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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Verity explains what happens when you visit occupational health.

I think they sit kind of outside the departments. They're supposedly entirely neutral. So you can refer yourself to them. But if you want anything to happen at work, then you need to be referred by a manager, and then they'll get a management report back on you. They're usually quite quick at seeing people. And they have a lovely receptionist called [name], who brightens up every visit to occupational health. And then you get to see a doctor, or possibly a nurse. I've only ever seen a doctor at occupational health. They have quite long appointments. So, half an hour or an hour, possibly, for the initial ones. Which means that you're not too rushed. And then they write a letter back to work.

The letter's usually quite opaque, so it doesn't give very many details about your illness, and - but it might suggest adjustments that could be made. It might remind them that they need to remember about the Equality Act. Things like that. One of the helpful things that occupational health did was arrange for both my previous departments and my current department when I arrived, to buy me a SAD lamp to sit next to in the winter. Which does make a little bit of a difference. So they can do practical things like that.