Hazel Clarke Carer

Hazel Clarke

Needs Assessment Centre Manager

Disability Services

In January 2015 my husband Brian was rushed into hospital with a very irregular heartbeat.

Subsequent investigations over the next few weeks established that he had an enlarged heart, had experienced 2 heart attacks, had a blood clot in his heart and was in heart failure.

He was in hospital on this occasion for over 3 weeks and during this time I was trying to look after our 2 children including their school runs, see Brian during Coronary Care’s limited visiting times and manage our home as well as working full time.

The support that I received at that time from my line manager and senior manager was exceptional. They allowed me to manage my working life around a horrendous situation in a way that worked for me. I was able to adjust my hours to start earlier in the morning and take annual leave in 2 hour blocks to facilitate visiting times at hospital. Without the support from the management team I would not have been able to continue working and without question, I would have been off work through my own stress and ill health.

Once Brian returned home from hospital, I continued the routine of starting at 8 and working to 4 as this fits in best with his requirements, but no other support was required. In April 2015 he was again rushed into hospital and we established that he had fluid in his heart and his lungs and while in hospital he also became ill with pneumonia. This once again required a 3 week hospital stay and all the support mechanisms we had put in place in work in January began again without question.

Brian’s condition is permanent and his health continues to fluctuate but I am happy to say that currently his health is fairly stable and adjusting my working hours to 8am – 4pm is sufficient to manage my work/life balance.

My management team continue to be extremely supportive and I am certain that this background support and flexibility has ensured that I have required very limited time off from work.‌