My big sister and I as little girls.

My big sister and I before things went wrong for us. A happy family is so important, and I am looking forward to spending time with my family this weekend. I have been desperately homesick while in hospital.

Hi, everyone.

I hope you are all well and having a good start to your weekend.

You may be wondering how I got on at work yesterday at the meeting where I faced being suspended from duty.

No issues with my employer

I’ve been trying to come up with the right words to describe how things went and what my job situation is. The reason for my difficulty is that I did get formally suspended from duty and one of the conditions is that I don’t talk about the case. I am more than happy with this as I have no issues with my employer around the reasons for my suspension.  In fact, I understand why they have had to do it. I also value my position within the service and will do whatever is needed to return to work as soon as possible.

Professionalism

I can tell you about my meeting itself, but from now I will only be able to talk about my employment situation when anything positive happens during the process of my return. I arrived at work for 12.45 in order to meet my union rep. He arrived bang on time and looked very dashing in his suit, shirt and tie. I was impressed at his professionalism and it helped me have the confidence in him to do a good job. We discussed my current situation with the police and my admission to hospital under section. He was really understanding and reiterated that everything was confidential.

Immense stress in last three weeks – ready for a fight

After our discussion we invited my manager to the training room to commence the meeting. I was nervous and not sure what to expect. I’d experienced so many cloak-and-dagger situations over the past three weeks and been involved in meetings where I had no input or say in what was being discussed. I feel the last three weeks have caused me immense stress and have been very challenging. Therefore I was ready for a fight with my manager.

Issue not my professional conduct but Nottinghamshire County Council’s report

This fight wasn’t necessary as my manager was straight to the point and was also supportive and understanding. She informed me that my being stood down wasn’t due to any issue my employer had with me; it was due to an outside agency (Nottinghamshire County Council) reporting concerns to my Human Resources Department (HR) about my mental health and the implications this might have with regard to my safety with drugs.

Blog reported, formally suspended

My manager told me that someone had reported the blog to HR too. She asked me if I was on a section, in hospital and if I had been arrested. I answered yes, and was honest about everything, and obviously they have read my blog so know everything anyway. My manager informed me that being stood down is only a temporary thing, and she formally suspended me on medical grounds.

No blame… approach really helped

She made it clear it was in line with the NHS Trust’s disciplinary procedure, but is not an indication of guilt or blame. She also informed me that it is in my terms and conditions that I have to report being arrested and admitted to hospital. I was therefore in breach of contract. (I wasn’t aware of this, and to be honest it would have been the last thing on my mind.) She said the breach issue will be dealt with once I have been assessed by occupational health and ready to come back to work. This calm and rational approach really helped; I have had enough stress caused by the thoughtless actions of people who know little about me and care even less.

Supportive

Finally, my manager informed me about the support service the Trust provides. I think I’m going to use them and make the most of what is on offer to speed up my return to work. Anyway, to conclude, both my union rep and my manager were very professional and supportive throughout the meeting. I have no complaints against them, only praise.

Really miss my family

Today I’m on weekend leave starting at 1 p.m. and I can’t wait. A night in my own bed, safe and secure with my husband, is something I can’t wait for. Andrew has been shopping already, and he, Laura and I are apparently going to eat pizza, veg on the sofa, watch a film and relax all evening. I am looking forward to having some time with Laura too, as I really miss my family and I am very homesick.

Psychologist leaving so will tackle problems myself

I am trying to work so hard to recover and get things back to normal so I can move on and away from mental health services. My psychologist has informed me that he is leaving his post for a new job and cannot complete my therapy. There has been no mention of a replacement psychologist so I have accepted that I have to tackle my problems myself with the support of my friends and family.

Things happen for a reason

My station manager said to me four weeks ago “things happen for a reason”, and maybe she is right. My psychology sessions were making me quite ill, so maybe it was time to withdraw from the therapy anyway and move away from the reminders of my past. The therapy I really need is out of reach, and gaining funding for it is near impossible. I have spoken to my MP’s office about therapy I need, as set down by NICE guidelines. However, I’m not going to stress over it. If it happens I will see it as a positive, and I’ll start it when the time is right.

I will update you tomorrow evening on how my weekend has gone. I hope your weekend is going to be as happy as mine is going to be, fingers crossed!

Take care.

Love and best wishes

Angela x