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Would you go into work ..... even when you have a doctors sick note?

(24 Posts)
mosschops30 Mon 13-Jul-09 20:07:09

I started my job (NHS employed) in March. Since then I have had one day off for migraine, one week compassionate leave followed by 3 weeks certified sickness due to illness and then death of my father. Then I was ordered to have a weeks bed rest 2 weeks ago by midwife after iron level dropped and I was very breathless, tired, palpatations etc.

Have been to the doctors tonight, still feeling breathless with the most overwhelming exhaustion I cant even explain it. My hb has not risen at all in 2 weeks. Now doctor has given me another 2 weeks off (depsite me being back in work for a week now) with a view to possibly more time off if I dont feel better.

WWYD? I feel so bad at letting my boss down, he has been very flexible and understanding about everything and has not pressurised me to return to work at any time. I dont want to be the girl who started work and then never ended up being in, but neither do I want to risk mine or my baby's health.
I cant afford to drop any hours as am saving for my maternity leave because Im not eligible to full pay only SMP.
So shall I just bite the bullet and go in, or discuss it with my manager?

Any advice would be great smile

Metatron Mon 13-Jul-09 20:08:18

As far as i know you cannot work if signed off due to work insurance not covering you.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 13-Jul-09 20:11:14

If you are not well, you are not well. Seriously, that is why your gp has given you time off. If you improve at all, you are allowed to return to work on a sick note, but only if you are well enough to return. And it does not sound like you are well enough.

You do not need to consider dropping hours, or starting maternity leave early because you are sick, that is why you have a med cert (until you reach 36 weeks then they can force maternity leave on you at that point).

I hope you feel better soon

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 13-Jul-09 20:13:38

Metatron - my employers state in our sickness policy that we are allowed to return to work with a valid sick note, the sick note recommends not working, but not that it is compulsory to stay away if you feel well enough.

rubyslippers Mon 13-Jul-09 20:14:13

i have done it and was told to go home and get a note from my GP saying i was fit to work

you sound like you need the time off

can you not see how you feel after a week and then see if you can return maybe next week?

JoesMummy09 Mon 13-Jul-09 20:14:30

No. You are unwell. I've been anaemic to the point of breathless and it meant I couldn't do my job properly. Be honest with your boss so they can contingency plan.

Your employer will have liability insurance. If you go to work when your doctor has signed you off then that insurance is not valid.

Hope you feel better soon smile

mosschops30 Mon 13-Jul-09 20:16:15

I am only 23 weeks atm. I cannot afford to start my mat leave any earlier than 36 weeks due to me not being paid sad

God I just feel so awful about it, I told him i was popping to the doctors tonight to get my iron sorted, god knows what he'll say if I dont turn up tomorrow and phone in with my sick note!
Its not good form though is it, ill or not, to have this much time off after being in the job since March.

pasturesnew Mon 13-Jul-09 20:16:50

No. Your health and that of your baby is more important than work and the point about insurance is a very good one!

mosschops30 Mon 13-Jul-09 20:17:21

but thats what I did ruby, I had a whole week off of resting, returned for a week, and am now exhausted again.

poopscoop Mon 13-Jul-09 20:17:32

no i would not work with a sick note, and neither should you. Rest, take it easy and get yourself fully better before your gp feels you can return.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 13-Jul-09 20:18:02

DO you get sick pay?

mosschops30 Mon 13-Jul-09 20:22:13

Yes I do, and pregnancy related sickness is not counted towards your overall sickness record (ditto my time off due to dads death).

I know what youre all saying, and I would probably say the same. But try and see it from my manager's pov, do you not think youd be mighty pissed off with new starter who fionds out shes pg, then her father dies, then she has oodles of time off due to 'tiredness' .... I know I'd be waiting to get her off my department!

lou031205 Mon 13-Jul-09 20:22:38

mosschops, (I am a nurse) how would you explain to the patient's relative that you made the fatal drug error because you were so tired that you didn't see that the dose was 30mg rather than 60mg?

I have made that mistake (thankfully not dangerous to the patient, because the dose prescribed was half of the dose that is normally prescribed) after being awake for 36 hours straight during an on-call theatre list.

