Time off for appointments related to RA

Rallymad Member Posts: 84
Hi just wondering if someone can clear this up?
I work for NHS and disclosed when interviewed for my job that I have RA, I regularly attend appointments with Rhuemy every 6 months. My appointment times are usually within working hours and have been cleared to attend these by my supervisor. I have a collegue who has had 1/2 knee replacement and recently had knuckle from big toe taken out and rod put in place, she has said that she know needs to use her annual leave or TOIL (time off in lue) to attend further appointments, as she has to go to biomechanics etc. Her GP has told her that she has arthritis but is not giving her DMARDs, I have told her I think she needs to ask them to refer her to Rhuemy for second opinion and to at least see them to get them to give her a treatment plan and medication. I think that this is very unfair to discriminate her and want to help her very much.
I also have now been told I have a gene that may cause me to develp Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (inherited family condition) I was given the day off to attend the DNA appointment to find out if I have the gene, now been confirmed and told will need further tests.........more time off work. I think this is very unfair that will have to use my holidays to attend these appoinments. Surely this should come under qualifying condition under the new Equality Act? And should be allowed to attend these without resorting to using up all my holidays??
Sorry for long winded rant but you would think working for such a large organisation as the NHS they would be amenable to their workers needs especially keeping them healthy as possible to maintain their work!!


  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 241
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    oh here we go again :( i sympathize with you as ive been there and got the tee shirt.

    ill try and keep this short but its not.
    like you ive worked for the nhs for 31 years in xray.
    i was diagnosed 27 years ago with oa.
    27 years later ive got the full shabang of oa / ra / anky spon / pa and also blind in one eye.

    i will only refer to the last year as previously theve tried to help me out the door.

    firstly are you registered disabled or have a blue badge.
    also might be worth mentioning the Disability and the Equality Act 2010 as this makes them think twice before they start laying it on strong.

    you will need to get HR, occupational health and even a union involved.

    im not sure if its the same for all public sector but you can have upto 10 days sick leave a year. any more and you have to be assessed with hr and occy healty even if you have a doctors sick note.

    now last june i had a flare up in my blind eye. within a few days the pain was so bad i could not sleep for more than 10 minutes without excrutiating pain. it was fine while i was awake and had no symptoms.
    over the next 4 months i had to go into london to the casualty eye hospital on 17 occasions and was forced to take annual leave for each day i was off. it got to the stage where in october they had given me an appointment to have the eye removed. i was on morphine and zopiclone sleeping tabs which didnt help the pain at all.
    as a last resort another doc tried a scrape of the eye and it sorted the problem. i was totally drained and needed a holiday but i only had 4 days annual leave left but needed 5. and then all hell broke lose.

    out of the blue i was called to HR for a meeting. in short it was 20 questions to see if i was still capable to continue my job. this snotty little girl just out of school talked down to me and in a round a bout way suggested i retire on disability grounds.
    she told me if i wanted to carry on i would have to take annual leave or sick leave for all appointments ie, eye hospital, rhumatology, physio, hydro, podiatrist etc and she ended on i also had to take a/l for my 6 weekly infusion and also every 4 months when i have my knee drained and injected with steroid.
    that was it i said this meeting end here and wont continue until i had spoken to my union rep. within 3 hours i had got an almost appology and told my infusion,knee injection, hydro or rhumy appts will still be classed as sick leave instead of annual leave but will not be counted against the 10 days max sick leave a year.

    so whatever you do dont panic and dont give up.
    join a union if you arent in one as they will fight your corner.

    keep us updated on how things progress and any sign of bullying bring up that you will be speaking to the > http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/disabledpeople/rightsandobligations/disabilityrights/dg_4001068

    good luck
  • sailrib
    sailrib Member Posts: 327
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've been told that hosp app if time off sick not holiday. Although a lot of employers say take it off at holiday and wait for you to find out evidence to say, no its time off sick.
  • Emily
    Emily Member Posts: 124
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have just had that with my employer, I keep asking for their policy for disable leave for appointments and they have just given it to me, take holidays or days owing or make up the time or have it unpaid.

    I was under the impression that it was adjustment to have time off for appointments for disable people, but employer say it is not. I will make further enquirers about this and get back.

    The crux of the matter is employers do not want disable people as it costing them money and will give as little as possible to disable staff so they will leave the company due to been frustration.
  • Rallymad
    Rallymad Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi guys,
    thanks for your replies. It is time off to attend hospital appointments that you have no control over, ie you cannot tell a consultant when you will be there, a GP or dentist you have to try to make in your own time or as close as. My colleague has hopefully got this cleared up as was making her very upset. The NHS you would think should be more understanding LOL, they are supposed to support colleagues with their promoting attendance policies, isn't it better to make sure people are fit and healthy for work therefore less time off sick and no need to cover shifts!! Hope everyone gets themselves sorted out.

Who's Online

+7 Guests