Occupational Health

Hi ladies

Just wondering your thoughts.

Because I have been off work for nearly five weeks now ( two weeks pre op and will be three post op) work have me an app to see the occupational health next week. They have asked me to sign a form to give them access to my medical records. I'm not sure why they would need to do this? Because I can tell them about my condition and I'm bit anxious about giving them full access for the sake of it. Esp as it says stuff about trying for a family etc which I don't really want work to know about.

I'm not sure they need more info than I've given then and not keen for people to know the ins and outs of my medical history, piles and all! Ha ha.

I'm sure work are trying to be supportive by sending me, but in all honestly with the amount of appointments I've had and discussing my medical history I'm kind of resenting going too.

Any thoughts or info would as always, be much appreciated. X

7 Replies

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  • I agree, don't think they should be able to ask for such personal details, surely if your doc has signed you of work that's all they need, good luck

  • I don't think you have to give them permission to see your records. I would ask occupational health what the purpose of them having the records is. I've been off nearly 2 months and am waiting for work to start mentioning occupational health! Good luck.

  • Hiiii.. This is were im confused because I put forward to see a occupational health advisor but they got back in touch saying endo wasn't covered by the disability discrimination act or the equality act because it's 'the same thing' so if you could let me no how u get on because I'm at a dead end xx

  • Hiya

    Please have a look at this link, it might help make it clear nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2313.aspx?...

    Basically you don't have to agree to them accessing your medical records. And I agree that there are probably things you don't want them to know and its your right to keep those private.

    But they seem willing to help you so maybe you don't need to go on the defensive immediately, but its your choice at the end of the day.

  • You don't have to give your consent, it's optional. As far as I'm away your GP will only provide information on your symptoms, they won't mention anything that isn't related/relevant. Although Occ Health are hired by your employer, you still have patient confidentiallity with them. Before the end of your appointment they should ask if they're allowed to disclose everything with your employer; so you can happily discuss everything with them but say you don't want the fact that you're trying for a baby etc disclosed to your work. I know Occ Health seems a bit scary, I was termed at my first appointment and thought they wanted to find a way to fire me, but actually it's a good way for your employer to understand what you can/can't do at work, any adjustments that might be needed, how they can support you fully. It's not a case of employers not trusting what you say, it's more a case of employers/HR having to tick boxes on their end when an employee has long-term illnesses or long-term periods of sickness. Occ Health is just a way for them to tick those boxes by getting independent, medically qualified advices as to what you can/can't do at work and what they can do to support you and get you back to work.

    I've been 100% honest with my manager and HR worker as I see them more like friends. They know all about my symptoms and a brief depression spell due to the symptoms, so I gave my full consent to access medical records and to disclose information to my employer. My Occ Health lady was able to communicate directly with my GP and the hospital to arrange further treatment and try to get sooner appointments. She was able to discuss my job role with me and my employer to find ways to make my work environment more suitable and what ways to support me. It was also great being able to talk to someone who understands what you're going through then relay that information to my work in a way that they understand instead of me having to try and explain what endo is, why I'm taking so and so medication, what the operation might to etc.

    I went to see Occ Health after being signed off for several weeks, not because my work didn't trust me GP but to give my work a better understanding of what's happening and so a treatment plan can be made with my GP. I saw them again just before my laparoscopy so my work can start to make a return to work plan for me, and I'll be seeing them again before returning. I'm glad I went to see Occ Health as it's helped me and my work be on the same page about my health and I know that if I do have another flare up or I need more support I can be referred back there for advice instead of waiting ages on the NHS.

    Sorry if this was a bit long but I hope it helps, good luck with your appointment and feel free to message me if you need more info :) xx

  • Hi I agree with the comments made by pink_pixie. I have had to see occupational health before following time off from an operation for endo and fibroids. I was off for 6 weeks total. You don't have to give permission for your employer to see your records, this is optional and the occupational health advisor you see should explain this to you. You should also be given the option to see the report and make amendments before it is sent to your employer.

    It can be daunting at first and I also found myself distrusting the intentions of my manager and HR advisor but that was mainly due to some internal mismanagement by a poor manager and HR advisor. Under my new manager and HR advisor they have both been very supportive and the whole process of seeing occ health is to make sure that you are able to carry out your role.

  • Hi everyone

    I had the occupational health today. The doctor was lovely. Very knowledgable about endo and very understanding. He's recommended I go back to work as a phased return ( 4 hours a day for two weeks). He also has put forward that I am consideration is given to me having a laptop for days when I can work from home and he has supported my application for a change of team whigh would help with my emotional well being ( we are having a team reshuffle anyway) . He said he is also going to write in detail about endo is so people under the surverity of it and can support me. Hallelujah!

    Thank u to everyone who encouraged me to go because it was a great help x

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