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Slapped cheek in school and pregnant

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by MissALB, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. MissALB

    MissALB New commenter

    Just wondering if anyone else has experience of slapped cheek at work? I've read a couple of older threads but I'm still a bit confused.
    I'm 15 weeks pregnant and work as a TA in a school where I work in every class.
    I had a day off at the beginning of the week because I had a stinking cold and was so lethargic I could barely function. When I contacted the school to take a second day off, they told me there were 2 cases of suspected slapped cheek in one of the classes. I texted my midwife straight away who said she'd get my booking bloods tested but GP should do a new test to speed things along considering my symptoms. I went for new tests (getting blood taken in a hospital at the moment with cold symptoms was not fun! - oh the side eye!) I asked the GP about getting signed off til the results came but she wouldn't as it's a 'Grey area' - we don't know if it's definitely slapped cheek (but wouldn't without a child having a blood test which isn't going to happen) and if it is, I may have already been exposed which would render being off pointless.
    What I don't get is when we can't know either for sure, why put me at risk?

    School luckily contacted occupational health who have advised I stay off til the results. Having spoken to other teachers, there are a lot of cold symptoms throughout the school at the moment (usual for this time of year I know) and my worry is any of them could have parvo and be in the infectious pre rash stage.

    My main concern is now (aside from the worry I may have already caught it) what will happen if I get my results back and I'm not immune? It was such a carry on to get the ok to stay off til the results. And the OH nurse seemed to suggest staying off in case I already had it which seemed bizarre and like she didn't really understand the situation at all. I've read on here about midwives signing people off but mine says that's not something they can do and has to be a GP. I already know how mine feels about signing me off. It doesn't seem fair that it seems a total lottery about whether or not I'll be able to stay off. Does anyone have any advice about what I could do if it turns out I'm not immune and there are more cases in school?

  2. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Ask your GP or midwife.
    we are not doctors on here.
    FriarLawrence, pepper5, nomad and 2 others like this.
  3. MissALB

    MissALB New commenter

    Not sure what relevance your reply has?
    How many midwives and doctors have worked in schools and have experience of this situation?
  4. smilingisgoodforyou

    smilingisgoodforyou Occasional commenter

    Belle gives sound advice. Contrary to your belief GPs are quite knowledable. Self certify for a week then go and see your GP. Good luck.
  5. MissALB

    MissALB New commenter

    I don't get either of your points? I have seen a GP. She looked up parvo on the internet briefly in front of me (perhaps not so knowledgeble) and wouldn't sign me off because I 'could' already have it.

    I posted because there are old threads on here with multiple people with similar problems and loads say their GP signed them off. I wanted to see if anyone one had had any recent experience and if maybe I needed to give certain details or perhaps my case is different in some way. I was only asking a question - I don't see what's wrong with that. People who have experience would be able to talk to me about what they did and maybe help (even if it is to tell me I'm wasting my time). If you have no experience and nothing new to add I can't see why you're responding and telling me to do what I've already done? Easier (and kinder) just to leave it instead of upsetting an already stressed person surely?

    Moderators have chosen to add this discussion thread to the board and I'm sure if they felt I was asking a question that only GPs might be able to help with then they wouldn't have put it up here.

    Perhaps the old threads were on a different board where people who could be helpful were more likely to read. Can I please ask that if you have no knowledge on the matter that you don't respond. If no one replies then I'll know asking was a waste of time won't I? I'm worried enough as it is and was just hoping for a bit of advice from someone who's been through the same. Not judgement from someone who thinks seeing a GP will sort it out - as it obviously hasn't.
    thetapdancingteach and pipryan like this.
  6. smilingisgoodforyou

    smilingisgoodforyou Occasional commenter

    Only trying to help. My opinion is that you should go back to the GP.
    I hope you feel better soon.
    nomad and caterpillartobutterfly like this.
  7. smilingisgoodforyou

    smilingisgoodforyou Occasional commenter

    You should discuss this with the doctor when you get your results. They will be able to give you good advice.
    nomad likes this.
  8. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    You are NOT off sick.
    You’ve been medically suspended at present, because of pregnancy and a risk assessment to your unborn child.
    You should make sure it is recorded as such

    I had to do this for a member of staff.
    Was tricky as only I knew she was pregnant at the time, and it sort of let the cat out the bag for those that were more with it!
    Piscean1 and agathamorse like this.
  9. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    I thought you couldn’t be in if you’re pregnant and slapped cheek is in the school. I know people in my school got told not to come in x
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Just tell them you have to stay off due to an "abundance of caution", as that seems to do the job everywhere at the moment.
  11. scott1980

    scott1980 Occasional commenter

    3 of us pregnant staff were sent home to be screened for slapped cheek. 1 wasn't immune and had to stay off with every new case.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Good. You have received advice from an appropriate professional.

    Consult another (or the same) appropriate professional.

