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Work and reasonable adjustments

Hi, just want some advice/opinions please. I was diagnosed with RR MS 18 years ago. I have tried to minimise triggers as much as I can but I know that stress causes me to be symptomatic. After 18 years I think I know what can stress me out! I have been in my current job for 22 months now and like every new big thing in my life I weigh up if I can do it, any risks etc. From the job description I thought I could do it and to date I have been doing it to the best of my ability with no complaint from anyone. Anyway there is a duty on my job description that had been stressing me out since I started. It was to be part of the first aid team on a rota basis. I work in a secondary school so going from first aid provisions from schools I know and other jobs I was very surprised that the first aid team was me and another woman! Cut a long story short there has been so much stress since I started, no support etc. but it’s only recently the school are slowly putting proper practices into place. My issue is I have had 2 MRI’s since I’ve worked there as both have showed numerous active lesions. Previously my MRI’s were very stable. I wake up in the night with my leg and arms tingling like crazy because I’m worrying so much. The feeling in my hands and feet are virtually non existent compared to a couple of years ago. I feel like having the duty taken off me would be a reasonable adjustment. I approached my school head and H&S officer (who is also HR) today but the head told me it was my job and if it was taken off me I’d have to be regraded. I am one of the lowest grades in the school as it is! The first aid allowance is £11.84 a month! Sorry for the essay and rambling, I am very upset and cross at the moment. Any help, advice or stories would be very much appreciated. Thank you, Sarah x

Hi A secondary school usually has over a thousand pupils why are there only two first aiders I know that at my secondary school had a lot more, plus a school nurse, we had the first aiders that were paid and a whole bunch of us TAs that provided first aid until the official one came. We had in house training the paid ones went to a two day course. Even the primary school I worked in had about ten of us at a time was trained on an inset day. I have had to phone 999 up and give medication for epilepsy (I was trained for it). So I don’t know why they are making a fuss but I know they can do it. Good luck. Kay

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I understand your frustration. I am currently medically suspended as I feel there’s now too much stress on me as a form teacher. I went down to 4 days and this was great for two years. However, after my last relapse blah blah blah, they have given me an ultimatum of do your contracted role or leave!! They have looked after me when I’ve needed time off etc but now they see my MS as a negative in any alternative roles. I have involved the union and they have offered me a settlement. This is nowhere near what I need but I feel that if I fight any further, I might come out with less or nothing. I have an OH and consultant reports stating my fitness to work and still they say there’s nothing they can do for me. I only want two more years work then I will happily take early retirement. I have just phoned the MS team to see if it’s me being unreasonable or them. I cried for the first time today since this all began and I’m just so sad that school can treat me like this after 22 years service.

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I was in the secondary school for 8 years they were very good, as the first time that I had bowel problems they were there all the way I was off from middle of September to March I had a phased time in when I came back. The second time I was very much worse I lost seven and half stone in weight and I was off from October until they let me go in May they didn’t find out what I had until I was rushed off to hospital and was there a week on the Thursday they did an endoscope down my throat and found out that I was coeliac, this was July. I went home the next day with a new diet for the rest of my life I was ill with coeliac for four years.

I know schools only are good for so long I haven’t worked full time since 2016, but it may be better to work for an agency, I do exam invedulation, as you say that you only have two years it may be better that way and if your MS flares up at least you can book off time until you feel better but you have to be careful because of the the dole, you would have to be dismissed from your job with ill health than leave on your own.

Kay good luck

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