appointment where you will be informed of the outcome regarding suitability for Service. If you have not been contacted within 14 days of the requested information being sent, you are advised to contact your Careers Adviser.

If you have any questions regarding the above, or have decided you no longer wish to continue with your application, I would be grateful if you would let me know by calling the above number. If we have not heard from you within the 60 days of your initial medical appointment, we will assume that you are no longer interested and your application will be withdrawn.

Yours sincerely, a careers adviser
 
C

C

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Do GPs records have everything ie. do they include things that were dealt with entirely in hospital like A&E visits?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Just a timely reminder for those due a medical examnation.

Follow the advice in post #1, you could save weeks/months of delay.
 

Wingzero

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I am a royal class MUPPET for not bringing my medical documents and instead going willy nilly thinking everything would be ok into the appointment.
EVERYONE it is highly advisable that you DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE. Request your medical notes from your GP and save yourself a world of bumhurt and time. Better to have a decisive decision so you know where you stand than a deferral which will do nothing but wind you up and you may still fail regardless.
The GP will want to charge but *text deleted* it, if you are serious about joining, PAY.

The way I feel right now...
 

Sheffblade

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Is it alright to do an interval session on treadmill the night before medical
 

Ninja_Stoker

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I'm certainly no medical expert but I'd recommend you avoid a phys session within 24 to 48 hours before the medical to ensure you have a nice low BP & no protein in your pee. Usual drill - avoid tea/coffee/energy drinks, protein shakes, loud noise, supplements, etc. for at least 24 hours. Drink lots of water so you can readily provide a sample.
 

Ryan11

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Ninja , slightly off topic, I'm looking for an email address or an address I can write to for a point of contact for a medical query I have. Due to the nature of my work I am not able to use my mobile phone for the next three weeks and have limited time on the internet, which is why I cannot phone. I have reviewed the med standards for entry but my query is not listed and I know that the list is not exhaustive.

I would just like to get confirmation before proceeding with my application and wasting anyones time/money.

Would you happen to know of a point of contact? I cannot even call my Afco to ask them..

thanks,
Ryan
 

Yazoo

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I have my medical tomorrow and am worried about passing the hearing test. I went to the GP on Friday and i have a build up of fluid behind my right eardrum which is affecting my hearing. If I explain this to the medical examiner and fail my hearing test, should I be able to repeat my medical?
 

Calculatorcheesecup

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Hi,

Could I ask what specific medical history question's (Ie Broken bones etc) are on the medical questionnaire? Just so I can get notes prepared.

Thanks.
 

LRL

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Would you advise taking the medical questionnaire to your GP with you and fill it it with your GP since they have all the medical notes including the dates etc...?
 

Calculatorcheesecup

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I'm not sure it works like that does it? Do you take the form away? I assumed it was all done there hence why they recommend taking notes?
 

CSVern

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Could I ask what specific medical history question's (Ie Broken bones etc) are on the medical questionnaire? Just so I can get notes prepared.
It's very specific, as in everything that's ever needed medical attention will have a box to tick. From what I remember there are three solid pages of tick boxes.
I'm not sure it works like that does it? Do you take the form away? I assumed it was all done there hence why they recommend taking notes?
You get a medical questionnaire on or around your recruit test to fill in and send back to your AFCO in your own time. You can request your full medical history from your GP (might cost £10-30ish) if you can't remember all that might need declaring.
You get advise to take your medical notes to the medical because if you have declared anything, as 99% of people will have, the ME will want to double check that you are fit to proceed and to do so needs to see your medical record. Having it there with you saves them writing to your GP to request it.
Would you advise taking the medical questionnaire to your GP with you and fill it it with your GP since they have all the medical notes including the dates etc...?
If I was a busy GP I would be pretty peeved if someone made an appointment because they wanted help filling in a form. If you request your medical notes it will give you the needed info, and as a bonus you will have them to show the ME at your medical.
 

LRL

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If I was a busy GP I would be pretty peeved if someone made an appointment because they wanted help filling in a form. If you request your medical notes it will give you the needed info, and as a bonus you will have them to show the ME at your medical.[/QUOTE]

Okay, but would you say it's worth getting a letter from the GP about something you may have declared, attach it to the medical questionnaire and send it off?
 

CSVern

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Okay, but would you say it's worth getting a letter from the GP about something you may have declared, attach it to the medical questionnaire and send it off?
If you've declared something that needs further investigation at your medical the ME will want to make the decision for themselves by looking at your medical records, rather than on the word of your GP.
In other words, it can't hurt but I doubt it would make a difference in most circumstances.
 

LRL

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I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and fill in the form and send it off whilst hoping for the best. Problem is I can't remember exact date of when I broke a bone etc..
 

CSVern

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Best guess is fine, for some of mine the best I could do is the year.
 

prmsitxy123

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NEED ADVICE - I have been medically referred due to a asthma superscription i had in June 2013. It will be 2017 until i start the application process again. I am going to appeal however the AFCO did reinforce how strict they are with there medical standards, and with good reason. I am going to appeal and have booked an appointment with my GP to see what she can do with my medical records. I have also made an appointment at the Asthma Clinic to do a test to prove i no longer have Asthma and to indicate i was only given an inhaler as a precaution because there was a history of asthma in the family. Is there anything else i could to increase the chances of my appeal being successful, any advice was be greatly appreciated.
 
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