Log in
Fibromyalgia Action UK
43,617 members55,583 posts

Fibromyala a recognised disability?

Hello everyone

Just a quick question. Can anyone confirm that Fibromyala is a recognised disability in the UK. I want this informationfor my employer. 

Thank you 

Xx

44 Replies
oldestnewest

Fibromyalgia is not a recognised diagnosis in the UK. So the answer would be probably not. It has been recently given an official diagnosis state in the USA. There are still doctors in the UK who refuse to recognise the syndrome at all.

I could well be wrong, and I would be very grateful for anyone who can say otherwise, so we will both keep our fingers crossed 🐸

Reply

Sorry Sorebones, it is a recognized Diagnosis in the UK, and it is also on the official NHS Choices website, and quoted in NICE guidelines as to what the treatment choices are.  The Disability Rights Act 2010 recognizes it as a disability, and as such, through Occupational Health intervention in the work place, reasonable adjustments must be made to the workplace to allow an employee to carry on working. It is also applicable to students at University or College.

The fact that certain Drs choose not to recognize it is a personal choice on their behalf.  I would have no hesitation to point out to such Drs if I came across them, that their employers NHS recognize it.  If I had the courage, I would like to add "perhaps you should get up to date with your knowledge" lol.  To the Drs, not to you Sorebones. 😊

GP. 😊😊

14 likes
Reply

I have realised the error of my ways but thank you for adding more to my learning curve. I am very relieved to be wrong, on this occasion lol. I completely agree with what you'd like to say. So would I now I know. Hopefully I will never need to use it! I have a particular rheumatologist in mind...... Where do you learn information like that? I have trawled through all sorts online but never find anything positive. I must be looking in the wrong places. My own GP was sent on a course (I think it was a whole 2 hours) to learn about Fibro. Apologies, waffling on. Thank you for the info. It's appreciated 🐸

4 likes
Reply

Hi Greenpeace. Do yu have the link to NICE guidelines on fibro please? I never got anywhere with them months back. Ta sweetie. <3

Blessings. 

Reply

Hi there. Sorry to say my doctor was awful to me , quite scathing really  I am still not diagnosed but have everything that suggests I have fibro. I am in UK 😕 good luck anyway

Reply

That's not right! I'm so sorry that you came up against a dinosaur. Just a suggestion, but would it be worth posting asking about where you go from here? Someone may have a good idea. Don't accept the lack of help. 

I had so many problems due to ignorance and ended up pushing as far as I could. My GP is great though, and that's your major brick wall. 

I researched our local private hospital. Their web site had profiles on all their consultants, so I looked through the rheumatologists and found one who stated that she had a special interest in Fibro. The only way that you could find out if you were able to make an appointment to see a similar consultant rheumatologist near you would be to phone the hospital and ask if you could be seen without a referral. It's a lot of money to lay out, but your health is worth it. Let me know how you get on? 🐸

Reply

Oh thanks sorebones. This site is amazing ! I have made some headway after being referred to a post graduate sports physio ! Have demanded I see either one of two named rheaumatologists? At our local hospital who specialise in CFS LUpus. ME and Fibro . Hope I get appointment . I have suffered 30 years  with numerous doc appointments in different area where I lived . Is has now come to a head as I used my employers 15 years ago . Had depression history and had to see a clinical Physcologist . I read his report for the first time as I won the case and that took over but in the Somatic symptoms it say FIBROMYALGEA. ! 

Reply

Brilliant! Seeing the right rheumatologist makes a world of difference. My fingers are crossed for you. Once you know what is wrong with you it means you can start to deal with it! Any time you want to ask me a question use the private massaging facility on the forum. I'd be more than happy to answer if I can. Or I may know a member who could! 🐸

1 like
Reply

Thanks so much. Just getting used to the site ! I will x

Reply

If you are having problems with your GP, maybe you could ask for the Fibro info package to be sent to your GP (named patient or anonymously) by the lovely people who run this site?

1 like
Reply

Thanks Maggie as I say this site is fab! I will get onto that . Hope you are having a good day ? 

Reply

I spoke to my GP about sending her a pack, I didn't want her to take it the wrong way. After she received it she thanked me, for letting her know, as she said she may not have taken it well otherwise lol. 🐸

1 like
Reply

Yes thanks, good luck with your endeavours x

Reply

It is recognised as a diagnosis x

3 likes
Reply

In the UK? It has been put on the register in the US but I didn't think it had been here. 

