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Sickness review hearing - deep joy!!

I have been determined not to let Lupus get the better of me, but it looks like it may now be taking my job. I reduced my hours from full time to 20 hours a week last May. I have been off sick again since Nov 2017 due to Pericarditus, despite the consultants trying various treatments it doesn't seem to want to go. My rheumatologist wants to start me on a course of Cyclophosphamide infusions over 3 months. I have advised my employer of this as I've been told it's going to severely knock my immune system back, so no way of returning to work soon. I've now been invited to a sickness review hearing, which I have already been told is likely to end with my contract ending. I am doing the sensible thing and taking my Unison rep in with me, she says it's nothing to worry about and it's just about getting the best deal for me now. I will be glad when it's over, as they've been threatening this for the last four months.

9 Replies

Taking the unison rep with you is absolutely the best advice. Hope it goes well x


I agree with lupiknits! Good plan 👍👍👍👍

Am sorry you're having a really tough time...and am wishing you every best wish for the new treatment and this review...hope you'll let us know how things go 🤞🤞🤞🤞

🍀🍀🍀🍀 coco

1 like

Sorry to hear this, it's not a happy prospect when one's options are so reduced by this disease.

I was forced to take early retirement from both my private work and my NHS job recently. Although it was heart-breaking, I simply had no way of being able to continue with either in the foreseeable future.

My experience with the NHS process was good, though. With letters from 3 specialist consultants plus my Occ Health consultant, it all went through on the Tier 2 level (which is the least reduced pension level) without any questions.

I think it helped that a) I had requested Occ Health involvement at an early stage instead of waiting to be instructed to do so b) had done my own research on the policy and procedures, decided what I wanted from the process, and knew what would help me get that outcome

Good luck anyway! x


Sorry to hear that you are going through this, I know just how upsetting it is.

You are right to take your union rep with you, this meeting is about what is best for you and your rep should help to keep it focused on you, and not the organization that you work for.

I took retirement on grounds of Ill health 3 years ago after 30 years as a nurse. I had been struggling for a few years and had a diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis, I was recovering from my 2nd knee replacement when I was finally diagnosed with SLE, (the same week that my mum died)

Occupational health doctor and a fantastic RCN rep helped me with my decision, and supported me through the process. My line manager and colleagues were also supportive, only members of the HR department were unpleasant and tried to stop me getting my pension.

It was a really grim time and I still really miss work, but I cannot describe the relief of not having to get there every day, worrying about picking up an infection due to my steroids and immunosuppesents, and the stress of feeling that I was letting people down all the time.

Life is very different now, but I just try to get on with it and stay positive.

Since retiring I have concentrated on becoming more creative, I've had a go at wood turning, taught by my elderly dad. I've developed a passion for both needle felting and wet felting, and I'm now selling my felt work through a local craft shop.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that what ever happens, there is life after work, and it's not all bad.

I hope that your meeting goes OK, and never let lupus define you!


Don't. Worry about it you can always find new job you only have one life and it actually might help coz you won't be worried about work and will let meds work

This might not sound right coz I struggle with the way I say things lol x


I agree with whats been said. Let your rep take the strain of this meeting. Go armed with letters from consultants, GPs etc explaining your condition because they will never understand. I like many above took ill health retirement from the NHS and even they struggle with an auto immune condition. Do not say any thing unless they ask. As far as I am aware they can not sack you for being ill. We can all understand they need a person to do a job and they are paying you ( I presume).but they have to offer an alternative position on the same grade, which you feel you can do. Think long term about your condition and work.

At the moment you are embarking on treatment that will reduce your immune system and is likely to mean you have to be off. After that time, what do you want ?

Think of your age, your financial circumstances, your health. I panicked when I realised I had to retire from nursing. It was my life for 30 years. But after a year I felt stronger and I realised there was more to me than being a nurse. I don't think I would be as well as I am now if I had stayed at work. If you have been there a while and you are older look at ill health retirement. You can get state top ups to help until you are 60. Good luck.


I was in the same situation with work after devleoping a clot on my lung I was off for around a year. I had meetings with HR & union and I know how stressful it is. Ive been with the same employer 20 years (Im 39) and giving up work was a devastating prospect as lupus has robbed me of so much work was my escape in a way, my way of feeling 'normal' and ofcourse it helped out financially. Anyway rather than terminate my employment my employer offered me a career break, which I welcomed so much. It means I can return to my job after 12 months. In a way as Im off now nearly 2 years I really miss work, the social side of it and just having a focus everyday. So Im really glad I didnt push for ill health redundancy because I hope to return after my career break. Although my health is not always good, while the kids go to school and Im at home most days it can be isolating, for that reason & income it makes sense to do my best to return. Hope all goes well with your meeting. Maybe you could request a career break too?


Thanks everybody for all your words. I work for a University in Staffordshire, I've worked for them for nearly 3 years, but been off sick for periods that add up to 15 months in the last 22 months. I've been told because I'm young (42) and haven't paid enough into my pension I won't benefit from Ill Health Retirement. I used to do a lot of temping, so if things can all be brought under control I think I may revert back to this, as it does give you an element of control. I do like the social side of working as I'm a Receptionist, being at home just feels a little isolating. 😀


Well, as expected my employment has been terminated due to ill health. Although quite sad and I went through a range of emotions. 😢😡🤔😀as I loved my job, it's a relief that I no longer have the stress of having to go through Occupational Health assessments and dragging myself into work for Sickness review meetings! I have thrown myself into turning my garden into somewhere to relax (in the shade of course). 😎🤠😀


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