time out

I have just been signed off for 2 weeks to rest by my GP. Totally his idea bless him. i am starting to feel better but when I rang my boss to tell her all I got was have you been referred to occy health. I had been to see the Occy Health consultant the week before and he said not to do Delivery Suite and no to the long shifts they are hoping to introduce. I was due an informal attendance review which has been postponed till I return but I am I am worried about that and I am due to be admitted for breast reduction hopefully sometime soon to help with neck pain etc so I am dreading telling her thaat. Not once was there any what can we do to help or you take care. So much for the "caring profession". I am planning to take my union rep when I see her

15 Replies

  • Hi Kath, you obviously work for the NHS like me! I'm having much the same experience, but my managers are trying to push me to leave or accept a much lower paid job by pushing extra workload/responsibilities onto me and then saying that I obviously can't cope with working at the higher level anymore. After 28 years without any sickness at all, I ended up having 5 weeks off with stress last year, and have been subjected to informal and formal reviews ever since, despite Occy Health noting that the additional stress is not helping my RA symptoms at all. You MUST get the unions' support, I would not still be working without it, as this terrible treatment eventually undermines your confidence and wears you down. Stay strong!

    Trish x

  • Kate, Don't pay any attention, just take the two weeks rest, you will be amazed at the difference it makes. Most workplaces have a very active attendance management policy and its a 'one-for-all' fit, which is not fair, but sure dont we know life is not fair. They come at you, with the 'we are just trying to see what we can do to help you approach, yeah right!!

    I have gone along with it all,like a nodding dog, return to work meetings, attendance management meetings, all designed to keep bums on seats, or staff at work as in your case.

    However, when you are genuinely unwell, you have to put yourself first and tolerate all the politicking that goes on, they will never understand what it is to walk a mile in your shoes, as if you could walk a mile.

    Anyway, I have been there and back with the work issue, and unless you are losing your job (illegally) I would zone out, chill out and f... 'em for the next 2 weeks and another 2 after that if you are still unfit for work.

    Hope you feel better soon, Gina.

  • You tell them gina,its so unfair that they have to pick on the vunerable who have enough to cope with, with ra and other relevant diseases. The bosses seem to think that people with an illness are easy targets. They will call it anything but that they don't want disabled people working with for them.

    Kath,you can always rant on here and we will always answer you.We all know how you feel.

    Take care ladies. Sylvi.xx

  • Great reply Gina, summed it up great.

  • Thanks guys. my friends have been supportive but management just don't seem to care. Its all about form filling and numbers in columns adding up. I worked so hard to become a midwife and I am not a quitterbut I am really thinking about a change of job. I would love to drop my hours but can't afford it financially and I don't qualify for anything so its a no win situation. At least I have you guys to sound off to which is a great help

  • Hi, I'm just going through the same stuff but have now been off over a year and my Ra still isn't stable. I managed to get the occy health consultant on board who was lovely and have just got a RCN rep who is supporting me. I did what Gina said and just got along to the meetings and got everything in writing, they told me i could have shorter shifts, someone to carry equipment and new computer and chair. I feel the same about all these years training and doing continuing professional practice year in and year out and then when something goes wrong they are not so understanding to us as we try to be to the patients!

    they are saying though they cant keep my job open, redeployment is not an option as no jobs at our place at the moment, so then its medical retirement . I think the mangement just want to cover shifts full stop, and doesn't matter if the nurse is ill and in pain as long as they turn up and now we need to work till 68yrs old I can imagine us old croaks pulling people up beds(with appropriate care!!!!) and collapsing in with them!!lol!!

    But Ginas right , try not to worry about being off work and feeling guilty like we all do, they will manage and you just need to get better soon () Dont let them wear you down !! Axx

  • I have only been using this site for a short time but I can already see continuing themes. I work in the private sector of healthcare( Icouldn't stand the mismanagement of the NHS any longer ) and have just had to fight for my right to Company sick pay. I had a flare about 6 weeks ago, as usual I tried to battle through it but then went off sick. It wasn't too long before I received a letter telling me I had breached the Company sick policy and would therefore not be paid for this period of absence. The last thing you need in the middle of a flare is to have to fight for your wages.My Occy Health contact has been good and when I threaten the company with discrimination they got their act together and now realise that I am protected by the Equality Act 2010 . I think part of the problem is the name of the disease...Rhuematiod Arthritis seems to be so misleading...people at work seem to think I have a sore shoulder or achey joints etc...I think a better name would be Rheumatoid Disease.

  • Google Rheumatoid Warrior for a campaign to change the name to Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD) - there's a powerful lobby for this in the States for exactly the reasons you mention. Only today my sister sent me some well meaning thing about coming off all the toxic drugs and using herbs to fight arthritis - (in fairness it did say there were over 100 types) but I think that arthritis is very misleading and does us all a big disservice. Then again those on the big arthritis site forums get cross because they think that we should all be in it together and a name change won't make any difference. I beg to differ I think it might really help us all to overcome some of the work issues so often mentioned here.

  • this sounds more like it too me...I will join the campaign...

  • Dear rab333 I totally agree. It must be something about Occy Health Consultants because mine is Brill. I had someone makea comment about me complaining re my off duty and I told her to have the pain I have feel as tierd as I do work full time and then come back and tell me why I shouldn't complain re off duty. Most people think it is just a pain here and there and a good nights sleep will solve everything if only !!!

  • Hi I have only recently been diagnosed. It's all been a bit of a shock and I'm really worried about being in a similar position. I have had to ask for time off for three separate hospital appointments next week. So far my manager has been ok but I wonder how long that will last. Really worried about my job.

  • You are protected under the Equality Act 2010, Disability section...

  • Hi, im another one who works for the 'caring profession' - not ! Ive had a week off for chest infection which the cause flare up and on return was greeted with im unreliable and they cant manage with me going off with no notice and unsure when im back so they now want to sort occy health assessment and feel that they are building a case that my role isnt suitable for someone in my role and on Anti- tnf. Im ready to throw in the towel, dont feel well enough for a fight anymore. Ive had this week as A/L as chest infection has returned and my thought were -thank god i havent had to phone in sick again.

    If your in the NHS pension i suggest you contact them for an ill health retirement prediction, I have as thought it best to see exactly what situation i would be as i too am so worried about the money side of things, and they warned me that it can take up to 8 weeks! So maybe start the ball rolling now - just in case.

    Also make sure that any time you have off because of your RA is recorded as 'Disability sick leave' as this is not supposed to be counted.

    Now rest and enjoy this lovely weather, take care and let us know how you get on, x

  • I hate to hear this...it is so cruel...you should not feel forced to use your A/L to cover your illness...this was also suggested to me by General Manager. Occy Health assessment if done properly should help you and make you feel less guilty about going off at short notice...I got a great booklet from NRAS called " When an employee has RA, an employers guide " and also another one called " Fatigue, beyond tiredness " both very helpful...

  • Hi thanks,gave them the booklet -when employee has RA when 1st diagnosed , doubt it was even read but will send for the fatigue one as thats where im really struggling. best wishes, x

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