Asthma UK community forum


I need advise!

Surprisingly i work 4 the NHS!! My asthma has been shit recently, well since april and i have been unable to work due to spending most of time in hospital. I have also had rather a lot of sickness since being employed with them because of my chest.

My employed told me a month ago that i still have 6 months of full pay, i recieved a letter 2 weeks ago that stated that as of this month i am no longer getting paid by them. But the prob is, they wont let me back onto the was because my asthma is so inpredictable and because i am so immuno compromised with being on a high does of steriods for so now worried though as im not going to be able to afford my flat and fear that i wont ever be able to get back into proper employment...o and to top off im not classidied as disabled like most people with asthma of my severity because aparently i can walk to far unaided!!!

Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do, and help i can get or where i can get advice to!!!???


9 Replies

1st thing to do is get ur union involved. You will suddenly see a change with managements attitude.

If not in a union go to local job centre or cab asks to speak to a disability rights adviser... All though u can walk ur asthma will put u at Disadvantage from others In obtaining and maintaining employment and should still b covered by dda . U need to act quick as when u drop to 0 pay they can terminate ur contract. Before they can do this they-have to prove they tried to alter ur job and employment prior to ending ur contract as if ur covered by the dda u cam claim unfair dismissal .... Wish u luck as been there also ...


Hi Charlie. You need to follow the advise of gussy for one. 2nd i work for NHS too and there are protocols for sickness they should have followed. So you should have know what was going on before this stage. Are you under occ health, not that they are always supportive. Like gussy said they should be looking to redeploy you else where. If they haven't followed protocol then you have a case for unfair treatment. Union and Hr.

I'm sure you should be entitled to sickness benefits but you'll get this advice form CAB etc. Hope you get sorted.


Hi Charlie,

I'm really sorry to hear of your situation - I'm in a very similar position with work at the moment.

Gussypoo's advice is fab. Get onto your union, as they are best placed to advocate for you and help you to fight your corner.

I would also recommend having an open discussion with your GP, asthma nurse and/or consultant about this. It's important for them to know what's happening in your life, and they may be able to write letters of support or help in some other way. It might be worth asking for a referral to a counsellor. Having asthma jeopardise your career/house/future in this way is extremely stressful, and while counselling won't help from any practical perspective, it may help you to cope more effectively.

Finally, I would suggest that you get in touch with the benefits enquiry line. This is a telephone advice service for people with disabilities. They are a government-run service, and know the (complicated!) benefits system inside out, so are in absolutely the best position to advise you about any benefits to which you might be entitled. The number is: 0800 882 200

Hoping for a good outcome from this; that your breathing gets under control, and that you are not feeling too upset/anxious about the whole situation.



Hi Charlie,

Even if you are not in the union at the moment, you will still be able to join for them to at least look at your case. DD's partner has just been dumped by his firm and because firm didn't follow protocol, the union are interested to take on his case once he joins up. They've sent the forms already.

As I said to him, don't hang about but get onto CAB or look up this site.

Worked for the NHS myself. After several months off, my boss was less than sympathetic. Contacted HR and occy health who came on my side.

Best wishes.


Charlie if not in a union and thinking of joining ask if they will represent u on this... I know rcn and unison will not represent on a existing matter when u join but will freely give u advice. But u need to act quick. I worked for nhs my contract ended up terminated on the capability act... Which stated despite changes to my role and duties I was still unfit to fullfill the purpose of employment....and even when covered by the dda they can still do this... I had good support from gp, occy health and respiratory professor and thankfully with their help when my contract ended I was awarded I'll health pension much to everyone's surprise.


You just have to love working for the NHS don't you!

Everyone else has come up with lots of useful stuff. I just wanted to ask what have occy health said? Have they definitely said that your asthma isn't covered by the DDA? I only ask because when I recently had a pre-employment screen the occupational health consultant said mine would be (I had had a few hospital admissions in the preceding year). Have you tried being proactive with occy health and asked whether they think you would be better say on another ward or department? They might prefer it if your job never involved lone working for example. Finally about not being allowed back onto the ward because you are immunocompromised, is this also applied to say people with rheumatoid arthritis or undergoing cancer treatment??

Is your manager being sympathetic? I know they can be really variable. If they aren't fantastic is there anyone else you can speak too?



First id like to say thanx to every one for advice...

Originally i thout ward was being supportive espec when they said i would get six months full pay with it bing so bad...but wen i recieved yhe letter from pay roll stating otherwise it kinda just didnt help as it hasnt given me long to try and get financial support before pay stops altogether...

Occy health have been ok this time round, they have said i come under dda...its government that state i dont...they have suggested i be moved to another area of the hosp but wat i dnt understand is how they can say in one breath i cant return to ward coz of immune system yet i can work in another part of the hosp where the bugs still grow and i can still pick up as easily!

I really lovd my job and hate the fact that asthma can controll so much. ..

And bryony i totally agree with statement bout oncology etc coz im surr they wouldnt be forced to stay away....

The other pressing thing i havnt mentioned is that i was given home neb kit and obv to use and informed my employer, occy health agreed to allow me to use in quiet location away from ward...but employers wont do i stand with that...coz i dont see employers refusing to allow a diabetic to use their insulin whilst at work etc...i actually think i am being screwed over!!!


Who is stopping u using ur neb... They are not allowed to stop u and are supposed to give u protected time to take it. My ward manager refused me .. I reported her to union, occy health and her manager... Stating that this was blocking me from returning to work. I was allowed to take it after this but reminded to use my own medication.. If ur

immuno compromised and the risk is in the ward . They have an obligation to protect u frOm the risk and therefore entitled to redeploy ur wards.


I think I understand the confusion about the sick pay. The length of sick pay you receive depends on your length of service. It should state either in your contract or on the Trust intranet (in their sickness policy) what you are entitled to. If you can't find this get HR to email you a copy of their sickness policy. Asking for copies of various policies was really common when I worked in HR many years ago. It might also be useful to have a read of the sickness policy generally.



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