Time scale for RSI

Must add to the time scale issue. I reported problems over 18 months ago now. It is only in the last month that I have got a new keyboard and mouse, and only yesterday trialed VR for the first time. I eventually approached PACT myself after 14 months as my employer would not give me details and a further four months from initial PACT to where I am now. All the time the symptoms carry on! No doubt there will ensue a battle between who will pay for the items and this has delayed things until now! But I love in hope and eternal optimism!

Comment 1: I’m appalled and surprised that another university would be so slack. Has Occupational Health not been able to influence things at all? It sounds like your employers are moving in dangerous areas. Are you a union member? If so, what do they have to say about it? “But I love in hope and eternal optimism!” – I think I’ll adopt that myself.

Comment 2: My experience of dealing with PACT has been very mixed. When I moved job from Coventry to central London, I approached Coventry PACT for details of how to get the same VR I had at work, for my new job. They put me in touch with Central London PACT but they refused to help until I actually started the new job. So my hope that all the equipment would be in place for my first day in the new job was in vain. On the first day I applied to PACT in London and I telephoned them every week to chase progress. After 6 weeks, I got the ergonomic assessment and after 12 weeks agreement to purchase a PC and VR. It was then installed by the supplier within 4 days. All I can say is keep on pestering them and if they do not respond, tell them your disability is getting worse due to the delay. If that fails, tell them you’ll be left with no option but to involve your MP. That works a treat!

Comment 3: I was told about PACT by a friend elsewhere. I approached them quite early about 4 months after diagnosis, and shortly after I was told about them and I waited about 4 months more to go through their Regional Assessment etc. procedure, yes. They were though tremendously helpful to me. Pity about The Employers. Yes, all the time the symptoms carry on. “No doubt there will ensue a battle between who will pay for the items and this has delayed things until now!” – There shouldn’t be as there’s a fixed percentage, and if PACT recommend the right kind of hardware and software and they usually do the University should contribute their statutory proportion. I was, let us say, unlucky.

Comment 4: I was at the same University until I gave in and took Permanent Ill Health Retirement at the end of June. (At least now I’ll be able to do the writing I couldn’t do quickly enough for them given my teaching load.) I was diagnosed early in 95; I told the Union – maybe not qua Union – I would be on sick leave (the University made me take it; later, I got arraigned by them for taking it.) as I had RSI; and the Union man said he was sorry to hear that.

Late that year the University told PACT they would pay the entire cost of voice software and hardware for me; I then began the long process of trying to get that promise fulfilled, more or less gave up… ; then they re-promised, and I resumed the long process of trying to get that promise fulfilled (etc.). Meanwhile, well, put it this way, my job, which was pretty heavy by any standards *anyway*, made no allowances whatever for my disability.

Of course there’s also Health and Safety, but there isn’t an entry for that in the University ‘phone book (though there is an email contact address), and there isn’t a named person. (And that isn’t because they were just appointing one shortly before I left – a fact, I think, not widely known… — as the ‘phone book would have been prepared ages before that.) I have 1 of the 2 kinds of RSI that are generally recognised, and more importantly, the 1 kind no judge’s statement that RSI doesn’t exist can affect: those 2 are the 2 recognised by my Union.


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