Just wondering if anybody has any advice relating to Occupational Health referrals?
I've recently asked for some minor adjustments at work - just dictation software and/or the use of an i-Pad. This has prompted my manager, who has known about my Parkinson's for some time, to contact HR. At the present time, apart from one or two appointments, I have had no time off relating to the Parkinson's - or anything else - for a few years, but HR are still fairly insistent on a referral to occupational health. I was advised that this is because I have asked for some adjustments, and as I figure I'll end up there sooner or later, I've agreed. However on finally getting access to the referral form (through a somewhat roundabout route) I find that in addition to the reason given verbally, 'work related ill health - health problems that could affect health and safety' has also been highlighted as a justification for the referral. I don't operate any machinery - I work in education - and while I recognise that sooner or later I may struggle to do my job, I don't really understand the reason for the health and safety concerns - or why I wasn't advised of this. I have no idea if this is normal practice or if I should be concerned. Sorry for the rather lengthy post but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
All this is quite difficult about what is wrong or right. I work in health, and have had several referrals to occy health - none of which amounted to much and frankly not a great deal of help to me or hinderance.
I guess working in education you may qualify for ill health retirement, but a long way down the road.
I have found talking to employer and occy health in an honest way helps - as in "i am fine at the moment, may need some minor changes, but of course things will change, and you'll be the first to know". Also there are good and bad days, and its important that they understand the bad days may be few and far between at the moment! be positive.
Remember that your occy health may not be totaly aware of PD - but hopefully are, so you may need to guide them.
Work for me, is the biggest stress - this disease can be so unpridictable in its progression that planning is so difficult - yet we all know that more than likely it will eventually effect our work.
I must admit i start to feel my movement is being observed, and it knocks me, but head down and soldier on!! I fell in the car park last week - pd? or curb or both?, and bearing in mind I work in a hospital, no one came to my rescue.................I think my swearing scared them off!!
Good luck, be posititive, and maybe talk to union if you are in one, or find out your basic rights.
Hi - Thank you for the advice - it does make sense; work is also my biggest stress and this has all been so underhand that I guess I may have it all out of proportion. It's just that one minute I'm chatting about minor adjustments and today I get a letter that basically tells me I'm having a health assessment, I have no choice but to go along and a report outlining the impact of 'my condition' on my work is going to be sent to my manager in spite of the fact that I've had no time off and no concerns have been expressed. I'm working on convincing myself that this is 'support' but on the grounds that none of this was explained prior to the referral (insisted on by HR - who've never met me!) I'm struggling. Apparently there is no policy that I can read, it's under consideration, and I don't meet any of the referral criteria listed on the form - it just seems to be that the diagnosis alone means I have no choice. Still, I'm now working on just rolling with it as I suspect I'm really just totally p**d off with the whole thing (that'd be Parkinson's) right now so I may well not be being reasonable. And being un co-operative isn't, I feel, going help so, as you say, head down . . .
Thanks again. J