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Medical discharge from University Officer Training Corps

Hello, long term browser and new user of the site here for some help (hopefully!).

I was a member of the UOTC and an Army undergraduate bursar during my time at university. I injured my left ankle in 2013 on exercise on a reserve course at Sandhurst. I was hospitalised and x-rayed, but didn't receive further treatment at the hospital as there were no drivers available to take me back to Sandhurst if I stayed in hospital overnight.

After a week of no improvement (my "rest" included walking a mile round trip to the med centre four times a day to ice the limb, and full room inspections every morning on top of a loaded schedule, with less than 5 hours sleep per night) the staff at Sandhurst gave me an automatic car and sent me on my way, with the advice that I would need to attend A&E to receive treatment as they couldn't organise treatment through an Army hospital as I was TA.

On arrival at A&E I was sent packing as the NHS staff didn't feel it was an emergency (8 days after the accident) and I was told to see my GP, who in turn referred me to a specialist. My leg continued to worsen during this time to the extent that I was put in a cast pending an MRI, while on a large amount of painkillers.

At this point I asked my unit if I could receive any medical support and they told me that reservists have no right to military care. I accepted this and continued a conservative treatment plan of rest and physio for about six months, which resulted in my deferring final year of uni because I was on high doses of tramadol. My unit did put me on the TA disability allowance for the period during which I

I ultimately returned to action with the UOTC, lasting about 3 months before the pain worsened again to the point that I couldn't walk more than half a mile in trainers without stopping, or walk in boots at all. At this point I returned to the NHS and the specialist booked me in for a tibialis posterior transfer. I sent away to the AFCS at this point and received £6000 shortly after the operation last April.

At the same time the bursary team at Sandhurst began threatening me with legal action as I told them I wouldn't be able to attend Sandhurst in September. My unit told me to back down and go to a medical so they wouldn't start trying to recover the £3000 I'd had in bursary payments, which I did. This was a five hour round trip ten days after an operation while on crutches, and I was graded P8.

By this point I was really struggling mentally, as I was isolated and couldn't work so had no income, and as a student wasn't eligible for any help from the council. I asked the Army again and they put me back on the TA disability allowance but told me that I couldn't get any other support.

I found myself a grad job in civvie street, which was all well and good until January this year when my ankle began to go again. By February I was struggling to walk, but luckily my new job includes health insurance so I managed to get in for surgery last Wednesday (talonavicular fusion).

A couple of weeks before the operation I called my unit to get some advice about whether I could get the disability allowance again, and was told no as I should have been discharged. My adjutant then investigated and found that not only had I not been discharged, but the notes from the previous medical had been lost and I was still graded as fully fit.

I managed to get a medical board the day before the operation, at which I was asked about how my experience of the ARC had been. I explained that I'd not been eligible as I was TA which they refuted (correctly) and was told that I should have received the full package as I was injured while on duty. The doctor there speculated that I'd likely have made, if not a full, much better recovery if I'd received prompt and appropriate treatment immediately after the injury.

I was fuming last Tuesday when I discovered that my requests for medical support had been refused for no valid reason, and gave my unit a ring. The adj clammed up as soon as I said I thought things had been done wrong, and asked me if I had any evidence that I'd asked for medical support. I forwarded him an email from 2014 where I'd asked for help, to which he responded that I'd not been entered onto WISMIS as the initial medical diagnosis on the day of the injury had prescribed 14 days light duties (this despite having, across two years, over ten months of sick notes specifying that I was in too much pain to walk).

He told me to raise a service complaint or the matter wouldn't be investigated, which I told him wouldn't work as I couldn't freely attend interviews with the chain of command. He knew this as a previous medical complaint about the inital treatment had been closed by the CO as I couldn't attend interview within the month timeframe specified because I couldn't take the time off work (I've moved cities now).

I am now on statutory sick pay for at least the next six weeks while I'm stuck in bed letting the bones in my foot knit, and am completely clueless about what I should be doing. My unit have been less than helpful, telling me that I wasn't eligible for the disability allowance anymore, which I queried with the DBS who told me I could have it. The paperwork is with my unit and I managed to get a written confirmation that they'd send it off today, but they've ignored my past 3 emails asking about what steps to take next.

Could anyone give me any advice at all? I feel completely stuck as I can't get on with my civvie life because of the injury, and can't get any help from my unit as they've become incredibly hostile since I called them out on their mishandling of everything.
 

Mattb

LE
Get a lawyer?


Talking out of my bum, via a mobile telephone.
 

mso

LE
Raise a service complaint.

Simples
 

Bris

LE
He told me to raise a service complaint or the matter wouldn't be investigated, which I told him wouldn't work as I couldn't freely attend interviews with the chain of command.........The paperwork is with my unit and I managed to get a written confirmation that they'd send it off today, but they've ignored my past 3 emails asking about what steps to take next.
Raise the service complaint, and document/photocopy/record everything.

Interviews can be done over the phone if you can't attend in person; record it if you can (politely inform the other party that you're recording it). They are also able to come to you/have an investigating officer attend.

Anything else is the unit being slack.
 
If you were an undergraduate bursar, essentially you have lost your career as a regular, very possibly due to inappropriate actions at the time of the original injury. Which occurred at RMAS, a place that one would think would be quite familiar with such events occurring to young officer cadets.

I would be speaking to a lawyer in a military garrison. RMAS and the unit have done you wrong. Service Complaint will only address your (time limited) UOTC career. Lawsuit will address your (lost) regular career.

Adjt and CO are *******. Make them pay.
 
Thanks for all the advice, really great to get such a good response. Set the ball rolling with the complaint as well as the lawyer side of things, and managed to find somebody from outside of my unit who's been kind enough to investigate the welfare side of things for me.

I've had a look through the forums and appreciate that there's a lot of ambiguity in some of the AFCS terminology, but would anyone more medically inclined be able to give an opinion on what I might be assessed as? I initially damaged the tib post tendon, which resulted in some bones shifting so the arch in my foot collapsed. I had a talonavicular fusion and was wondering if the overall injury would be counted as a Table 8 Item 2 award - "Dislocation of one ... ankle ... which has required ... arthrodesis".

Thank you again for advice so far. It's been so refreshing after a tough few years.
 
Actually one more AFCS question:

When calculating the salary what would they use? As a TA OCdt I was on ~£45/day = £16,500. A regular OCdt is now on £25,472. That's not taking into account the increase I would have seen if I had commissioned. Thanks in advance.
 
Get a lawyer?


Talking out of my bum, via a mobile telephone.

You're being fucked around and over

This GET A SOLICITOR. I'll even ping you mine, who paid my mortgage off for me. Standby for message
 
Actually one more AFCS question:

When calculating the salary what would they use? As a TA OCdt I was on ~£45/day = £16,500. A regular OCdt is now on £25,472. That's not taking into account the increase I would have seen if I had commissioned. Thanks in advance.
The actual one you were paid.
 

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