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AIBU about OH appointment?

(23 Posts)
CreativeBee Mon 18-Apr-16 21:52:45

I had an injury whilst at work and have been off for nearly six weeks. I am still in a lot of pain and waiting results from scans before GP will do anything. Anyways as part of procedures I have been referred to OH and they have sent me an appointment to see them in town. My only issue is I can't drive due to injury, in a lot of pain standing, walking or sitting upright and they expect me to go into town for this appointment to see if they can get me back to work by making adjustments. I appreciate that it is part of policy but there really is nothing they can do yet to get me to work until I heal (unless they're planning on providing me a bed). I'm really depressed being at home, I haven't been out since the incident because I can't walk and I know it's most probably that I'm angry because I'm emotional but I just feel like this appointment is adding on stress I don't need, AIBU? I'm not worried about the appointment in itself but the actual getting there when GP report states what is wrong!

CrazyDuchess Mon 18-Apr-16 21:56:39

If you are signed off work then I don't believe you have to attend an OH appt.

Could you contact them and explain your difficult and ask whether they could do a telephone assessment?

CreativeBee Mon 18-Apr-16 22:01:09

I'm going to ring them tomorrow but I just feel that it's stress that I don't need whilst trying to get better. Like I said I know it's usual but it's just got me so angry that I ended up crying because I'm so frustrated with the way I'm feeling as it is, it's funny how we take walking and doing normal jobs around the house for granted. Everything just seems to have gone to pots for me at the moment 😞

EstrellaCircusGirl Mon 18-Apr-16 22:08:57

The thing with GP reports is that the GP specialises in your health and how best to manage that on a day to day basis. What GPs aren't, are experts on everyone's individual jobs, work environments and the numerous possible adjustments that could be made.

OH practitioners are medical professionals who specialise in the interface between your health and your ability to do certain jobs. They can interpret your GP's report, taking into consideration the specifics of your job. In much the same way as you would expect to see an anaesthetist (in addition to your consultant) before an operation.

The OH practitioner will be able to give your employers more information about potential timescales, phased returns and amended duties.

So, YANBU to wonder why you've been referred, but YABU to assume that one medical professional can provide all of the answers.

Mrsderekshepard Mon 18-Apr-16 22:12:35

Can you request a home visit?

EstrellaCircusGirl Mon 18-Apr-16 22:12:41

Crazy - no you can't be forced to go see OH, but your employer can only manage your return them based on the limited information they have. OH can help manage your employer's expectations (as not everyone's broken ankle heals as quickly as cousin Joe's)

Pollaidh Mon 18-Apr-16 22:13:11

When I was too ill to make the 30 min train journey and then taxi to OH I explained that what work was suggested would probably put me back in hospital. OH doctor was happy to do the initial appointment by telephone.

Due to my extreme pregnancy complications I have been to see the OH doctor regularly throughout my pregnancies. I was terrified, thinking it was some sort of disciplinary procedure, or way to see if I was 'really' ill. He was absolutely lovely, supportive, and actually was trying to insist that I get signed off for the whole pregnancy, whilst I was arguing for being able to work a little. It wasn't at all a combative situation. He was also good at explaining in letters to work exactly what the issues were and how serious they were.

CreativeBee Mon 18-Apr-16 22:20:29

I'm in no way against the referral and happy to see them, it's the fact that they expect me to get to middle of town. They know what the problem is, I think I'm just being emotional and every little thing is getting me down. I just want to be able to get back to doing "normal everyday things" and not being in so much pain 😔

GeezAJammyPeece Mon 18-Apr-16 22:23:58

If you were injured at work, of course they want want either their own doctor or Occupational Health to see you.

I'm not entirely certain but believe they may also have a legal obligation to (but this may be dependant on the severity etc).

I know when I was off longterm sick a couple of years ago, my employers asked me to attend an appointment with their chosen doctor; even though I was under the care of my own GP, NHS physio & neuro team at the hospital. It meant HE could refer me for an extended course of treatment with a private physio; that they paid for.

Before discussing a return to work with you, they need professional advice on when & what you will be capable of. Also, if the injury was an accident or caused due to negligence on your, their or someone else's part, OH get involved to assist in implementing safe practice etc.

I know the thought of going is horrendous (many a time I could have quite happily not gone, knowing I'd come out feeling like I'd been hit by a bus!) but if you CAN make it, I'd really recommend you go.

Definitely give them a call and explain your difficulties in attending, they may be able to change appointment time to something more convenient if it means someone else can drive you etc but I don't imagine they'd agree to ONLY a telephone consultation.

I do hope your pain lessens soon
flowers for you.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Mon 18-Apr-16 22:25:39

Can you take a taxi?

