Medical question

mumofson

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my son told the nurse on the pre medical that he had an inhaler issued to him as a small child. He is now 17. The doctor filled out the questionnaire saying that his last issue for asthma sysmptoms was 2007 ( to clarify he didn’t use them regularly as he only got a bit wheezy when he had a cold). He then began to swim competitively and the symptoms vanished completely and no inhalers were prescribed as none required. He had a bout of flu which resulted in a chest infection in Dec 2015 and the doctor said that as he had had inhalers in the past it might help if he used one to ease his chest pain and cough. We didn’t actually get the inhaler as son felt it wouldn’t help,and the situation cleared on its own.

The form filled out by the gp stated that he isn’t taking asthma meds, had no symptoms or any sort 8n last four years, not used any treatment in last four years, not had inhalers since 2007;no oral steroids, no hospital admits etc. The only blip was that he was prescribed the inhaler in 2015 for the above chest infection. The doc put this under the question re standby medication.

The letter today said, despite not having asthma he has had “episodes” in 2007 and 2015 requiring inhalers and despite two episodes not being stated in the requirements he was declared unfit. He was told a four year period without inhalers, it has been 10 and the 2015 was prescribed for a one off chest infection but not filled out and not used. It does not say that he can reapply when the 2015 date becomes four years ago ie 2019, it’s just a flat no.

He is so upset as he doesn’t understand why, if it was ten years ago that he last had inhalers he is being declared pmu. We are consider8ng getting doc to write a report and appealing. Any idea why ten years is not long enough when it says four?
 

Mattys

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my son told the nurse on the pre medical that he had an inhaler issued to him as a small child. He is now 17. The doctor filled out the questionnaire saying that his last issue for asthma sysmptoms was 2007 ( to clarify he didn’t use them regularly as he only got a bit wheezy when he had a cold). He then began to swim competitively and the symptoms vanished completely and no inhalers were prescribed as none required. He had a bout of flu which resulted in a chest infection in Dec 2015 and the doctor said that as he had had inhalers in the past it might help if he used one to ease his chest pain and cough. We didn’t actually get the inhaler as son felt it wouldn’t help,and the situation cleared on its own.

The form filled out by the gp stated that he isn’t taking asthma meds, had no symptoms or any sort 8n last four years, not used any treatment in last four years, not had inhalers since 2007;no oral steroids, no hospital admits etc. The only blip was that he was prescribed the inhaler in 2015 for the above chest infection. The doc put this under the question re standby medication.

The letter today said, despite not having asthma he has had “episodes” in 2007 and 2015 requiring inhalers and despite two episodes not being stated in the requirements he was declared unfit. He was told a four year period without inhalers, it has been 10 and the 2015 was prescribed for a one off chest infection but not filled out and not used. It does not say that he can reapply when the 2015 date becomes four years ago ie 2019, it’s just a flat no.

He is so upset as he doesn’t understand why, if it was ten years ago that he last had inhalers he is being declared pmu. We are consider8ng getting doc to write a report and appealing. Any idea why ten years is not long enough when it says four?



I think it’s the fact that he was still prescribed the inhaler in 2015 regardless of wether he used it or not thats the only issue I can see why they’ve said he has to be 4 years clear.

As it stated in the letter he had “ephisodes” in 2015 meaning given inhalers and capitam will look at that and just say 4 years clear to cover there own end regardless of if he needed them or not he was still prescribed them that’s the issue.

Even a letter from a gp saying everything is okay isn’t 100% guaranteed to cover you as I had this issue and was still failed on it even tho here was no issue just capita doctors have there own standards and it’s all black and white with them so they look and see inhalers 2015 the rule is must be 4 years clue tmu till 2019 providing no inhalers in that time.

I’m not quite sure personally if there is anything thst can be done maybe have a word with capita and explain the situation to see if you can get any info on it?
 

JWJ

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If the inhalers weren't for asthma in 2015 it's probably best to get a GP note explaining why they were prescribed and being sure to be clear it was solely for a chest infection and not asthma, along with medical records in a appeal.

If not it'll be a case of waiting until 2019
 

Chelonian

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my son told the nurse on the pre medical that he had an inhaler issued to him as a small child. He is now 17.

A warm welcome. As stated by others the issue is likely to be that your lad's medical records indicate that an inhaler was prescribed in 2015 regardless of whether it was 'precautionary' and never used. From a purely black-and-white point of view GPs only issue meds when the clinical need is appropriate. But clearly life sometimes presents grey areas which don't conform to the routine.

It may be possible to present a case which explains particular circumstances in such a way that the 2015 prescription is disregarded but (to manage expectations) it may be that your lad has to postpone his application until 2019. Well under two years from now possibly. At age seventeen he will then be in the optimum age range for successfully passing Recruit Training. He definitely has time on his side!

