Anyone has had an appointment with occupational health?

I'm having problem in getting to work because I cannot walk as far as the bus stop because of severe pain in my lower back due to spinal stenosis and RA. My supervisor has referred me to see occupational health and I have an appointment with an occupational health consultant.

Has anyone been through this and do you have any advise?

14 Replies

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  • Yes and they were wonderful, supported me the whole time and when I returned to work. Go and tell them everything they are a great allies and if you don't get better will push appointments, get you aids or OT that you may need and back you up against management! They also signed my form when in the end I needed to retire, highly recommend them x

  • Thank you for sharing your experience. I was just shocked to be seen by a consultant. I thought I would be seen by an officer. Do you know what professional relationship she will have with my rheumatologist. Will they be working together?

  • Mine worked independently of both my managers and Rheumy although she could call them to discuss treatment or access to work options. Go and have a chat, tell her everything including physical and emotional problems of RA and I hope you get as much help as me xx

  • Thank you again! I will tell her about having counselling at the minute. My problem with walking is having some tremendous impact on me both physical and emotional. Hope she's ready to hear it all!!

    Thanks again :-D

  • Take a list cos if you are like me you get brain fog and font mention half the stuff! and any Rheumy reports you have, ps if you don't get a copy of your Rheumy letters ask for one at your next appointment they come in handy.

    good luck x

  • gov.uk/access-to-work/overv...

    10 Sep 2014 - An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health ... This is a helpful website for advice whilst you are ill or also if you decide to try for retirement. NRAS on nras.org.uk also have lots of publications on the subject and if you need to talk their helpline are very supportive and full of advice x

  • Thank you for info. I'm not ready for retirement yet but I definitely need some help to keep me going though. Thank you!

  • Ok then talk to her about really really wanting to go back but you just don't feel well enough and read the access to work link I put up xx good luck x

  • I'm not off on the sick but trying to avoid it and planning ahead. Thank you for your help.

  • Hope it goes well xx

  • Hi,

    I saw OH last week as currently off work due to RA diagnosis and staring treatment. The OH lady was really helpful and reassuring. I teach special needs and school have concerns re immune suppressants and higher risk of infections plus restrictions on my ability to physically intervene when a child's behaviour becomes violent... They are valid concerns and I fear for my career but OH wrote a positive report outline some 'reasonable adjustments' that could be made (also for helping me manage my chronic fatigue which is plaguing me, plus dry eyes). The report gives us a framework to work with and she is positive about my doing my job effectively so long as reasonable allowances are made under the equality act which covers RA sufferers.

    Also have you looked at applying for an 'access to work' fund for support in helping to stay in work. Go to gov.uk/access-to-work and you'll find more info.

    All the best

    Ali

  • I have spoken to my supervisor regarding the access to work scheme. That's why he's sending me to occupational health as he thought that this would be best being dealt with by them. I have also mentioned that in the form. I also declare that I'm learning to drive right now as I have more or less accepted that walking is going to be something difficult for me to do now and in the future :-(

    Thank you for mentioning this because many people don't know about this scheme. I only found out about it in the last couple of weeks.

  • I had my second occ health appointment last week and a meeting with manager followed soon after. They advised my employer that at the moment I am not able to return to work and I have further appointments with specialist etc. I have to go to another occ health appointment in Nov. Both occ health Drs I saw were ok but they did think that all I wanted was illness retirement without asking me first. When I pointed out that I am not in work pension scheme and I am genuinely unwell it seemed to throw them a bit (I suppose they get people who try it on but it seems synical of them to think that everyone is the same) I have been struggling at work with osteo in my knees for 4 years and now I have fibro and RD it has made it even more difficult to keep going but we rely on my income. I found it helpful to have someone with me and took my folder with all my appointment and letters etc so anything she asked me I could show her confirmation of.I had also just had a course of counselling so I could confirm that I am not depressed.

    Hope your meeting goes well and you get what you need. Gentle hugs Joolz.x

  • have all my letters from my rheumatologist and I will bring them with me. I'm not planning for retirement. It's not what I want at all. I just need help in getting to work at the minute until I have passed my driving license and get a car. I'm hoping that they will help me get a grant from the access to work scheme or anything which will help me get into work this winter. Once I'm at work, I'm ok and I really like my job. Hopefully, the consultant will understand that and help me out. I'm not depressed either. My counsellor said that my feelings were feelings of frustration rather than depression.

    I wish you good luck!

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