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occupational health interview....help!!!!

H

happyhappy

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I got a call today from the company who deals with my work's occupational health. I haven't even been told I am being referred! However, I made an appt for the 5th of August for a telephone consultation. Should it get to the 5th and I still haven't seen a copy of my works report, I am going to refuse to go through with the interview as I am not answering anything that I haven't had prior written notice of.

My problem is this. I started to get ill a while back, paranoia. people spying on me. My pdoc said my med wasn't working effectively and was going to change me but I wouldn't let him at that time. Then I decided to go my own way. Part of that is because I was paranoid the drugs were poisoning me but part of it is cos I am a pig headed bampot! I stopped my meds and started to rapidly cycle between thinking there were angels and demons inside me, to wanting to kill myself and my children (I know how evil that sounds....that is why I got myself hospitalised) I don't know whether to tell them this. If I don't, they may seek info from my pdoc who might tell them. I can't ask him beforehand as he is on annual leave.

My main concern is that occ health will think I brought it all on myself. Which to a large degree is true, but I don't think I would have stopped my meds if I had been completely well.

My other problem is my manager does not know I have bi polar. her husband had it I think and he comitted suicide so I have always tried to protect her from knowing about me, as I think I will just be a painful reminder. I think I am as it is and all she knows is that I have 'a significant depressive illness'. It sounds silly I know, but I worry that if she knows, she will treat me in a more negative way as she will want rid of me. I suspect she does as it is. The previous occ health company was happy to leave it as 'significant depressive illness' but I don't know that the new company will. Yet, I think maybe the time has come to stop hiding behind a vague title and let her know just what is wrong with me?????

Also, my manger will no doubt say that she has put into place all reasonable adjustments as it is. She has reduced my hours, stopped me working a late followed by an early shift and worked my hours around therapy. The only other adjustment I can think of is for to accept that I may well at times be off ill as such is the nature of my illness. Does that sound reasonable?

They have already been advised by the previous occ health company that my illness should be considered under the disability discrimnation act. I know you can still be fired though if you are not living up to the job. I am however, good at my job when I am well. I also work for a local government dept, so it is actually quite hard to fire me!

The other thing I am wondering is this. I have always protected my senior colleagues when I have been at these appts before. I have not let on that I have not been receiving regualr supervision and that I find the culture of management-plebs quite stressful, depending on who I am on shift with. I don't think I should do that this time. I returned in March and have not had supervision once, even though I should receive it every six weeks. problem being, my supervisor I would also consider to be a pal and I don't want to get her into bother. I do however think that lack of supervision has contributed to my stress at work and possibly to my mental health. I also think the negativity in my workplace contributes to my poor mental health.

One last thing. In my work, I deal with some people who demonstrate challenging behaviours. The behaviours that I find particularly challenging since being ill are aggression and noise. I feel since first becoming ill, I am particularly sensitised to aggression and it fills me with absolute fear. When we have an aggressive client in, I feel positively ill. Noise....again, since becoming ill, I find noise pollution a real problem. It is like I have too much mental noise going on and the physical noise overloads me. Again, it makes me feel positively ill. If I admit to this, then I am admitting that I can't do my job completely and a re deployment may be suggested which would no doubt involve a serious drop in pay.

What do people think about the points I have made and is there anything else people think is important to point out?

Sorry it is so long but I am stressing out big time and I am going on holiday tomorrow and I want to de escalate before I go!

Happyhappy
 
S

Solihull_boy:)

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Advice

I would suggest that you go ahead with the consultation. A telephone consultation is a poor way of dealing with your issues. It is likely that you will speak to an OH nurse who in all likelihood will refer you to a more senior physician for a face to face consultation.

As a side note you must comply with your company on this as they will be forced to draw conculsions without your input. This is obviously worse.

Make sure that you keep notes when you speak on the phone. Ultimately they are actually mean't to providing an independent medical assessment of your condition (with no bias either way).

Ask them to send you details of what the ongoing process id likely to encompass
 
H

happyhappy

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I agree that a telephone consultation is a poor way of dealing with matters. I advised the girl who called me of such today. She explained it was to spare me the stress of going in for an appt. That's fair enough really as I have become extremely stressed at my previous appt's.
I just think the time has come for me to stop protecting people and be candid. I don't suggest that my work caused me to become ill, but I don't think they did all they could to help me remain well.
I know that I must comply, so maybe not agreeing to interview if I haven't received report is not such a good idea. What I will do if this happens is ask them to outline everything in the report made about me and I will note it down. I just think that it is really bad practice that I have been contacted by an independent occupational health company before my manager even let me know a report was to be submitted. I think that is indicative of what little respect my manager has for me and/or of the systems in place for referring employees.
Happyhappy
 
Fedup

Fedup

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When i had to go to OH , i got an appointment ......... my boss didn't know until i told her i was going .
OH then sent her a report after appointment of which i also recieved a copy.
 
H

happyhappy

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Thanks Fed up,
I am actually wondering if that is what has happened as all procedures have been computerised now, so a sickness of three weeks or more will trigger an automatic referral. However, at same time as referral goes to OH, a letter should be sent out to employee.
It is a new OH company who has won the contract so maybe they are a bit keen.
Happyhappy
 
Libra1

Libra1

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Hi Hh,

am reading your post with interest as, an employee can also request themselves to be referred to OH via their HR manager. If you eventually do have a face to face interview with OH, do not worry about taking notes as, it is your 'right' to have copies of any/all notes made.

You can also make suggestions at the medical that would help you remain in work, and that could include supervision in your situation.