    Or would you prefer typical Internet advice from people you have never met, whose qualifications are unknown, and whose motives are unpredictable?

    Here goes...

    Eat copious amounts of turmeric and garlic, dance naked anti-clockwise around the church tower at midnight chanting "Dedit alapam in maxillam abit. Reversus alius dies."
  13. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    This is perhaps the most sagest advice that you have ever given on this forum.
    agathamorse and nomad like this.
  14. pipryan

    pipryan New commenter

    I know little about the infection (60 year old male and remember somebody mentioning it in staffroom once) but I have just spoken to my other half who is a doctor. You are right it is something of a lottery as medical opinions (and knowledge) on this do differ -have a look at mumsnet and madeformums for a lot of threads on this with many comments from teachers. You are of course quite right to ask here if any others in our profession have similar experience to share that might help you. Comments above such as we are not doctors on here etc do not help and therefore in my opinion should not be posted – if you look at coronavirus and work related stress threads you find posters miraculously are medically proficient to give advice (probably gained from Google searches). I hope you have not been upset and are not put off posting in future.
    LtaylorPB3 and MissALB like this.
  15. MissALB

    MissALB New commenter

    Wow. I'm actually astounded at how unnecessarily horrible people can be on here. It's almost like I've asked for advice on a random facebook group, not a place where supposed professionals offer each other relevant advice?!

    Thanks for the other bits of advice from people who have actually experienced this though.

    Sadly there is nothing I can find that says you can't be in during an outbreak nor how long it would take without any new cases before the coast would be clear. A GP might have training in how to treat health problems but is not qualified in managing a work place.

    Unfortunately, although occupational health have advised me to stay off until results, I've now found they will take another whole week!!!! And now school is saying I need a note from my doctor still but if I come in I have to agree that I have chosen to come in and the school haven't requested me to come in. That surely can't be right? I'm going to investigate more tomorrow and try to speak to a doctor but I don't fancy my chances on a Saturday!!!
  16. thecagedbird

    thecagedbird New commenter

    Occupational Health have advised you to stay off until you have the results of the test. This is the advice you should follow in my opinion.

    Once you have the results, either you will already have had the virus, have immunity and can return to school safely or it will show you haven’t had it before. The GP or Occupational Health can then give you the appropriate advice regarding further time off. It will be hard for a doctor to give you the correct information about whether you can safely return or not until you have the test results.

    Based on my experience, if it is confirmed you do not have immunity to ‘slapped cheek’ you should/ would normally be advised by GP/ midwife/ occupational health to stay off school if there are any new cases of the virus.

    Your school seem to be trying to pressure you into coming back (regardless of the occupational health advice) which seems like a separate issue from your posts- can you speak to your union about this?
  17. MissALB

    MissALB New commenter

    Was it the school that sent you home? And how long did screening take? Who signed the person who wasnt imune off - a doctor? Or did the school not ask?
  18. MissALB

    MissALB New commenter

    I was off sick to start with but the situation is changing now as I'm getting better. When you say you 'had to do this for a member of staff', did they have a note from their GP?
  19. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Yes, you were sick to start - but then THEY told YOU not to come in, yes? So... medically suspending you.

    No note from GP.
    I had completed a RA for the employee.
    When I was notified we had slapped cheek in school, I sent the member of staff home immediately! She went to get tested and was deemed medically suspended in that time (not sickness absence). Like you, she felt that she had probably already been exposed to it, so I was being fussy.
    Yes - I was.
    As a Head, I owe my staff a duty of care.
    SC runs the risk of early miscarriage.
    And I wasn't prepared for her to lose a baby over some misplaced idea of "duty" or her assessment of risk that it was okay to stay.
    That's why pregnant employees need RAs completed - so their employer can manage the risk!

    YOUR employer managed the risk initially by asking OH for advice, and now it seems they want YOU to take the responsibility for coming back. No. No. and No again! Not unless they can guarantee your baby is not at risk. And they can't. Not unless you are immune.
    Seriously - ring your union rep. This is standard H&S stuff and your employer should know a darn sight better
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
    Piscean1, Jesmond12 and SundaeTrifle like this.
  20. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    A significant risk has been identified. What action needs to be taken?
    If a significant health and safety risk is identified for a new or expectant mother, which goes beyond the normal level of risk found outside the workplace, you must take the following actions:

    • Action 1: Temporarily adjust her working conditions and / or working hours; or if that is not possible
    • Action 2: Offer her suitable alternative work (at the same rate of pay) if available; or if that is not possible
    • Action 3: Suspend her from work on paid leave for as long as necessary to protect her health and safety, and that of her child.
    However, the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that, where appropriate, suitable alternative work should be offered (on the same terms and conditions) before any suspension from work.

    FROM HSE website.
    The significant risk is that you now have a KNOWN SC case in school.

    At least, that is my opinion, and as you can tell, I probably feel quite strongly about it!
    SundaeTrifle likes this.

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