We as people recognise it, but do the medical profession? 

Apologies, don't want to argue with you but I'm hoping that you can expand on your statement. You seem so sure. Can you explain why please? I know a lot of our fellow members have read much more on developments etc so I'm hoping you can share? 

Reply

I'm going by the fact that I was diagnosed by a rheumatologist and all further treatment is with neurologist in my case. Fibromyalgia has also been debated in parliament and is recognised by DWP x

4 likes
Reply

Excellent! Thank you!!

 I am so heartened to hear that you have been under a neurologist! I would love to hear how that came about, you must have an excellent rheumatologist. I saw 2 in my journey to diagnosis. The first dismissed me with carpal tunnel syndrome being my only problem. Mind you he also said I didn't have OA and I think my neurosurgeon and orthopaedic surgeon would like to argue about that lol. I have always believed that a neurologist would be best placed to look after us. If you feel up to it, and for it, would you PM me about the involvement? Please don't feel you have to. I have a wonderful GP who is open to suggestions with Fibro. 

Again, thank you for clearing that up 😀🐸

Reply

For some reason I cant PM. I do receive excellent care and it was just the next step. In my opinion as the drugs we are often prescribed are also used for neurological conditions it makes sense to me. Unfortunately not everyone gets the care and support that I do.xx

2 likes
Reply

Most definitely. It has prompted the idea of discussing it with my GP though. I am lucky there, she will do anything to try to help bless her. Thank you so much for your input 🐸

1 like
Reply

Hi there

My understanding of this is that Fibromyalgia is a recognised disability by the DWP.

I can try to look into it a bit further for you if you like?

Lu xx

Admin

2 likes
Reply

Brilliant!! Yes please Lu, I would be very interested to know that. It gets so confusing when one says yes and one says no, in medical articles that is. My fingers are crossed........ I don't want to give NLBC the wrong information 🐸

Reply

Yes please Lue because I have to show my employers

Reply

I just found a copy of the Equality Act 2010 online

Section 2 A (5)

Says that Fibromyalgia is a disability.

6 likes
Reply

Aha!  That is wonderful information, thank you.

Are you happy for me to share this with other members that ask about it?

Thanks

Lu xx

Reply

Please find it online first and double check if I understood accurately. 

Reply

Will do my best x

Reply

That's great. Apologies for my wrong answer! I'm delighted to be proved wrong and it has helped me a lot! Thank you for bringing it up 🐸

1 like
Reply

Flipping Fibro fog.  I am pretty sure someone mentioned that Equality Act last week.

Unfortunately I can't check it out until a bit later, but I will.

Lu xx

1 like
Reply

Must have been the week I was on holiday! I would have remembered a post like that! Hmmm, or it may just have been very foggy.... 😊🐸

Reply

I don't know about UK but in the US it is...may have to have atty ti get approved for disability payments but would be worth it!! Good luck getting ingo.Peck😅

Reply

I deliberately haven't gone for disability here as I didn't think they recognised Fibro! Made me a happy bunny to find out! Now, where are those forms....... 😀🐸

2 likes
Reply

I see it on TV commercial for a local atty.Where do you live?? Peck.😊

Reply

They list all syptoms for disability.

Reply

Hi

Definition under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

The only special rues are for arthritis and rheumatism which they class as fluctuating conditions.

So even severe migraines for example can be classed as a disability

Best Wishes Rose

2 likes
Reply

HI NLBC

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today?  I have pasted you a link below to our mother site, FMA UK which hosts loads of useful Fibro information:

fmauk.org/

I have pasted you a link below to some print off booklets that you could take to show your employer, so I hope that you find these useful:

fmauk.org/what-is-fm-highli...

Fibromyalgia is one of those illnesses which might be treated as a disability under the Equality Act depending on the effect it has on your daily life. I have pasted you a further link about this below:

citizensadvice.org.uk/discr...

What this means is that you can ask your employer for an ''Occupational Health Assessment'' to ascertain what ''reasonable'' changes they can make to help you in the workplace. Whatever the Occupational Therapist says is legally binding and your employer must ensure these ''reasonable'' changes are implemented.

