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Occupational health

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So I had my SAH in dec ‘17 and was off work for 6mths.


I returned very gradually, starting with just 2 mornings a week, I’ve kept my boss in the loop all the way through and have had a great deal of support, making sure I wasn’t trying to do too much.


I’ve slowly built up to now working 4 half days, my pay has been pro rata, surviving on 2/5 of my normal income has been tough, but we have managed just about as a family.


The company I work for has recently been bought out by a very large global company and my boss has been made managing director of the site I work at, she is still very keen on keeping me employed as I am apparently a very valued employee, but the new owners have referred me for an occupational health appointment.


I’m terrified of this as I’m unsure what the outcome will be, will they think I’m able to work full time? Due to fatigue, brain fog, and congnitive function declining with tiredness throughout the day, I can’t cope with full time hours, which my boss understands.


Or will they suggest that I’m unfit for any work, I don’t meet the criteria for disability benefits and can’t face trying to find a new job in my post SAH condition, I just don’t have the confidence to sell myself and would really struggle to learn a new job anyway.


Have any of you had experience of this kind of situation, I’m trying not to panic, but as I’m sure you can understand, I’m not at my most rational state at the moment. 


The appointment alone is an hour and a half drive to get there, let alone getting back aggggghhhh stress

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Hi welcome to BTG.


I think the first thing to say is that occupational health is about helping you to help yourself and the company, it isn't about finding an excuse to get rid of you as some people think.


They might suggest various things, but ensure your boss who knows you well is an ally in this. Make sure she knows your fears so she can best help you.  Also, your new company is showing you some compassion here and responsibility for your welfare. As they have just taken over, it is their business to know what and who their assets are.


It may be that they will see you as an asset, just as your current boss does.  It is difficult to get people with the right experience and skills that you possess.  May be they might see you in a training capacity instead of on the front line.


When you see them, make sure you focus on what you can do rather than what you can't.  Why don't you invest in your future by paying for a hotel room the night before your interview, so that you arrive in the best condition you can be.  It will be money well spent if you present yourself as well as you can instead of stressed and tired from driving and finding somewhere to park.


To answer your question, my employer was great and I saw the HR people who also were very good and patient with me. In the end they got a great employee with a lot of experience back, albeit with a few adjustments to working practices.  Four years after that I took early retirement at 58.


Hope this helps

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Hi, welcome to BTG and congratulations on getting back to work albeit part time.


I changed my job a year after my NASAH, I declared my bleed during my interview and was still given my new job. After a few months it was discovered by my neuro psychologist that I had mild cognitive changes. My employer decided I should see Occupational Health and I was therefore seen by an occ health doctor. I will add at this point that I am employed by the NHS.


I will say that the Occ Health doctor was looking at my problems and how it would affect me in my role. He was keen to help me find tools to help me alleviate these problems and he did give me a lot of tips which were very useful.


I can't imagine that they will find you unfit for work, they will just be trying to make your path clear. If your current boss is keen to keep you they will be sure to have taken this on board. Really the Occ Health report will be to protect you both so take advantage and make sure the report reflects what you are capable of.


Good luck, keep us posted.


Clare xx


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Hello, and also a warm welcome to BTG.


Eighteen months on I trust your two teenage sons are now well familiar to the changes SAH has brought to your family unit and also your fiancée.


Well done on what you have achieved so far post your SAH. Taking that initial six months off work and then a careful phased return to work was certainly the wise approach.

I agree with Macca and Clare … you should definitely see this contact with OH as a positive step for them to understand where you are in terms of your health and how they can help you going forward.


My wife was also an NHS employee and her OH experience was a great help in her return to work. Slightly different in as far as her first interview was before she started back to work.  I also attended the interview and all subsequent follow-up appointments to give her support.  In fact she was eager to get back to normal hours asap … whereas the OH urged restraint and kept her to a slow phased return.

As Macca says, tell them about your fears …. and try and find out if how aware they are of what a SAH recovery requires.


Treat this as a opportunity to help both you and the company get the best from your experience.


Best wishes and stay positive. :)







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I also had my SAH in December 17 and went back to work after 4 months, again like you on very limited hours. My GPs issued me fit to work notes on three month intervals along the lines of hours & duties as tolerated, my line manager was also great at accommodating my needs.


All I heard from colleagues were horror stories about our occ health team but as restructures/redundancies were being talked about, and as I had no official guidance on work etc., I insisted on a referral to them, so that I had some support/back up if the worst happened with my role.


In the end the occ health person could not have been more helpful, positive and any less of a champion for me and when redundancies etc did come around I had support from her as well as her guidance for my manager and hr person to ensure I was treated fairly. 


It wasn't all plain sailing during the reconstruction but the Occ Health reports and support did make all the difference and I am glad that they were involved despite the doubts and negative image they had.

I now have a contract for the hours I can manage, have the option to work from home occasionally and can also timeshift my day to match my 'best' hours. I don't think that without the occ health input I'd have been granted this, or known I could push for the latter accommodation.


I hope that your meetings are as useful, good luck,



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