Not quite the same, but being seriously tired is a recipe for disaster in nursing. You are fairly newly qualified, and if you are not well, it is not a safe environment for either you or your patients.

All this aside from the fact that your baby comes above your work. Please take the time to recover, and don't worry about your work. Pregnancy related sickness is recorded separately.

If it is any help at all, I was sick with post-viral fatigue during my first pregnancy. I tried to continue because I was new in post when I fell pregnant. I ended up redeployed on my return from Maternity Leave because I did not allow enough time to recover and my stamina was not enough to cope with the intense rotation of shifts on SCBU. I think that had I allowed myself the time off, I may have recovered.

Sorry for the lecture.

rubyslippers Mon 13-Jul-09 20:25:46

then take the 2 weeks off

am 28 weeks pregnant and feeling awful at the moment and i feel terrible about taking any time off, but sometimes it is not avoidable

hope you feel better soon

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 13-Jul-09 20:28:40

Mosschops - as you get paid sick pay and its not affected by your maternity related sickness then you need to take all the time off you need to get yourself well, and don't even think about taking maternity until you are 36 wks.

MaureenMLove Mon 13-Jul-09 20:29:20

I had to send one of my ladies home today because she was still on a sick note. She was perfectly fit and healthy, but her sick note doesn't run out until Wednesday. She has to go back to the doctors in the morning, to get him to sign her back on and then she can come back. Insurance wouldn't cover her and it just isn't worth the risk.

Sheeta Mon 13-Jul-09 20:30:41

don't go in.

DebiTheScot Mon 13-Jul-09 20:36:25

I agree with metatron, you might not be allowed in as you might not be insured. That is certainly the case in my work.

And if you're ill you need to recover. I know it's hard if you're struggling for money but you and the baby have to come first.

Lulumama Mon 13-Jul-09 20:44:49

stay at home

it might well be the difference between going back healthy and refreshed and not needing any more time off, and ending up signed off for the rest of your pregnancy

whilst you are off, eat plenty of iron rich food, and take spatone twice a day

mosschops30 Mon 13-Jul-09 21:12:23

lou, I know what youre saying, thankfully Im not resposible for giving drugs at thw moment but I did get confused today just tying a tube in !!!!!! hmm which was a bit embarrassing.
My manager has done all he can, I now only work 8-6, 4 days a week, with no long shifts, no weekends and no nights.

I cannot possibly phone him in the morning, I definately feel like I have to go in and dicuss it with him. God i feel like such a mitching fake!

lou031205 Mon 13-Jul-09 21:25:57

Well, consider it your responsibility to safeguard yourself, your baby & your patients, and tell him that you have been signed off, and how much you look forward to getting stuck in when you are better. smile

mosschops30 Tue 14-Jul-09 10:36:40

Well after a rubbish night sleep, worrying about seeing my boss, I went in and gave him my sick note and explained what the doctor had said.
I think he was probably a bit pissed off but was fine, and told me to come home and put my feet up and not to ring him until the end of next week to let him know whether I was having more time off or returning.
He did say that another member of staff mentioned how tired I was yesterday and that I looked awful, and have today been blessed with huge swollen ugly coldsore so its not like I skipped in looking bright and beautiful smile
Off to bed in a mo to treat myself to a few more hours sleep smile bliss

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 14-Jul-09 20:55:29

Mosschops - I am glad it went ok with your boss. That pissed off ness you hear, its to be expected, but just completely ignore it. Make sure you rest.

I had the same with my own boss today, telling her I would not be in again, after much time off due to hyperemesis. She probably also had the OH report on her desk by now, confirming that I cannot be relied upon to be at work constantly between now and maternity leave as hyperemesis might not go away. She had that exact same tone - she was resigned, said all the right things (sorry to hear you are unwell) but clearly not happy. Tough!

mosschops30 Wed 15-Jul-09 15:33:45

thanks pavlov, I do hope you feel better soon smile

My diet today has consisted of black pudding, brocolli, dark choc and dried apricots. Hoping to be on top form soon grin

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