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Occupational Health - what to expect

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Alie, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Alie

    Alie New commenter

    Hi all,

    Really the title says it all. I have been suffering from anxiety and have been off for most of the first term. Have been referred to Occupational Health and I am unsure what to expect.
    The forms that have come through are asking for permission to see my medical records - is this normal? Should I be granting that permission or should I decline?
    Obviously the nature of my anxiety means I am in a complete panic about all of this.

    Any advice, words of comfort etc would really be appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    OH will be in a far better position to help you if fully in the know as regards your illness. So it is in your interests that you disclose your records to them.

    If you are in any doubt whatsoever about privacy then just remind them (in written form) that all information is confidential and may on no account be communicated to anyone other than the OH team. You can specify that the school-management do not see them. They shouldn't but if you want to dot the is and cross the ts then do so.

    Best wishes. You are not alone. It's a bad time to be a teacher. Sad but true.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    @nomad 's document sets it all out clearly. The main thing is not to get even more stressed about it. In my experience, OH is keen to help and support you.

    And protect you, including against yourself if you try to go back to FT work too soon.

    Best wishes

  5. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    This part of Theo's post is important to remember (not that the rest isn't!). OH were helpful to me when I needed them and nothing about my interactions with them was threatening, biased or stress-inducing. They just want to explore with you the reason/s why you've become unwell and think about the way forward in a way that takes account of your illness and the causes. There's no need to worry :).
  6. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I was referred to OH twice and on the first occasion I too was concerned. However, as others have posted, I felt they were on 'my' side, not the school's. On each occasion I was shown their report before it was sent to school and I did request that one point as changed and it was before the school saw it.

    Honestly, take the advice from this thread and go with knowledge that they have no school-induced hidden agenda.

    Good luck. XXX
  7. Alie

    Alie New commenter

    Thank you all so much. I now wish I had of asked sooner!
    Thank you again.
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I was referred to OH by my school when I complained about stress caused by workload.

    OH were very supportive and made a number of recommendations to the HT. Sadly not one recommendation was implemented. I know that employers can ignore the OH report but doesn't that sort of make the whole exercise pointless?
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Same here Compassman, but by going you show willing and appear to be co-operating with them as they proceed with their nonsense.
  10. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    The County where I was employed used SERCO for Occupational Health assessments. I went to the meeting (at a doctor's surgery/medical centre) feeling terrified. There was absolutely no cause for concern whatsoever. The lady listened to my account of how I arrived at that situation and was very sympathetic indeed. She was actually very supportive of my being unfit for work - long term, due to the usual work related issues, so commonly affecting UPS teachers these days. So, don't worry.
    Dragonlady30 and Compassman like this.
  11. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    In my experience, it's a 30 minute chat with someone who is sympathetic. A report full of idealistic recommendations is made to the school, and the school then totally ignores it.
  12. Alie

    Alie New commenter

    Hi all,

    Quick update. It went really well. Met a nice Dr who listened and gave me tissues when needed. He is recommending that I don't return to work at any point soon. We didn't even discuss how to return/ support that could be given. Have to go back in a few months to discuss this.

    Thank you for responding.
  13. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    Good news. Now that that hurdle has been dealt with you can relax and allow some serious healing to take place :).
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    And thank you @Alie for getting back to us.

    JUST ..................................... CHILL!
    Dragonlady30 likes this.

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