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Scared about returning to work

(9 Posts)
icepole Mon 07-Jan-13 17:58:08

Just to update that they still won't involve oh and won't discuss a phased return until I give them a date to come back.

icepole Sat 05-Jan-13 11:23:35

Scary moo sorry you are facing similar issues, I would have hoped the NHS would be leading the way with regards to staff welfare. 2 weeks won't be enough for you I am sure.

icepole Sat 05-Jan-13 11:22:19

Great advice thanks, just what I needed. School are awful, don't care about staff at all. I am waiting to hear back from HR, union advised me to self refer but when I called they said it wasn't allowed. Explained the situation, they said they would get back to me. I think the person who oversees my school was off still.

Dr has signed me off again, am very relieved. No way I could manage a full week. So just hope I can get some support from someone soon.

scarymoo Fri 04-Jan-13 16:13:09

They don't sound like they are being very helpful at all. I am in a similar position in trying to sort out a phased return after being off some time, with what looks likely to be ME/CFS. I thought that as they had now changed the sick notes to "fit notes", if your GP signs you as fit to return providing they take into account, any phased return/adaptations needed, your employer has to take these into account and follow the GPs instruction on your return.
I work for the NHS and for me it is the length of the phased return which will be the biggest issue, as they usually only let you have it for 2 weeks. I know it will take me so much longer than this! Hope you manage to get it sorted.

leolion Fri 04-Jan-13 14:19:04

Hi there icepole, sorry to hear you're having a hard time. As a previous sufferer of post viral fatigue and as an occupational health advisor, I had to reply!

Sounds like the school is not going about things well, and I would argue they are possibly going against policy if they are a state school by not referring you to occupational health taking into account how long you've been off. Every OH department acts differently and I wonder whether yours allows you to self refer? You could give them a ring and explain the situation. If they don't allow self referral, I would ring the school's human resources department ( every school should have someone they can access- your county council will know who it is) unless it is a private school? I would explain the situation to the human resources department and explain your position ie that you are trying to get back to work but feel you need an appropriate, realistic return to work and have requested an occupational health referral, but this hasn't been forthcoming. They should then liaise with the school and sort this out.

I would say it's very very important for you and your manager to have the support of occupational health with a realistic return to work plan, and to support you once you've returned to work to iron out any problems that may occur. I would not return to work until this plan is in place, as the likelihood of you slipping back again if your workload is too much is high. It is very common for managers to assume that if someone's back to work, they're completely fit, but occupational health should help clarify this and set some clear guidance for the school on what you're fit and not fit to do.

It's paramount with post viral fatigue that there is a phased return to work ie to build your hours up slowly usually over a few weeks to not 'over do it'.

Hope this helps and the best of luck.

pugsandseals Fri 04-Jan-13 11:49:12

I would stay off as long as you feel you need to. There is nothing worse than going back too early & being off again with every bug going round! Also, something I don't feel many people recognise, is what a physical job teaching is. It is obvious your employers are not going to ease you back towards full time gently, so the.only option is to wait until you are sure you can cope with a full on week. I am in a similar position (I actually work full time hours but for 4 different employers) & will be re-reading what I have written to you in the hope i will listen to the sane side of my brain! The other bit is doing 100mph about all the stuff that isn't getting done while I'm off sick & how a desperately need to get back to work asap so i can safeguard the work I do & it not get forgotten. So i know how you feel!

icepole Fri 04-Jan-13 10:00:29

No idea. My faculty head suggested I but SMT over ruled the decision. I only raised one day when they wanted me to do four junior classes in a row, 2 of which were very difficult. I knew I wasn't well enough to manage that, it's hard on a normal day! They just said I had to do it.

DozyDuck Fri 04-Jan-13 09:51:56

sad the school don't sound very supportive at all! Have you spoken to the head personally? I don't know much about teaching in secondary I was in primary. What were their reasons for not letting you come back only mornings when your doctor agreed to it

icepole Fri 04-Jan-13 09:48:52

Posted in the teachers area but no replies.

I have been off since Oct with post viral fatigue. Tried to return to work before Xmas with a phased return from dr, agreed to do mornings only but school changed this when I arrived and gave me much more, when I said it was too much they said I had to do it. I was in tears by 9:15 and felt hellish by lunchtime. Union were involved and the dr signed me off again, I haven't been back since.

I had some acupuncture before Xmas and it had helped a lot although I am not symptom free. A much better place though.

Tomorrow I see my dr and I am very stressed. I am scared to return to work. I have asked for support from occupational health three times but school won't process it. I have lost confidence in my ability to cope with the job. I am terrified of setting myself back health wise, not feeling sick every day is very nice. On the other hand I plan to leave, get out by Easter I hope. I want to sort out my senior classes, end the job well. It may not be so bad once I am back in there.

I teach secondary, practical subject so no hiding place or quiet days. I was finding the job stressful anyway.

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