Having an assessment with TID
How can I get an assessment?
You can ask your solicitor to refer you to us.
Occasionally assessments are available in Initial Accommodation or a hotel. If this is happening, you will be informed in advance. You will be able to make an appointment for this yourself.
Arrangements for your assessment
If you are referred by your solicitor or by Social Services, they will tell you the date and location of the appointment.
Appointments are in a private space. This is often a room in the solicitor’s office, or in a Social Services office.
If you need an interpreter, this will be arranged for you. If there is a particular interpreter who you are comfortable with, or a particular interpreter who you find it difficult to work with, then please tell the person referring you (solicitor, social worker, Initial Accommodation provider, or hotel)
If you would like to bring someone with you to the appointment, you are welcome to do so. This might be a social worker, foster carer or friend. If it helps you feel more comfortable, this person can stay with you for part of the assessment. However the clinician will need to see you alone for at least part of the appointment.
Who will do the assessment?
TID assessments are done by TID clinicians.
The TID clinicians are all either medical doctors or psychologists. They are experienced in working with people who are applying for asylum and who have suffered torture or other forms of human rights abuse. They have special training in identifying the health effects of human rights abuses.
What will happen at the assessment?
The appointment will be a private meeting with the TID clinician and an interpreter if you need one. It will usually last 1 – 2 hours. The person referring you will not be there.
The appointment is confidential. You can read about how we look after your information here.
At the start of the appointment, the clinician will talk to you about what will happen at the appointment, and about what we will do with the information you provide. They will ask you to sign a form to confirm that you agree to them doing the assessment and writing a report.
The clinician will ask offer take photos of any injuries you have, and to write to your GP. You don’t have to agree to these things, but if you do, it will usually mean the assessment is more helpful to you.
The clinician will ask you if you would like to help TID by allowing us to contact you, your solicitor or your GP after the appointment – you don’t have to agree to any of these things. It won’t affect your assessment.
To make the report, the clinician will ask you questions. They will ask about your life now in the UK, and about your health. They will ask about your early life to help them understand more about you. They will ask about the difficult things that have happened to you and about how you are feeling now.
Some of the things the clinician asks about may be upsetting to talk about. The clinician will do their best to make the conversation as comfortable as possible for you. Please tell them if there is anything you think would help, for example taking a break for a few minutes.
If there is a question that you don’t want to answer, please tell the clinician that you don’t want to answer. This is more helpful for your report than just saying that you don’t know.
The clinician will offer to examine any scars you may have. They may offer to take photographs or to make a drawing of these. If they take photographs on their phone, they will delete the photographs as soon as they have uploaded the photographs to your report.
At the end of the appointment the clinician may tell you a little about what they will write in your report, and about any recommendations they want to make for your health.
At the very end of the appointment you may be asked to complete a very short questionnaire to tell TID how you felt about the appointment. We ask you to do this because doctors are required to provide evidence about patients’ views about their work.
What happens after your appointment?
The clinician will give you some information about things that may help you feel better. You can read this information here.
The clinician will write a report within 4 weeks.
If you have been referred by a solicitor or social worker, the clinician will send the report to the person who referred you. This person will then share a copy with you, and discuss with you who else should see the report. For example, your solicitor will talk to you about whether the report should be sent to the Home Office to be considered in your asylum claim.
What will be in your report
The clinician will include in your report a lot of information about what you have said, and what they have observed during the appointment. If they have taken photographs or made drawings, they may include these.
The clinician will give their opinion on how strongly their findings support the account you have given of the mistreatment that you have suffered.
Often the report will contain a diagnosis of a mental health problem such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. A diagnosis like this is just a shorthand description of the difficulties that you are already aware of. It does not mean that you have a problem that you did not know about, it does not mean that you have something wrong with your brain, or that you are going mad. Most people who have been through very upsetting experiences do experience psychological difficulties such as low mood, poor sleep or upsetting memories.
The clinician will usually give recommendations for your GP, or Social Services, or provide information that people should be aware of when asking you about your experiences or difficulties.