Friend exploiting the NHS?

(38 Posts)
WetLettuce123 Sat 09-Apr-16 00:00:31

A friend I have known for 10+ years is an NHS doctor. She has been vocal with me and some others about hating her job and wanting to plan having a child to maximise her amount of maternity leave. About a year ago she got signed off sick from work on 100% pay with sciatica. She was advised to rest during this time and it was diagnosed as severe. During this time she has been on holiday and on numerous days out which involve physical activity and always asks people not to tag her in Facebook because she doesn't want her colleagues and bosses to see what she's doing.

Then despite being advised not to she got pregnant. She told us this was all planned and basically said she was exaggerating her health condition so she could be off work. She was told unless she returned to work she would not get full sick pay. Immediately she returned to work. This to me says she could always work as as soon as the pay was reduced she was back there. She says she's worried about her colleagues reaction to her situation as if positions were reversed she would judge them (her words).

She will only have to work full time for two months until she goes on maternity leave. AIBU to think less of her for this and think she's milking the NHS for her own benefit?

PurpleDaisies Sat 09-Apr-16 00:03:01

Don't most people plan pregnancies to make sure they've got good maternity pay? I don't think that in of itself is an indicator she is "milking the NHS".

jeremyisahunt Sat 09-Apr-16 00:06:26

Good for her! smile

PortiaCastis Sat 09-Apr-16 00:06:57

Oh dear have you seen the new junior doctor contract?

notamummy10 Sat 09-Apr-16 00:08:35

I would say the time wasters are exploiting the NHS, I mean calling out ambulances when not needed, going to A&E when they could have gone somewhere else, trying to stay in hospital for longer than required... The list goes on.

But from what you've explained, that could happen in any company aside from the NHS... She's planned it out carefully, although it is a bit silly to go against people's advice. But hey, it's her choice!

WetLettuce123 Sat 09-Apr-16 00:08:58

She's not a junior doctor if that's at all relevant. But what I'm saying is when the NHS is this stretched doesn't it leave a bad taste when you know or have been told someone is taking sock pay when they don't actually need it? Doesn't that make it even more relevant?

PurpleDaisies Sat 09-Apr-16 00:10:13

So she is a consultant?

TheRealBarenziah Sat 09-Apr-16 00:14:29

Damn these evil lady doctors and their, erm, "sock pay", Lettuce!

FeralBeryl Sat 09-Apr-16 00:37:13

I think you are not a very good friend tbh.
Sciatica is hideously debilitating, it can also be intermittent so if she wants to do the odd activity whilst she's off-so what?
Re: work, you say she hates her job, but don't bother to take this into consideration when you accuse her of 'milking the system' could it not be that she is feeling quite distressed at the idea of returning?
She won't want pictures posting as people you jump to conclusions and pre judge.
Doctors don't generally tend to tie up 20 odd years of training, spend megabucks and generally have periods of no life, to then skive off as soon as they get to consultant level hmm they generally love and live what they do.
It would be far nicer if you to talk to her and see if you could help with any of her work issues rather than judging her.
Do you have any idea of the hideous stresses she's under? Yes the NHS is under pressure - ooh the irony! But she has been signed off sick, a medical professional has deemed this to be a true fact.

WetLettuce123 Sat 09-Apr-16 01:01:29

Sorry, sick pay!

I hope I don't come across as bitter and resentful... confused Which I probably do. It's just I've been told that the sick pay thing wasn't necessary. Obviously the maternity is!

PaulAnkaTheDog Sat 09-Apr-16 01:06:15

Do you understand sciatica? Your blasé description of her life makes me think no.

WetLettuce123 Sat 09-Apr-16 01:07:53

She told me she didn't have it though. However obviously there were some problems for so thing to be diagnosed. Also she is a single parent to three under 5.

I accept IABU on this one.

Dollymixtureyumyum Sat 09-Apr-16 01:08:16

The doctor will have told her to get up and about with Sciatica. It's not easy to her signed off on long term sick nowadays.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 09-Apr-16 01:10:56

Why on earth would she be advised not to get pregnant and that have any validity if she didn't have the medical condition that caused the advice.

