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New job/work issues

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#1 Tue, 30/03/2021 - 17:08
Last seen: 2 months 5 days ago
Joined: 12/02/2019 - 12:35

New job/work issues

HI all, I have been suffering severe headaches since the age of 21 years, I am 59 this year. I was diagnosed with "Migraine" when 21 by a casualty doctor....not much known about headaches then smileyAfter years of suffering and having a fantastic GP (good old days) who managed to get me an appoitment with Professor Goadsbysmileysmiley (many years ago) where upon he did actually diagnose me with CH. He did take me in hospital to give me "a holiday" in his words and had the ergotamine treatment. Was great at the time but aviail did not last. I decided to move abroad and i have to say the sun/heat did help my headaches ( i no they can increase with heat etc)  The hospital in Cyprus were really good putting me on oxygen (was not allowed oxygen therapy at home in Cyrpus there rules) . I returned to the UK end of 2018 and yes the headaches came back with an almighty bang. Welcome back CH. My Gp referred me to a lovely Dr. McFaden who operates a specialist clinic every 2 weeks. What a lovely lady who listens and understands. I have since being diagnosed with CH & Migraines inbetween. I have oxygen at home, Sumatriptan injections (by the bucket full) taking amitriptelyne daily (at night time). 

I was made redundant from my job working from home last year due to Covid and the travel industry. However I managed to get a job pretty quickly but ended up working 14 hours a day. After speaking to Dr. McFaden she sent me a letter i could use with my employers re shift work being on new medication etc....you guessed it no sucess so left the position. I signed onto universal credit for a very short time to where they wanted a FIT TO WORK note from my GP saying i can only work restricted hours due to my medication side effects making me drowsy. When applying for jobs i was unsure if to disclose my CH so i asked universal credit for assistance on this one. They advised to inform employers that i suffer from said headaches. I did not feel i could do this as surely some employers think oh well she will be off work for periods, we need someone who can come to work daily. 

I managed to get a temporary job dealing with Covid issues. I have just recently had to have several days off over the last 2 months due to the headaches (and been in casualty via ambulance as they are so bad)  now my employer wishes to see me on my return to work (tomorrow) after my latest bout. They think it is stress related and i am fed up of telling them it is not. I work in the NHS and the amount of people who have never heard of CH is unreal. 

Sunday was a really bad day for me to the point i was severely considering suicide so i could just go to sleep and have no more headaches. But i remembered what happened before when having to have my stomach pumped. My GP gave me the number for local Crisis......i did not call them because i talked myself back round again. 

I am currently applying for new jobs so my question are;

1. Do i actually tell the new employer i have CH + Migraines - has anyone had experience of this? 

2. Do i keep quiet and hope the CH settles down ( i can hope!!!) 

3. Can i be "sacked" for not informing my new employer i suffer from CH/Migraines. 

Thank you for reading my post and sorry it dragged on a bit but this is the first time i have posted on here. 

Angela Bence 

Tue, 30/03/2021 - 20:52
DavidH 7
Last seen: 1 day 10 hours ago
Joined: 26/02/2014 - 15:13



Copied and pasted from here:  https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/jobs/you-tell-your-boss-youre-6666746 -

"You are not duty-bound to reveal an illness or health issue to your employer.

If you are applying for a job, your potential employer does not generally have the right to ask you about your health –unless the employer is checking whether you are able to carry out a function that is ‘intrinsic’ to the job. For example, if you’re applying to drive a bus, the employer can ask about your sight. But if you’re applying to work in an office, a very general question about your health is not relevant.

If your job application is rejected on the grounds of health or a disability, the employer’s behaviour could be judged to be discriminatory.

If your contract of employment specifically says you must tell your employer about any condition that affects your ability to do the job, you must tell them.

If you have a medical condition that could affect the safety of your colleagues or members of the public, you should tell your employer – otherwise you may find yourself being accused of negligence."

A couple of quick thoughts: 

Your name is at the bottom of your message - are you comfortable with that? 

And is it worth joining a union, for if things go wonky?

Personally, I wouldn't mention Cluster Headaches at the point of interview but would mention them in answer to any HR questions.  I'm lucky enough to work for a company who have been good at engaging with this stuff.  We created a risk assessment including things like I'm not allowed to make any decisions if in pain or for two hours after medication and I don't drive while in pain or medicated (in fact, I stop driving for the duration of my Cluster Headaches - I'm far too tired).  I'm also cut some slack when I start to become exhausted and I'm actively encouraged to take time off when I hit that point.

Easy for me to say but I'd encourage yourself/employer to see your Return To Work meeting as a supportive meeting and a chance to work out what your working weeks need to look like.  There are useful resources on this website for sharing with colleagues and the like. 

Good luck.

Wed, 26/05/2021 - 23:53
Last seen: 2 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 28/08/2020 - 21:10

The NHS are the worst employer if you suffer from any condition.

I have CH and chronic migraines they have been totally unsupportive. I shielded during covid and worked from home which really helped in managing my conditions. They were awful during this period when we came out of shielding they demanded I return to the office. Despite remaining extremely clinical vulnerable I returned to find they had moved me into a extremely busy, noisy hot office with no ventilation. The Union and Occupational health have been no help as they both sit in the same department as me and are cosy with managers. Confidentially doesn't exist.

There is absolutely no need for me to be in the office as I have done my job effectively for over a year.

I gave out information on CH to managers and was told they hadn't had time to read it after 2 months! I had a attack at work, had oxygen and then was expected to get back to work instantly. They act like it's not real and have no understanding at all.

I have worked in the NHS for 34 years and being diagnosed with CH on top of chronic migraines over 2 years ago has been devastating. The condition is bad enough without being treated like it is nothing. Any mention of reasonable adjustments have them talking about capability or retirement.

Just to add to my complaining my Neurologist has totally no time to discuss anything at consultations. I tried discussing medication at the last appointment. He was totally dismissive and couldn't wait to get me out.

Sorry but it's good to let it all out !

CH has totally devastated my life. The strong capable woman I used to be has disappeared 

Z hallett

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