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Peer Support Service

The RCN’s Peer Support Service for ill and disabled members is a network for sharing experiences and knowledge, promoting a positive approach towards disabled healthcare professionals.

If you are experiencing mid to long term health issues, have an impairment and/or consider yourself to be disabled, the peer support service can help.

These principles are at the heart of the service:

  • That disabled healthcare professionals face some unique challenges due to the nature of their work and preconceptions of their roles. Sharing experiences allows them to combat isolation and find solutions.
  • That healthcare employers should adapt a “social model” approach to disability – physical and attitudinal barriers are disabling; impairments are not the problem.
  • That employing staff with impairments sends a strong, positive message to patients. This is particularly pertinent at a time where the government is aiming to halve the disability employment gap.
  • That disabled staff bring many skills such as increased resourcefulness and empathy. That the adjustments made for them often benefit other staff too. 
  • That where an impairment is acquired during working life retention ensures that skills, experience and investment are not lost and thus retention of disabled staff makes good business sense.

What we offer

As the name suggests, the service’s core offer is to put you in touch with other RCN members to talk about the issues that matter to you for mutual support and to share experiences by telephone or email. We also have a closed Facebook group.

The group is facilitated by Holly Chadd, Peer Support Officer. Holly can also provide advice and support to you on practical issues related to remaining in employment. For advice on discrimination, or careers advice, you should contact RCN Direct.

Together, the group works to produce a bi-annual newsletter and to spread the word about the benefits of employing nurses and HCAs who have impairments through blogging, social media, guidance and articles.

Join now

To join you just need to complete this form, explaining what you would like to get from the service.

It's recommended that you read our guidance on How to write a good personal statement beforehand.

You can call the RCN on 0345 772 6100 if you have any questions.

Most members join the group because of a work-related injury or condition, but membership is open to all RCN members affected by ill-health or disability, and to those who have an interest in health at work and/or disability rights issues.

Further information

You can also get help on a range of workplace issues.

Join Peer Support

Joining is quick and easy. Just complete this online form

You may want to read How to write a good personal statement beforehand.

New Peer Support Service Newsletter

The new summer 2017 edition includes member stories, and a legal update on permanent injury benefit regulations.

Reasonable adjustments

The peer support service guide for members affected by disability in the workplace 

  • What are adjustments?
  • How do you ask for them?
  • What happens if they fail?
  • How do you tell your colleagues?

Are you a student?

Have a look at our resources, including new guidance for students affected by disability on placements.

multi disciplinary team

Could you share your experience to help others?

We want to hear from healthcare workers who've had workplace adjustments due to a disability or ill health.   

Workplace adjustments database