I do not mean to put a dampner on your situation Hh, but please do not be complacent about working for a govt dept and not being sacked :mad:

OH can reccomend 'reasonable adjustments' as you correctly state, this can include reduction of hours, special seat, work station adaptions and or transport to/from work etc. Redeployment and 'medical retirement' are last resorts when you cannot be retained in the work you are currently doing.

I was 'medically retired' last May, thro' necessity not choice, and on reflection it was the right decision for me.

I have only ever worked for govt depts, was Nursing for almost 20years, and in education/teaching for the 15 years!

Am wishing you well for 5 Aug, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to pm me, I do not know all the answers but will always try and help :)
 
intelgal

intelgal

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Hiya...
I am a little bit of an expert at this subject to..... IF a report was asked from your PDOC you are entitled to see it before it is submitted to any employee occutpational health services. You also have the right to ammend and negotitiate over actualy content as long as facts are not altered. As far as i was concerend anything that is written or discussed during any OH interview is strictly confidential and should not be shared with your manager. As far as I was concerned OH are their to advise both employee and employer as to how both partiee can work to remain in sutible employment and if changes or adaptions need to be made... say flexible working hourse, alterations to shift pattern, stress management and support etc.....I wrk for the Health service and this is what I have been led to belive.

Please feel free to PM... Lots of my recent paranoia has been aroun this issue and been convinced i was going to get the sack !!

intel
x
 
H

happyhappy

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Thanks for replies Libra and Intelgal,
I have been on hols so not responded.

Libra, you are quite right that I should not be complacent. I think I am just lucky that my employers are more accomodating than others. I just do not know what way this is going to go on Tues.
Intelgal, my employers have already bent over backwards to accomodate me in my post. There isn't really an awful lot else they can do except accept that sometimes I am going to be ill, or at least until I stabilise and I cannot give a definite timescale for that. Other BP peeps will know that this is like a piece of string.....of variable length. I have just had a backstep too with my most recent med Lamictal. I took a bad allergic reaction to it, so I am almost at square one again. I had high hopes for it too as it is supposed to be one of the best for rapid cyclers.
Thanks for pointing out I am entitled to see report from pdoc. If they ask for this, I will tell them I want to approve it first. I will also point out what I do and do not want my employers to know. They only need to know that I am indeed ill, not necessarily with what.

Happyhappy
 
H

happyhappy

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I had my interview today....via phone. it was the most horrendous interview.

She says there is no need for me to be re deployed as once my condition improves, there is no reason I cannot do my job. I explained I have been waiting for stability for 18 months, I find it stressful and I think it contributes to my ill health. She just said that I will not find it so once I stabilise. I told her I find myself highly sensitised to noise and aggression. She said again...I won't do once my condition has stabilised.
She said there is nothing she can do to stop my management taking disciplinary action against me, should they wish to do so. There is nothing she can do to have my present adjustments continued as my employers are under no obligation to do so, so in effect, I could go back and my working conditions could be made worse not better! I told her the present adjustments were also recommended by my pdoc and she just said that if my employers have done those adjustments then they are jolly nice and I should be saying 'thank you' ....she actually said that!
She said that my condition was covered by the disability discrimination act, but basically that meant nothing if I am not doing my job properly ie not attending due to ill health. She said that yes, there may be further absences due to my health but my employers are not obliged to accept this situation.
She really bullied me into telling my employers that I am bi polar, even though I said I did not want them to know. She said that for her to say that I had been off with depression was omitting part of the truth, but I said it wasn't as the times I have taken off it has been because of depression caused by bi polar, but she just kept at me until I agreed. This is causing me a huge amount of anxiety.
She said I am receiving the appropriate medical care....but hark at this....I need to be using my psychologist more effectively! I should be using him to help me come to terms with my bi polar. How dare she try to tell me what I should be using my psychologist for! She asked me what I was using him for......I don't really think her knowing that it is to deal with issues of childhood abuse and trauma was really for her to know, so I didn't tell her.
I just feel that it is all about my employers and now the thought of going back to work is an even bigger hurdle.

I am going away to have a damn good bubble.

I really think unemployment has to be my option.

Happyhappy
xx
 
intelgal

intelgal

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Hey... Sorry to hear that it was not very succesful HH... Here is a:hug: for what ever you decide to make your next move and hope that you are not forced or rushed into making quick decisions.

Intel
xx
 
honeyquince

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Sorry that you had to go through that, it sounds horrible... she thinks you should thank your employer... WHAT!!!??? And telling you that you should use your psych more effectively... sounds like something my psych would say! However it is now done and you can breath easy whatever the outcome. I guess that was all done for the employer (so much for them saying it's a process for both parties!) and you now need to think about what's best for YOU, but take your time, don't hurry into anything and talk to as many people are interested in hearing as you can, psych included (and don't forget the support that's available here!). Once this experience is a bit more in the past, and you're more relaxed, then you'll be in a better position to make some good choices. Good luck and let us know how you're getting on.
 
honeyquince

honeyquince

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Oooh, and one more thing... don't know if I've said this yet but I love your nickname, Happyhappy! Fabulous.

Honey, xx
 
S

Starbright

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Sorry feeling low and tearful, can't answer, just want to send you a big :hug: because that sounded shitty
 
rollinat

rollinat

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Sorry it was such a difficult interview - even harder over the phone I would guess. Like the others say, I hope you can take your time to make any decisions that have to be made.

Sending you lots of :grouphug: and again, sorry it was such a rubbish day for you.

:hug:
Rollinat
 
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