beefree 15/04/18
Last reply 2 months ago
Occupational Health Assessment

Hi everyone,

I had a demoralising experience with my occupational health assessment last week, and wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience.

The advisor wasn’t knowledgeable beyond basic and dated information, didn’t listen and suggested a set of recommendations that are limiting and lacked nuance. When I asked about condensing my work hours to have a longer time for recovery at the weekend, she said she would only recommend reduced hours. She told me that I couldn’t travel because of my medication. She was also indiscrete, starting to disclose the identity of another person with MS before I stopped her.

I feel uncomfortable that I disclosed my condition to this person, and don’t have confidence in her advice. I disliked her focus on can’ts when my approach is to focus on the cans. After some thought I think the best thing is for me to request a second opinion, and to make work aware of my concerns with this person.

Has anyone else had a bad OH experience? or challenged the recommendations of an OH assessment? how did you handle the situation?

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ebaldwin
2 months ago

I’ve always been told I could travel ie drive on my medication my doctor even said I can drive when I was blind in one eye so I think her advice for you not travelling is bull shit
Less hours is good I’m thinking of cutting my hours from 37.5 to 30 a week just for that extra day off


stumbler
2 months ago

@beefree , I don’t blame you for asking for a second opinion. Betraying a professional confidence seems to be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

It doesn’t instil any confidence in the process.


vixen
2 months ago

Hello @beefree, did you ask for the assessment or did the workplace? Not only is it a data protection breach as per @stumbler’s comment, it also breaches the Equality Act which would see MS as a protected characteristic, and this would include protecting the emplyee’s right to confidentiality.

If you have an HR department, complain. And definitely get another report! Good luck


beefree
2 months ago

Thanks everyone, I’m going to raise my concerns with this process. Thanks for flagging the Data Protection Act @stumbler, and the advice you were given on travel @ebaldwin – I don’t even need to drive!

@vixen a couple of months ago I was having a very stressful time at work. My role cut across three teams which meant a ridiculous amount of traffic and multi-tasking. It was too much. I’m a specialist who can be deployed anywhere in the organisation, so I was fortunate that when I flagged that I was unhappy, they were keen to make some changes. I said that I had a health issue that I didn’t want to declare, that it wouldn’t affect my work as long as my workload was within reason i.e. fitted into a 9-5. They immediately streamlined my portfolios from 3 to 1 and reviewed my objectives. It made a huge and instant difference. I’m already given flexibility to work from home. They asked if I wanted an OHA to see if they should be doing anything else for me. We were all excited about it, me feeling very well supported and them feeling pleased to show that they are a responsive and flexible employer.

This made last weeks experience all the worse: the OHA will actually take me backwards! I was expecting recommendations that work should pay for special equipment, they were too and had indicated that they would cover these costs. She didn’t cover anything like this.

The OH advisor seemed to be relying on template box ticking rather than what is right for me. For example, I frequently work an hour or two extra because I have to jump down rabbit holes and it’s easier to finish the task than to start again the next day, so really having an extra day at the weekend in account of this is ideal for me. I don’t have fatigue often or to the extent that it affects my work. I told her this and she just ignored it.

I’m going to email my MS nurse tomorrow to clarify that I can travel; the bad advice on this front will illustrate the poor quality of the process. I’m then going to ask them to explicitly remind her about the Data Protection Act, and request another assessment and different advisor.

Thanks everyone for the support.


bullman
2 months ago

Hi @beefree

You could approach Access to Work through your local job centre. They will look at your role and make suggestions on what may help.


stumbler
2 months ago

@beefree , there’s a lot of information about the Access to Work scheme here :-

https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work


bullman
2 months ago

@stumbler ..cheers for link

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