You can't have it both ways

FeralBeryl Sat 09-Apr-16 01:11:23

You really are, but I'm also probably over reacting wink
I just think you're not seeing the bigger picture here, think about the profession she is in.
Is it typically one that someone would try and sag off? M. To waste all that time training then risk their professional reputation as a skiver?
Sickness policies are a lot more robust now. You are only in receipt of full pay for 6 months, then drop to half pay.
Also if she goes off dick again within a certain time period, she'd be entitled to nothing. That would be quite a risk for someone who's just swinging the lead.
I think there's probably a lot more to this than you think superficially. I say this as someone who hates pisstakers in the workplace btw grin

FeralBeryl Sat 09-Apr-16 01:12:37

Off dick?!?!
With that many small kids maybe she should go off dick blush

SICK!!

sandgrown Sat 09-Apr-16 01:16:19

For what it's worth I agree with you wet lettuce. I have a colleague who gets a,range of disability benefits for mobility yet regularly,walks 5K with her friends. My pet hate is people who lie and say they are on benefits when they need a prescription. They know there are few checks.

Stratter5 Sat 09-Apr-16 01:47:47

Pfft. Mobility can vary. I've just escaped from hospital after yet another admission for brittle asthma. I've been told (again) to apply for a blue badge.

Thing is, on a really good day I can manage a 4 mile dog walk. On a bad day, and believe me 70% of days are bad days, I literally have to plan going to the loo. First twinge of needing a wee, and I have to set off for the loo, because I know I'll need to sit down and rest on the way. Getting to the end of my very ordinary drive is a major challenge, walking across a car park somewhat akin to climbing Everest.

So please don't judge people's mobility. If they're anything like me, you'll only see them out on a half decent day.

AyeAmarok Sat 09-Apr-16 01:54:39

YABU.

bittapitta Sat 09-Apr-16 02:01:39

She is a consultant doctor OP? (You saod she isn't a junior doctor) She would have paid yes paid tons in training and exam fees to get there plus all the shit that goes with studying and working that hard to get there, usually ten or so years worth. Wind your neck in.

"Also she is a single parent to three under 5."

What a drip feed!

AyeAmarok Sat 09-Apr-16 02:30:50

She's obviously very clever to be able to become a consultant, while having three long sets of mat leave, and having lots of additional long periods off work on the sick.

I think you're having us on a bit, poetic licence?

lorelei9here Sat 09-Apr-16 02:32:41

OP are you saying she lied about having sciatica?

GraysAnalogy Sat 09-Apr-16 02:35:48

As someone who works closely with doctors I dont blame her at all. It's relentless what they have to do and the hours they work. And it's completely different being able to do tasks at home and on holiday and then being able to sit down when you've hit your limit, compared to a shit that lasts 12-16 hours without the option to.

This to me says she could always work as as soon as the pay was reduced she was back there
Ermm no? Lots of people go back to work and have to suffer because their pay is reduced.

This thread isn't political is it? The timing with the JD strike is convenient.

GraysAnalogy Sat 09-Apr-16 02:37:04

Actually now you say she has 3 under 5 I call bullshit. How old is she?

GarlicShake Sat 09-Apr-16 02:59:30

Lettuce, people are going on about consultants because ALL hospital doctors are junior doctors unless they're consultants.

Everyone else's comments make sense, and I'm glad you've accepted you were BU. (Bold in the vain hope that subsequent posters will notice!)

Sandgrown, you're talking bollocks. Have you got the faintest idea what vicious procedures a claimant has to go through to get disability benefits? They've even been known to refuse claimants who had heart attacks and fits during the interview!

Being able to walk 5k some days doesn't mean you have no mobility issues. For reference, since you clearly want to know more about these things, the test is "reliably and repeatedly". And some psychological issues are counted as mobility, if they affect the patient's ability to get around.

Also, the prescription thing does catch up with you eventually. I got a letter demanding evidence of my claim - although it was something like 2 years after I qualified for free prescriptions.

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