I want to genuinely and sincerely wish you all the best of luck, and please take care of yourself.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken

3 likes
Reply

It isn't legally binding but it takes a brave person to go against what has been advised as they then would be legal to any harm caused.  It happened to me when I needed a change in shift patterns that the matron disagreed with.  Fortunately 3 days into the shift pattern imposed on me I could show grossly swollen legs and feet and I needed more oramorph than usual which could've made me unsafe to work.  The shifts were then changed to what I needed.  I didn't get the chair they advised but I picked my battles rather than all of them 

Reply

Hi ailsamary

I am so genuinely sorry to read of how you had to fight for everything in the work place and I sincerely hope that you managed to get what you needed in place? I have pasted you a link below the GOV.UK website as they say it is a legal requirement?

I was wondering if you got help from your union on this? As they could have insisted on you being afforded what was recommended for you?

gov.uk/reasonable-adjustmen...

*Excerpt From GOV.UK

Reasonable adjustments for disabled workers

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers (including contract workers, trainees, apprentices and business partners) aren’t seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

This includes:

    making reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process

    doing things another way - eg allowing someone with social anxiety disorder to have their own desk instead of hot-desking

    making physical changes - eg installing a ramp for a wheelchair user or an audio-visual fire alarm for a deaf person

    letting a disabled person work somewhere else - eg on the ground floor for a wheelchair user

    changing their equipment - eg providing a special keyboard if they have arthritis

    allowing employees who become disabled to make a phased return to work - eg working flexible hours or part-time

    offering employees training opportunities, recreation and refreshment facilities

Get help and advice

You can get advice on reasonable adjustments from the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus office, or the Disability Employment Service if you’re in Northern Ireland.

There’s more detail about employers’ obligations and how to meet them on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Last updated: 15 September 2015

Please take care of yourself my friend and I genuinely hope that everything is going well for you now at work?

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken

1 like
Reply

Yes I always had the union involved although they weren't always much use.  Fortunately at the time I was well enough to stand my own corner and that was in my favour.  I made sure that I knew the policies backwards and the problem was that what I needed clashed with the sickness policy despite my absences being disability related. Twice did I hit a brick wall with her, the time I mentioned and for a phased return after being off for several months, as I had already had had a phased return within the same year . And occupational health advice is exactly that- advice not law 

The problem is what is reasonable,  and that is still open to interpretation.  Also because some adaptations were already in place they could argue that what I needed wasn't feasible and that they had already made sufficient arrangements to make life easier for me.  

Unfortunately with the shift alterations she dug her heels in. So much so after an hour of both herself and me sticking to our guns, the HR person made up another meeting and left. The shift pattern was a compromise I knew wouldn't work and fortunately gave me physical proof.  With the phased return I just refused to return to work as I knew I wasn't capable. 

However the workplace does have rights as well. People cannot be off sick forever,   and adjustments must be reasonable for them also. I was working in the second busiest A&E in the UK.  Fortunately I was also very good at the part of it I did 

I am no longer working as finally the fibro became too much. Whilst difficult to accept it was my decision not theirs. 

2 likes
Reply

Hi again, I am so genuinely sorry that you are not able to work anymore but as you say, at least it was your decision. Please take care of yourself.

1 like
Reply

Oh so funny how my word diagnosed came out as dog nosed ! Not laughed so much in ages ! Predictive text! 

1 like
Reply

Thanks Sunsh1ne that made me giggle! :)

Reply

Hi I was diagnosed through my rheumatologist and when I went for the face to face interview with the ESA I had a lovely dr see me and he told me there and then that fibromyalgia is recognised. I am now on ESA in the support group. But I hasten to add I have other issues too.

Hope that helps you.

Reply

I certainly used it to get adaptations within my workplace - the NHS, who are notorious for badly treating their staff. I never had to fight to prove fibro was an illness but as to whether I was fit to work.  I do have other issues but fibro was the one that impacted most.  

I did work in a busy A&E dept even when I used a scooter and fought various matrons for about 8 years.  I did eventually accept that it was no longer feasible but it was my choice rather than their's. Occupational health backed me as did NHS pensions, so it is certainly recognised 

1 like
Reply

Yes it is!!

Reply

You may also like...