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Returning to work after icu stay

Good morning all,

I have been out of hospital for 3 1/2 months now and although a lot better than when I first came home there are still a lot of things still not right, I have a job but the work conditions are not good for my health also it is very stressful therefore I do not want to return there.

I have been advised by my consultant I can return on a phased plan only if i feel ok (i don't) but the question is:-

were do I go from here? Who will take one a new employee on a phased plan? Should I go back so soon? Can't afford to pay bills on what I get, ssp pay will stop this week!

any advise would be appreciated.

kind regards,


7 Replies

Hi Joanne I was in the same position as you two years ago my sick pay had run out and I was too old for disability so I had to go back! I went back on a phased plan and it worked I was only allowed to do certain things there. I only do 16 hrs now I don't get any supplement as I'm over 60 so don't qualify for anything. I find work keeps me active and gives me a reason to do things! I'm sure if you went to the Job centre and explained your situation someone would give you advice . Take care Hun x


hi colliedog4me,

thank you for your advise, I have an appointment next week to discuss option's but everything is still up in the air at the moment, fingers crossed it will be clearer then for my next step.

regards, Joanne 😁

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Hey Joanne, do you mind me asking how old you are? I was 38 when I had my stay earlier this year and my work allowed me to write my own phased back to work plan over 20 weeks. I asked for occupational health to be involved and they supervised my return. If you can afford to take more time off I would but I'm suspecting like me, you have to go back.

I go back full time next month and am currently doing 3 full days and 2 5 hour days alternately and flexing as required. My company got an interim in to cover for me as I manage people and customers but being unable to manage my emotions or even walk meant that I was useless in my "old" job. I am lucky I work for a great firm who will put me back in to my old job in Jan when I'm ready and I'm on project work at the mo.

Do you have any holiday accrued? I had all my holiday days to take and have only just had my first few days off, so I'm off most of December which is keeping me motivated, you could work say only 3 days per week legitimately to year end using your holiday allowance?

It sounds like you're going through some of the same stresses I am at the mo, what health support do you get at work, ie Bupa? They can give you some counselling.

If I look back 18 weeks, I was doing 1 hour every other day working from home, I never thought I'd be able to do a full day ever again. I couldn't remember how to turn on my PC, my passwords, I wouldn't talk without crying, I was banned from driving by bupa because of my emotional state.... But here I am now, nearly back full time. You can do it, you WILL do it, you just need support. When you are back to full time, if work is still not an option, then leave but either way, you may have to declare your ITU stay on your next employment, anything over 2 weeks off consecutively I think needs to be mentioned? You might not think you can do it now, but I'm sure you are very valued at work and if they are agreeing to a phased back to work plan, they seem pretty supportive. Speak to HR xxx


hi bbdebs,

unfortunately the company I work for is only a small company so no hr, bupa, union etc, I am 45 so till age on my side, thank you for your advise, I will keep strong, made up you are where you are now, take care.

Joanne 😁

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I feel your pain Joanne ! I am over a year into my recovery and I still wouldn't be able to work. You can claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA). It is slightly more(I think) than SSP. You can claim contribution based for 1 year. That should give you time to explore your options. Go to citizens advice. They will help you. Good luck



hi Ruth,

thank you for your advise, just in process of ESA and have to see someone on Friday about this, benefits are all very complicated but I will get there.

Joanne 😁

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Keep your chin up Joanne, remember it's only money and your life is so much more important. Cloths can be cut accordingly, homes are just bricks and mortar and your friends and family are just delighted you are here.

Take care,

Debs xx

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