View Full Version : UK Navy Medical Discharge

21st Feb 2013, 08:25
A family member was accepted for the UK Navy after a long selection process. She applied herself to her fitness, went on the pre-basic bootcamps and on Sunday she went off to start basic, looking forward to a new life in the Navy.

Three days later she is on the train home, medically discharged for an 'underactive thyroid' condition.

She did not know she had this condition and has never suffered from any obvious symptoms so she did not put it on the application form.

I understand she can reapply after a year of steady treatment.

What I cannot understand is why all potential recruits, once they get to the 'your good to start basic' stage are not tested before they get to Basic.

What a waste of bloody money to send someone all the way to Plymouth only to be told they cant stay. They are going to do the tests anyway so why not do it before the offer of Basic Training.

Not to mention she has left a good job to go and join up and is now unemployed.

Almost makes me want to say 'Lawyer Up and sue for wasting your time and loss of earnings"

Sorry all, just had to vent.

Lightning Mate
21st Feb 2013, 08:46
What an absolutely ridiculous process.

I would have thought that a thorough medical check would be a precursor to acceptance in the first place.

It certainly was when I joined the RAF in 1965.

21st Feb 2013, 09:03
Bloody stupidity. When I joined in '74 I had a very comprehensive medical before going into basic training. I would think today it is down to paying an external agency to perform a cursory rather than a full medical. Another point is that the Andrew and other services are shit scared of being sued if during basic training anything happened that could have been avoided. Perhaps the answer is for potential recruits to go to a Naval, Army or RAF barracks for a full medical before joining not leaving it to a GPor other who is being paid for the honour.

21st Feb 2013, 09:05
One of the great benefits of being, in the past, the primary colonial power and chief arse kicker in the world is that we tended to be first with everything. Therefore describing ones navy or airforce with the country of origin only applies to those lesser mortals.

In the UK it is the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. No other description necessary thank you!

21st Feb 2013, 09:38
Absolutely siseman. Like not having our country's name on our stamps!

Alloa Akbar
21st Feb 2013, 09:56
I was in the Navy '87 - '00. In 1998 I broke my ankle playing football. I was medically downgraded for 6 months while recovering, then re-instated med cat P1, and passed all medicals including my flying medical, and served as normal until I left 18 months later. To cut a long story short, 6 months after leaving, my marriage broke down and I decided to return to the mob. My application went through like greased lightning until I turned up for the medical, when I was informed that in 1998 my medical records had been annotated "Permanent unrecoverable injury".. Therefore despite the fact that I had recovered, and passed the entry medicals and fitness tests, I was not allowed to return. The Navy did not inform me that my condition was "permanent" in 1998 because I had submitted my 18 months notice to leave the service, and had I known, I would have been entitled to a medical discharge and full medical pension..

The military do not play fair. That said, I do now have a war pension.. small compensation I suppose.

21st Feb 2013, 10:43
Actually as I was writing UK I knew something didn't feel right but I was more angry with the Royal Navy and wanted to explain that.

When I joined up we had a full medical BEFORE we attested

Bunch of time wasting wan*ers

21st Feb 2013, 10:57
It is all about being cheap. Before my son joined three years ago he had to do a Personal Fitness Test, run so far in such or such time. I took him to the gym in a local Holiday Inn where the test on a treadmill was administered by a spotty oik. Younger than my son and armed with the paperwork and an Argos stopwatch. His medical was done at a GP surgery and took 20 minutes.

When he come out I asked him about it and from what he told me it did not even come up to the basic PULHEEM tests we had periodically in the mob. That system needs overhauling.

21st Feb 2013, 11:24
I am having trouble believing how annoyed I am about this.
This young lady left a promising career and went through 6 months of selection procedures.
The failure is with the so called 'Royal' Navy.
Funny, I always thought Royal implied a sense of honor, dignity and quiet professionalism. Seems I was wrong.
So in a sense UK Navy seems more appropriate.

