Former soldier from Chichester dismissed from job after ten-month surgery wait

Justin Scott says he's struggling to cope with PTSD and supporting his family now he's unemployed and unfit for work. Kate Shemilt ks170059-1
Justin Scott says he's struggling to cope with PTSD and supporting his family now he's unemployed and unfit for work. Kate Shemilt ks170059-1
Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

Health trust that runs Queen Alexandra Hospital is rated as above national average for the environment it provides for patients

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A former soldier who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder says he’s struggling to support his family after being dismissed from his job.

Justin Scott, from Chichester, says it was a ‘kick in the teeth’ when he got a letter just before Christmas terminating his employment as a BT Openreach customer service engineer after 11 years there.

He said he was off work for ten months waiting for an operation after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

Days before the operation, he received the letter of dismissal citing ‘unsatisfactory attendance’.

“It was a major kick in the teeth, after 11 years of service being told I’m not wanted,” Justin, 35, said. “I joined the Army when I was 16 and when I left I started at BT, so I’ve only had two jobs and I absolutely loved working there. The NHS is also at fault for making me wait for ten months for an operation.”

Justin said after receiving the dismissal letter he appealed the decision and was given the chance to produce a letter from his surgeon saying he could be back to work sooner than the six to nine months the occupational therapist team had said.

He did this but his appeal was dismissed and his last day of work was February 1.

Justin said: “Getting told I wasn’t wanted just before Christmas became very distressing for me, especially still suffering worse than ever with PTSD, having to arrange benefits, trying to keep my family together and recovering from an operation.”

Justin, who lives at Roussillon Park, was deployed in operations in Kosovo and Iraq in 2004. He said: “I get anxiety, mood swings, nightmares, a lot of the usual symptoms of PTSD.

“I’m now unemployed and unfit for work due to recovery of my knee and awaiting therapy so everyday life is a huge, huge struggle.

“I don’t want to be claiming benefits but it’s the only way I can keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.”

A BT spokesman said: “We don’t comment on individual cases.”