CrazyDuchess Mon 18-Apr-16 22:25:46

Oh I know Estrella- was trying to make OP feel less anxious and offer an alternative

EstrellaCircusGirl Mon 18-Apr-16 22:27:28

Sorry Creative, I'd honed in on the bit where you said that the GP report said what was wrong and I read it as 'isn't this just a bit of a tick box activity'.

As PPs suggested, some OH practitioners will do an intial phone consultation, may be happy to carry out a home visit or meet you a little closer to home. Might work pay for a taxi if driving is out of the question and public transport difficult?

flowers for a speedy recovery.

CreativeBee Mon 18-Apr-16 22:32:04

I'm going to ring them tomorrow and see if they can make a home visit. DH could drive me but it's the discomfort and pain of sitting and walking. I honestly don't mind being seen, they have CCTV that shows how the injury happened and it's not self inflicted. I have a 'fit note' till 22nd May and know once scan results come through GP has said she'll refer me to physio.

Gide Mon 18-Apr-16 23:00:16

YANBU. I would have found it hard to go after my accident, even being driven round was terrifying and painful. If you can go, tho, it will be of long term benefit. I hope the pain stops soon and isn't something that'll persist. Are you supposed to do any exercises or is that why you're seeing the physio?

CreativeBee Tue 19-Apr-16 00:25:51

Ty Gide, I've been told to be as active as I possibly can (standing for about 3 minutes and walking a few steps without being in pain is all I can manage) but no exercise given as I'm waiting to be referred to physio once MRI results are back. I hate being in pain but more than that I hate not being able to do anything. I feel so guilty for being off work and I get a pastoral call once a week from line manager and get all panicky because I feel so guilty for being off work. Personally I think it's the job I'm in and this amount of sick leave is not really heard off 😞 X

HesterLee Tue 19-Apr-16 00:38:25

You poor thing. I would definitely call OH and explain the situation just as you have here - that you want and need the assessment but physically can't get there. Maybe they can do an initial phone consultation and then full assessment when you can stand for longer than 3 minutes!
Hope the pain lessens soon.

GeezAJammyPeece Tue 19-Apr-16 01:31:53

Hopefully commonsense will prevail and they will be able to do inital contact by telephone. As you already have been for MRI (?) and are awaiting results, it would make sense for them to wait until aftwr you had seen consultant again etc anyway.
With pain as severe as you mention, physio probably wouldn't start proper treatment and/ or exercises until MRI results had been looked at anyway, so you wouldn't really have anything concrete to tell them now anyway; at least in terms of diagnosis / expected length of absence / further treatment plan.

Fingers crossed for your call tomorrow!

CreativeBee Tue 19-Apr-16 09:41:52

Well I called OH and I've been told that they don't do home visits!! The guy on the other end of the phone made it sound like I didn't want to go to the appointment and I tried to explain that it wasn't the case but more about being able to go to the appointment 😔. Work have requested a face to face appointment so phone assessment is out of the question. I went for an MRI last week and I was in so much pain just getting there and back. Looks like might just have to grin it and get there somehow ☹

RaspberryOverload Tue 19-Apr-16 10:13:39

Why not phone your manager to explain the issue? It's in their interests to have you fit and well for work and if this chap is simply expecting you to turn up to the appointment, I'd be worried that he's the one who'll be treating it as a box ticking exercise, and you could find some totally inappropriate OH measures recommended.

fascicle Tue 19-Apr-16 10:16:55

they expect me to go into town for this appointment to see if they can get me back to work by making adjustments.

They want to discuss adjustments, but are prepared to make none in order for you to have an appointment? Sounds short-sighted, insensitive and rather ironic.

Might be worth putting something in writing to say that you are happy to have the appointment but would have difficulty travelling to them. There must be some situations in which they carry out home visits. Alternatively, would they consider a Skype call?

CreativeBee Tue 19-Apr-16 10:41:29

I said to the guy (from OH) that I'd like a home visit first, when he stated they don't do home visits I said ok, I can't make the 3pm appointment because I have children that need to be collected from school (I have a son who needs picking up and a daughter who comes on transport from school (she has a disability) and it's just me and my husband so no one to help out) so could I have another time please. He replied with I'll have to ring your workplace as you can't cancel an appointment only they can. I'm not cancelling the appointment I'm just rearranging! This is the stress I really didn't want ☹. Things not so great with manager at moment due to me being off for so long and because injury took place at work so I know they'll see it the way they want to 😫

CreativeBee Tue 19-Apr-16 10:43:25

Just adding, why time is the problem, if hubby is taking me to appointment no one is here for the children. Can't take taxi because he has to support me to walk X

FuckitAndStartAgain Tue 19-Apr-16 10:52:20

I suspect that you need to talk to HR and explain that

1 you are happy to be assessed
2 little point until results of mri scans through
3 you are not able to travel to the town at the moment

Then leave it in their pile of 'to dos'!

Call ACAS if HR are difficult. There are strict guidelines they should follow and they do not include causing you more pain!

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