The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
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Can UK based school legally require me to see their doctor to get extra time on exams?

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by brooke, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. brooke

    brooke

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    My recent test results from Dr Myhill showed a disability score of 3/10. Based on this and on seeing the treatments that have worked for the past year, my doctor wrote a letter requesting extra time on exams for school and rest breaks between exams.

    The university said the standard amount of extra time is 25%. That may be true but in the US, severe diseases like MS get double time (I have a friend with MS). My doctor has decided my case is this severe.

    Can the university force me to see their NHS doctor to get a new recommendation or are they required to take the doctor’s recommendation from the letter I have? I did go to the NHS doctor for an unrelated problem and when I asked if they wanted the results said no because they wouldn’t be able to read them. I know the amount of time I am asking for is fair, but I do not have faith that the NHS doctor I see will know enough about my disease to make an adequate recommendation.

    What are my options here?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  2. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge plodder

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    You should contact Tymes Trust which is an organisation for young people with ME I'm sure they will know about this issue
     
  3. brooke

    brooke

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    I should clarify, it’s a university, not a school. @NelliePledge, does that change anything?
     
    Luther Blissett likes this.
  4. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    It is still worth asking the tymes trust as they may know or they may know who to ask.
     
  5. Alvin2

    Alvin2 If humans were rational...

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    Avoid the NHS doctor if you legally can, last thing you need is someone who believes your lying giving incorrect evidence against you.
    That said i don't know if they can legally require it, but don't take an answer saying yes as gospel, find the relevant law to confirm if you get the wrong answer (its often easier to lie then to admit or hunt down the truth)
     
  6. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge plodder

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    Sorry B not up to speed on impacts on younger people I just know that Tymes Trust are the best organisation for helping younger people
     
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  7. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member

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    I would still contact the Tymes Trust as you are in education. If they can't help they may know who can. Good luck.
     
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  8. charles shepherd

    charles shepherd Senior Member

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    Hi Brooke

    Firstly, we have a brand new MEA information leaflet covering most aspects of university life if you have ME/CFS:

    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/201...age-at-university-with-m-e-25-september-2017/

    Secondly, I have written and signed a 'To Whom It may Concern' letter which can used when requesting modifications to course work, exams etc:

    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/shop/to-whom-letters/exam-arrangements/

    Thirdly, we have a lot of university students on the MEA Facebook. So it may be worth raising this question there as well - for replies based on personal experience

    MEAF link: https://www.facebook.com/meassociation/
    We can do this for you without identifying your name


    Finally, in regard to your specific situation, I think you should make an appointment with the person or department who deals with disabled students at your uni to explain what is happening and see whether they would be wlling to negotiate on your behalf

    The university cannot force you to see an NHS doctor who deals with student health - whom they will view (not surprisingly) as the best person to provide a second opinion

    But I would be very careful when it comes to a what might be viewed as as refusing to do what the university is wanting - as this could give them an excuse to take an even harder line

    Dr Charles Shepherd
    Hon Medical Adviser, MEA
     
  9. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    I was studying with the Open University and was allowed to sit my exam at home with an appointed invigilator. The three hour exam was taken in one hour slots, three days in a row and I was allowed rest breaks if necessary..
     
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  10. charles shepherd

    charles shepherd Senior Member

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    I have worked with the OU on disability issues relating to ME/CFS and given a presentation over at Milton Keynes

    On the whole, the OU takes a very helpful and progressive approach to students with ill health and/or disability - and not just those with ME/CFS

    CS
     
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  11. brooke

    brooke

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    @charles shepherd, thank you so much for your reply. Unfortunately, it is the school's disability office who asked me to see the NHS doctor affiliated with the college. I had already submitted my forms from the doctor from my home country (I am a US student) and when I asked about the process for setting up exam accommodations this was the reply. I'm struggling with how to respond without saying something along the lines of "No, I already submitted documentation that meets the legal requirements." No matter what, I have to refuse to see that doctor which looks suspicious. There's no way they will understand that the NHS doctor is not qualified to review my case. I wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't spent months trying and failing to get diagnosed and treated through the NHS last year.

    Thank you for pointing out the letter, I have just ordered it. I did not tell the school I had ME/CFS but that I had mitochondria dysfunction (which I have also been diagnosed with) because I didn't want to be discriminated against due to this disease. However, the letter still provides a helpful place for me to start. If you would be comfortable posting on the MEA association for me I would sincerely appreciate it.

    @justy, I didn't even think about asking to split the exam up over several days. That's a good idea if they deny my request for extra time.
     
  12. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    I'd start by politely asking them why your own doctor's evidence is not adequate? They're registered with the GMC etc. so what's the problem. If they could give a good answer I'd see their doctor. If not I might still see their doctor but depends. Nothing wrong with asking reasonable questions.
     
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  13. Chrisb

    Chrisb Senior Member

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    I realise that you are enquiring about a university, which will have its own regulations, and that this does not specifically apply, but I enclose a link to the JCQ arrangements, which presumably offer a good indication of what the standard practice ought to be.

    https://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration

    You will probably have looked at these but if not there may be something in there to help.
     

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