Meanwhile, it is best to be mindful of prescriptions should your lad have any further contact with medical professionals. Best of luck.
 

mumofson

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Thanks to all for your replies. I think what has upset him most is that the letter doesn’t say he is regarded temporarily unfit and can reapply in 2019 is it just says he is medically unfit and wishes him well, thanks him for interest in the service etc. Does the letter usually say temporarily unfit and give a date when application can be reconsidered or does it just say medically unfit and it’s down to the individual to try again if they want it enough?

Personally from a purely mum point of view 19 would be better a bit more mature and all that. He’s finishing A levels next summer and it’s effectively just over a year from that.
 

Chelonian

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Personally from a purely mum point of view 19 would be better a bit more mature and all that. He’s finishing A levels next summer and it’s effectively just over a year from that.

For what it's worth, I agree. Your 'Mum' instinct may well be correct! But I (just about) remember how impatient I was at age seventeen. :)

Used wisely the two years will stand him in good stead. Aside from brushing up on his Corps history he can get a grip on the basics of map reading and navigation and build a sound level of fitness in preparation for his PRMC. Perhaps more importantly he can become familiar with dhobi (laundry) and get onto friendly terms with a steam iron! If he is adept with both it will be a major benefit to him when he starts Recruit Training.

The best people to give you a definitive answer about the content of the letter your lad received are either @Ninja_Stoker or @CHUB! when they spot your post.
 
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For what it's worth, I agree. Your 'Mum' instinct may well be correct! But I (just about) remember how impatient I was at age seventeen. :)

Used wisely the two years will stand him in good stead. Aside from brushing up on his Corps history he can get a grip on the basics of map reading and navigation and build a sound level of fitness in preparation for his PRMC. Perhaps more importantly he can become familiar with dhobi (laundry) and get onto friendly terms with a steam iron! If he is adept with both it will be a major benefit to him when he starts Recruit Training.

The best people to give you a definitive answer about the content of the letter your lad received are either @Ninja_Stoker or @CHUB! when they spot your post.
Thanks to all for your replies. I think what has upset him most is that the letter doesn’t say he is regarded temporarily unfit and can reapply in 2019 is it just says he is medically unfit and wishes him well, thanks him for interest in the service etc. Does the letter usually say temporarily unfit and give a date when application can be reconsidered or does it just say medically unfit and it’s down to the individual to try again if they want it enough?

Personally from a purely mum point of view 19 would be better a bit more mature and all that. He’s finishing A levels next summer and it’s effectively just over a year from that.
It is a standard letter, unless it is a clear case of a temporary condition.
 
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It is a standard letter, unless it is a clear case of a temporary condition.
And I agree it is a really badly worded letter, it sounds so final and if you didn't have forums like this, you might never know you could appeal.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Just to clarify the terminology:

Temporarily Medically Unfit simply means your medical suitability has not yet been determined.

Permanently Medically Unfit means you cannot join at this precise moment in time for as long as the current criteria cannot be met. In other words, you could be fit to enter tomorrow if there's no recurrence in the interim but here and now, you cannot join until the criteria can be met. Permanent doesn't always mean forever, but in some instances it can.

Back to the original issue, the contracted company who conduct the medical (Capita) are given black and white criteria by the Navy. It's not the company's choice, they are doing what they are directed to do.

In the case of inhalers that are prescribed for upper respiratory tract infection which present asthma symptoms such as a wheeze, etc., it is sometimes worth lodging an appeal but ONLY if the medical record specifically indicates it was prescribed for the infection AND the inhaler is still unused/unopened or the prescription not collected.

Trouble is, a prior history of asthma makes it difficult to claim it was asthma, but it isn't now.

Best of luck.
 
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Just to clarify the terminology:

Temporarily Medically Unfit simply means your medical suitability has not yet been determined.

Permanently Medically Unfit means you cannot join at this precise moment in time for as long as the current criteria cannot be met. In other words, you could be fit to enter tomorrow if there's no recurrence in the interim but here and now, you cannot join until the criteria can be met. Permanent doesn't always mean forever, but in some instances it can.

Back to the original issue, the contracted company who conduct the medical (Capita) are given black and white criteria by the Navy. It's not the company's choice, they are doing what they are directed to do.

In the case of inhalers that are prescribed for upper respiratory tract infection which present asthma symptoms such as a wheeze, etc., it is sometimes worth lodging an appeal but ONLY if the medical record specifically indicates it was prescribed for the infection AND the inhaler is still unused/unopened or the prescription not collected.

Trouble is, a prior history of asthma makes it difficult to claim it was asthma, but it isn't now.

Best of luck.
Perhaps they should just remove the part of the letter that says ' thank you for your interest in a career in the armed forces and we wish you luck in whatever you do in the future - and replace it with a sentence referring you back to your afco for clarification?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Perhaps they should just remove the part of the letter that says ' thank you for your interest in a career in the armed forces and we wish you luck in whatever you do in the future - and replace it with a sentence referring you back to your afco for clarification?
There are two letters, a specific one from Capita detailing the specific reason and a generic one from the AFCO stating "thanks for your interest". Personally, I think we should ditch the AFCO letter as applicants don't need telling twice and the AFCO one is deliberately vague as the reasons are medical-in-confidence.
 
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