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Extremely Vulnerable and New Job

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ridleyrumpus, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I am about to start a new job in September but I have a dilemma.

    I accepted the job IIRC (it is all merging into one at the moment) in April or May, at that point I had not been informed that I was on the extremely vulnerable (EV) list.

    In June I started receiving texts and then phone calls about being on the EV list, but no letter. I questioned why I am on the list and I got mixed messages from GP's and my rheumatoid arthritis specialist (I am on immunosuppresent drugs), the people calling from the gov have no idea why you are on the list. I received my first letter about being on the list in July telling me about the August change in sheltering at home recommendations.

    Now I haven't told my new employer that I am on the EV list, my dilemma is that it is going to look like I hid the fact from them. I must emphasis that I did not hide the fact that I have RA from them and it went through OH for " fit for work" assessment.

    Personally I haven't sheltered much since March as I live alone and apart from the supermarket have not been out much but now that the new term beckons and I am faced with being close to 30 teenagers for 5 hours a day I am a little more concerned than I was.

    Do I tell them?
  2. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    You would only need to tell them in the event of another school closure when they need to know.
  3. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    Yes, tell them. Just drop an email to your line manager, letting them know
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    Speak to your Union and your GP.

    You have not lied to the school and your employment hasn’t started yet. You need to see your GP urgently to get to the detail though of why exactly you are on the list. Once you know that you may be in a better position.

    Your Union can advise you far better too - especially as this is a job you have not started yet. It may be down to timing of when you inform the school but I think you will need to do it without jeopardising your health or your start in the new job.
    jlishman2158 and tall tales like this.
  5. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I have been round and round in circles trying to find out definitively why I am on the list and no one is able to say, some sat the immunosuppresents mean I should and others say they shouldn't

    I have talked to my two GP's at my surgery, my GP says I should be on the list, another says I shouldn't, but he wasn't even aware I was on Immunosuppresants.... until I told him. I have been on them for three years, NHS IT for you.

    I don't think I am going to get someone to put into writing that I should not be on the list.
    install likes this.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Looking on the NHS site it does come under ‘taking medicine that can affect the immune system’. So I’d still check with your Union when is the best time to let the new school know. The school will have their own Risk Assessment protocol too during the virus:

    (NHS Website)

    People at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)

    People at moderate risk from coronavirus include people who:

    • are 70 or older
    • have a lung condition that's not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)
    • have heart disease (such as heart failure)
    • have diabetes
    • have chronic kidney disease
    • have liver disease (such as hepatitis)
    • have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
    • have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections
    • are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)
    • are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
    • are pregnant – see advice about pregnancy and coronavirus
    What to do if you're at moderate risk
    If you're at moderate risk from coronavirus, you can go out to work (if you cannot work from home) and for things like getting food or exercising. But you should try to stay at home as much as possible.

    It's very important you follow the general advice on social distancing. This includes trying to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with or anyone not in your support bubble.

    ....Unlike people at high risk, you will not get a letter from the NHS.’
  7. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    The letter I did eventually get says "you have been identified as someone clinically extremely vulnerable"
    install likes this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Okay - It might be that you
    ‘are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)’ This is on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list below.

    Does your letter give an end date of when to stop shielding? I’d also get your GP to check and monitor your doses and to see if they need to be high.

    (From the NHS):

    ‘People at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)

    People at high risk from coronavirus include people who:

    • have had an organ transplant
    • are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
    • are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
    • are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
    • have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
    • have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
    • have been told by a doctor they have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
    • have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
    • are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
    • have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
    If you're at high risk from coronavirus, you should have received a letter from the NHS.

    Speak to your GP or hospital care team if you have not been contacted and think you should have been.

    What to do if you're at high risk
    If you're at high risk from coronavirus, you were advised to take extra steps to protect yourself until 1 August 2020. This was called shielding.

    In England, you're no longer advised to shield. But there are still things you can do to protect yourself and others. You can also still get some support.

    See what to do if you're at high risk from coronavirus.’
  9. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Well, yes everyone in England was advised to shield until the 1st August.

    Looking at the current advice I think I am in the same boat as nearly everyone else but I just need to be careful.

    I will talk to the Union first but I think the school should know in case anything changes during next year, probably best not to spring it on them at the time.
    install likes this.
  10. install

    install Star commenter


    Congratulations on the new job and best wishes with your health @ridleyrumpus
    jlishman2158 and tall tales like this.
  11. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Probably best to tell the school ASAP. Email them during the holidays with any letters/evidence from the GP.

    At my school everyone is going back. Anyone who had to shield during lockdown has basically just been given a face shield.
  12. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I'm with @Corvuscorax20 here - I would definitely email your line manager or the Head to let them know. You haven't lied to anyone; sensible people know just how much confusion there has been through these chaotic and unprecedented times about who is vulnerable and extremely vulnerable. In your position, I know it would worry me constantly if I hadn't told them - and you will have more than enough to think about in a new school. Good luck with your new role.
  13. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I would definitely let the school know - perhaps do it in conjunction with asking about the risk assessment - you should have an individual risk assessment for you in addition to the whole school one. This would give you an opportunity to discuss any precautions you may want - eg screen around desk, face mask etc.
  14. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I think I would email them something along the lines of this:

    I am unsure whether or how this affects arrangements in school for September, but I thought I should let you know that I have recently been informed that I am now in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' group for the purposes of Covid19.

    Please let me know if there is any further information you need.
  15. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Do it. You're going to regret not letting them know.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I agree.
    Just send a simple email today and then you can stop fretting about it.
  17. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    This is the most up to date calculator based on studies. It is from Local Authority Medical Advisors.

    To get an idea of your level of risk, find your real age on the list and then add (or take away) the numbers to find this out. It doesn't seem as though rheumatoid arthritis as a separate condition adds too much, this may be what your specialist was referring to. I'm on the flu jab list but never heard anything (not helped by my GP closing down and having to move, I don't think they've even looked at my records).


    The levels at the bottom are guesswork as nothing still from government. These are also based on low community transmission so different depending on where you are and when it is.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    Agree. Lovely email.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  19. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I don't think that the condition adds that much but rather it's the treatment that does. I am on immunosuppresent drugs to counter the effects of the RA, so I am more susceptible to infections and they can be more severe.
    ukpaul and install like this.
  20. lottee1000

    lottee1000 Occasional commenter

    3 members of my close family have RA and were all told to shield by letter, which their GPs (2 separate ones) told them was because of the drugs they were on which makes any infection both more likely and more severe. So it's probably that? Whatever, I'd send the email ASAP as suggested above because it currently doesn't affect much for September but might in a few weeks or months time. And they may have worked it out anyway if they've been good and thought about which employees might be vulnerable, which they should have done as part of preparations to reopen fully.
    install likes this.

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