21st Feb 2013, 12:06
Almost makes me want to say 'Lawyer Up and sue for wasting your time and loss of earnings"

You should. Something like that might make "the system" sit up and notice.

Alloa Akbar
21st Feb 2013, 12:09
Good luck with that. Having been diddled out of a medical pension, I felt a compensation claim against the MoD was in order.. could I find a lawyer who would a) Take me on, and b) give me a cat in hell's chance of winning??


21st Feb 2013, 12:50
I know that we would get nowhere with the legal route but perhaps a letter or two to some newspapers / MP's might get someones attention.

And more importantly make youngsters think twice before they leave a job to join up.

On the plus side she, quite rightly, said to me, "Glad I found out what they were really like".

Here's an idea UK Navy, stop doing adverts about 'Pulling' and sort yourself out. Treat people like sh*t and you will only attract sh*t.

Give them Carriers ? WTF for, they can't organise a simple medical before someone signs the dotted line.....

21st Feb 2013, 14:30
If the young lady in question was unaware of her condition (and I don't quite understand how you could NOT be aware unless it is only v. slightly outside the normal range), the only way the Navy would know is by a very simple blood test.

This really should have been carried out at an earlier stage. Then, depending on which hormone they tested for (usually just TSH only), she could have requested a full test consisting of T4 and T3 as well which, given she must be borderline, may well have swung it the other way!



Alloa Akbar
21st Feb 2013, 15:06
When I was in the Old Grey Funnel Lines there was no blood sampling as part of the medical..?? :confused:

Lon More
21st Feb 2013, 15:12
Talking to some old family members I understood the discharge only came after a run ashore in places like the Gut, :}

21st Feb 2013, 15:48
Alloa Akbar,

there was no blood sampling as part of the medical

Only after a good lashing with a cat o' nine tails, perhaps?

G&T ice n slice
21st Feb 2013, 16:50
I suffer from the opposite condition - overactive

It wasn't until my weight was down to 8 stone something - and I'm 6'3" - that anyone noticed, even me, I just assumed it was 'normal'

A young lady of my acquaitance had underactive - it never really showed until she got into her early/mid twenties when despite eating virtually nothing she piled on the pounds. Finally her G.P. woke up from his doze and realised that this 16-stone 5'2" blonde was telling him the truth about what she ate and started blood tests that they found out what was wrong.

Be very grateful that they found out, even if late, because it can really ruin your life.

Alloa Akbar
22nd Feb 2013, 07:52
hval - Leave it out!! I'm not that old. Class of '87 me!! :p

22nd Feb 2013, 09:23
Class of 87, sprog :p

22nd Feb 2013, 09:26
Whirlygig has more or less covered it. I take one small pill a day, have done for thirty years, never interfered with my flying career. Only a blood test would reveal an under active thyroid I think? Wasn't part of the procedure when I joined up, is it now? Doesn't look like it, not at the beginning, so we have to ask what prompted the RN to go looking? Was there something about her behavior or reaction to physical stress that alerted them?

22nd Feb 2013, 10:37
While I had medical examinations prior to entry, I didn't get a blood test until week 1 of IOT for the RAF when I joined. Like it or not that's the normal practise.

You might say they've wasted money getting them down there only to turn them around, but they look at it differently.
If they'd paid for everybody on course to go to their local mil dr and get the test done, processed and checked before entry they will have found this one case and turned her around. But everyone else would still have been paid to then go on and start Basic.
This way - as they see it - one person has been inconvenienced once, whereas everyone else is now in the place they need to be to start.

22nd Feb 2013, 10:37
Unless they have changed the system drastically the first few days are taken up with paperwork, kit issue, marching here and there etc. I can not remember any stress physical exercise until you joined your division after a few days. To join on the Sunday and be down the road on the Wednesday does suggest a medical of some sorts with blood tests on the Monday.

Been many years since I was there but that was very quick.