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Physically Demanding Jobs and Arthritis

amboriticamboritic Posts: 66
Hello Everybody,

I have introduced myself in the Newbie section and this is my first post in the working section.

I currently have RA and Fibro, and work for the Ambulance service in a large city in England, have been struggling at work for over a year, Sulpha has reduced my inflammotory markers but made my fatigue and pains in my hands, knees, wrists and ankles worse, sometimes my hands feel like they are submerged in treacle.

Currently off sick, as my pain was so bad that I felt unable to cope, obviously the job involves lots of lifting and emotionally stressfull situations.

Management have been about as much use as a chocolate teapot, the Union rep hasn't replied to my Emails from the middle of June.

The only advise from management was, you will need a capability hearing, as an off the cuff remark when leaving the office.


Are there any other NHS staff on here that have experienced similiar apathy .

Have sent an Email off to the head of my sectors HR, but no reply in just over a week.

Just looking for feedback really, any advise or pointers welcome.

Thanks.

Comments

  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi ambriotic and welcome to the forum :D

    My most recent job was not within the health industry but the process of triggering the support in the workplace that you are entitled to under the Disability Discrimination Act is likely to be the same.

    The DDA says a disabled person is someone with ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.

    I've posted this AC publications link where there are leaflets that explain it all much better than I could.

    http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Workindependence

    After you've had a read......and you think it might be helpful for me to explain the ins and outs of the process that I went through...then give me a shout. Happy to help if I can :wink:

    iris x
  • amboriticamboritic Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for that,

    My main problem is that we have to carry about 40-50kg of kit into every call, and sometimes carry the patient, sorry, service user, down several flights of stairs, the week before I went of sick I thought my spine was going to explode out of my back it hurt that much.

    Not forgetting having problems getting up after kneeling down, sometimes I feel worse than the patients, in fact a lot of the time I am.
  • maria09maria09 Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    amboritic wrote:
    Thanks for that,

    My main problem is that we have to carry about 40-50kg of kit into every call, and sometimes carry the patient, sorry, service user, down several flights of stairs, the week before I went of sick I thought my spine was going to explode out of my back it hurt that much.

    Not forgetting having problems getting up after kneeling down, sometimes I feel worse than the patients, in fact a lot of the time I am.
    I know exactly how you feel Im a nurse & most of the patients I look after are better than me!
    Did you know you can refer yourself to occupational health you dont have to wait for your bosses to do that I have found them very helpful plus if you refer yourself you dont need to inform your boss if you dont want to!
    Good luck
    The NHS cares but doesnt care for its workers! Oh did I say that out loud ooops!
  • janie68janie68 Posts: 1,186
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You are totally right with nhs, LOOK AFTER THEIR OWN STAFF?

    Don't be silly, that would be too caring. I am too a nurse, my managers were not good at first, wanted me out really but now they understand how it is for me and are not too bad at all with me.

    Maria is right, go to occy health, they can advise you, also there is access to work through the job centre but not sure whether they will be able to help you in your job.

    Janie
  • amboriticamboritic Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I must admit I have seen from a few forums that the NHS is not the most caring of employers.

    It may just be me, but I am sure they have got more agressive with staff over the last 5 or 6 years.

    I had asked my Union rep to look into a Tier 1 medical retirement as feel I can still do less demanding jobs, don't want to be on the scrap heap just yet, but the thought of being redeployed into the control room fils me with dread.

    They are only interested in meaningless targets, activating a resource in 30 seconds from the time the 999 call was answered, the job I signed up for and the patients that I have risked my health and allmost certainly damaged my health for are being failed day in and day out.

    My lack of regard for targets whilst focusing on patient care has brought me into conflict many times with management.

    For my consideration for medical/ill health retirement to be in the hands of the incompetents at ATOS is the final straw.

    I have a feeling that the brunt of the savings that the government are going to make will be directed at the staff working for the NHS and local government that have become sick or disabled whilst working hard for years and paying into a pension scheme that refuses to pay up, just incase you might recover.
  • tanithtanith Posts: 175
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was in your exact situation with another Ambulance Service and was able to get ill-health retirement at 58yrs. I am sure my O/A was as a direct result of 20+ yrs of lifting and carrying but eventually I needed a THR , my manager was excellent at letting me work light duties/office duties when necessary and referred me to Occy Health when it became clear after my surgery that I was never going to be fit enough to resume full Ambulance duties.. it took a year of them trying to accommadate me in other posts but eventually the occy health doc who was very very supportive recommended I take ill-health retirement. I also found my Unison Rep very helpful and came with me to most consultation meetings to discuss my case.. so all in all I was quite happy with my treatment and although terrified of unemployment at the time I am now happily retired..

    Have you considered going into the training side of things, I did some of this in my last year of working and found it very rewarding and not so hard on my bones... your knowledge and experience could be your biggest asset when redeployment comes up.

    So definately ask for an occy health referral and let them access you, after all you are probably doing more damage by carrying on trying to lift and carry.. good luck
    Our worst times are always our best lessons.
  • woodbonwoodbon Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I've been retired sick, with a pension at 55. Iwas a Care Assistant and occy health found me unable to work as I have OA in quite a few joints and being off sick for 2 long periods. I hated giving up my job but sometimes it isn't possible to carry on. I'm so sorry for you.

    The one helpful bit of advice I can give to you is don't resign, make them let you go, if that is the only answer. It makes a big difference to your benefits and pension rights. You be able to move to a less physical job within the NHS. Sometimes these things can give you oppertunities you didn't know existed!

    Good luck and love Sue
  • amboriticamboritic Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have had another letter from my Consultant, he has now stated that I have Cervical Spondylosi, from an accident at work, and Thoracic Spondylosis,aswell as confirming I have some S&S of Fibromyalgia.

    He has also advised a new career, or at a minimum redeployment within my Trust.

    Looks like I have a fight on my hands as I have heard lots of horror stories regarding the NHS pensions and them refusing to pay out, even when my Trust had supported the medical retirement.
  • tanithtanith Posts: 175
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    amboritic wrote:
    I have had another letter from my Consultant, he has now stated that I have Cervical Spondylosi, from an accident at work, and Thoracic Spondylosis,aswell as confirming I have some S&S of Fibromyalgia.

    He has also advised a new career, or at a minimum redeployment within my Trust.

    Looks like I have a fight on my hands as I have heard lots of horror stories regarding the NHS pensions and them refusing to pay out, even when my Trust had supported the medical retirement.[/quote

    Well I wish you well with your application, I really did find HR and Occy health very supportive of my case.. they listened to my difficulties and took on board my reasons for turning down each redeployment suggested... one being it was a journey across London that I seriously could not cope with..
    Our worst times are always our best lessons.
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