My return to work has been approved!
I have been seeing an occupational health physiotherapist since I have been off with my back injury - there may not be many benefits to working for the NHS these days, but if you call occupational health telling them you are off with a sore back, you get a physio appointment the next day instead of waiting in the regular queue to see a normal physio - which is apparently a 23 week wait right now where I live.
It sounds like a great perk, and it is for sure, but its not really for our benefit, its so they can get us back to work asap. Also they are specialised occupational health physios so they are trained to assess if you do in fact need to be off work, and when you can go back.
I have wanted to go back from the second I went off - I hate being off work, I get bored far too easily. Obviously I wasn't fit to go back and I do understand that, but I had made it very clear that I wanted to go back asap. Last week I had spoken to the physio about going back, I still had two weeks left on my sick line at that time, she said we would decide this week but that hopefully I could go back when my line ends.
Yesterday she offered me two options, either stay off for another week, or go back on what they call a 'phased return'. I chose the latter. Basically it means you go back part time at first and work up towards your normal hours. So I go back a week on Saturday for a night shift, do two shifts split up the next week, then three split up the week after, then two together and so on so forth until I get back to my usual shift pattern.
I called my boss and we worked out my shifts, of course I have had to give up my last remaining weeks holiday to facilitate this but I feel it is the right thing to do to make sure my back doesn't get worse while I am trying to get back to work. The new allocation of holiday days starts in april anyway.