Ill health retirement from NHS - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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Ill health retirement from NHS


Hi All....i have just started the process of ill health retirement from my job as a Nurse Specialist in the NHS....i have Polands syndrome from birth and Fibromyalgia diagnosed in 2008. From the Polands i have scoliosis and arthritis in my spine and lots of pain. The Fibro gives me multiple problems of pain, stiffness and chronic fatigue. I have struggled on for the last 3 years, had lots od changes to my job, reducing my hours, working from home and being flexible. The trouble is that the brave face i have been wearing is slipping and im now struggling with even getting up in the morning. have been great and very supportive. HR and my manager support my ill health retirement as does the Occupational Health Dr and my GP. I an anxious about the process as i have no experience of what may or will happen...ita taken months to realise that I cannot carry on doing the job i love.

Does anyone else have an experience of the process and how long it may take..

thanks all

24 Replies

sorry Jane can not answer your specific question but sending good wishes at this difficult time for you.

I work for NHS whereabouts are you?

I work in west norolk but live near st ives in cambridgeshire....

When my Husband retired from work due to illness it took very little time after the decision was made that he could not continue in work to everything being finalised. As you have support at work it may just be a case of deciding when enough is enough and choose a time to stop work. I hope that made sense. Wishing you all the best. Lou xx

I am sorry Jane but I do not know about the process. However if you are struggling so much you might see about reducing your hours on medical advice. That would be a compromise situation which would make things easier for you and also support your claim.



There is quite alot online of peoples experience with nhs ill health retirement.

I know it is down to the pension providers to decide an application outcome (think that's how they are described). The employers, OH etc. letters are purely supportive to your application.

There are two tires to apply to.

They likely will want proof that you have exhausted all treatment options (not declined any also) and also that your condition is expected to be there at least until your normal retirement age.

You should get the literature from the provider on this. I think it is downloadable. Your employer should request a value statement for you. Don't get it yourself as they charge. It takes at least 8-12 weeks plus to arrive.

I am not an expert and of course these things can change over time. The above is the basic principles though.

Wishing you good luck xx

Evadne in reply to jellynpain

What does this mean....

About the literature from the provider. where can I download this please. What is a value statement.

Sorry if this sounds stupid,!


Another thought would be to ask for voluntary redundancy - I did that from teaching and got a lump sum as well. As long as you manage to keep going (making yourself more ill in the process) they will not encourage you to go, but once it starts costing them because you are off sick they are likely to be more accommodating.


hi Jane , can't help with your request but will be curious to hear how you get on, I too work with the NHS and have done for 34 years, I am currently on long term sick leave and struggling to come to terms with the fact that I as well may never be able to do the job I love ever again. It is all so overwhelming and scary. Love and hugs to you and I hope all works out , mogi52 xx

janebradshaw in reply to Mogi52


I have struggled so much with the idea that I can no longer manage my job. It's a horrible feeling to think I am giving up all I know. I've done 25, got my Queens Nurse Award in 2012 and even then never imagined giving in. X

janebradshaw in reply to Mogi52

Although sad for me too, nice to know I'm not alone. Take care and gentle hugs

Hi Jane , I know how you must be feeling , I never thought I would wnd in this position, I love my job and am finding it so hard sitting at home not being able to do everyday things, to think that 6/7 months ago I was doing 12 hour shifts where I was literally on my feet from start to finish but I loved it, thrived on it, it's all I've legally known all my working life Jane . You take care and if you ever want to talk , well I'm here for you xx

janebradshaw in reply to Mogi52

Thank you and you too ... We all need someone who gets it rather than someone who thinks they do. Many hugs x

Mogi52 in reply to Mogi52

Just read through my post there and legally should read literally , honest , lol xx

Hi janebradshaw

I have not been through anything of this nature, but I wanted to wish you all the best of luck.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x

Thank you. I'm trying to think positive that everything will work out for the best ✨

Thank you ....

Thank you all for your comments. It's so nice to know that I can ask a question and get kind words and advice rather than unhelpful things that I have experienced on other sites.

You are all a wonderful group of people

Much love


Hi Jane,

I took ill health retirement from my Nhs job after working for 32 years.

I had the backing of my manager and occ health Dr. I had been off sick for a year.

I was worried that I wouldn't get the category 2 ill health retirement( this adds some years to the time you have worked for NHS and therefore enhances your pension) I worried needlessly. I had a meeting with HR in the October and made the decision to finish. Reports were sent to DWP from my occ health Dr, rheumatologist and GP. It took about 2 months for their decision to come through and I was granted category 2 IHR which was finalised in the March. I miss my job and my work colleagues but realise I couldn't carry on. It has been difficult coming to terms with the fact that I had to finish but I realise I was fortunate in having a pension and so do not have to rely on benefits.

I hope this helps you. Fell free to message me if you need any more information xx

Evadne in reply to thekeys46

Hi Jane, do you mind me asking what your diagnosis is...

I have multiple diagnoses and was only given Tier 1.

I intend to put in a dispute.


Hello I have only recently joined this forum and just wanted to say I too have just requested early retirement with nhs, my manager, supervisor and GP have given me full support and are dealing with the application and process for me, all I have had to do is fill out part B of the AW33e form .

I actually work at my Drs surgery, and was diagnosed by my Dr as having fibromyalgia nearly 7 years now.

All the comments here to your questions, the thoughts and feelings of you all who have to or have already had to stop work are exactly how I feel , I have read the comments and could literally of written them all myself as they relate to me and my life now exactly.

So I take comfort I am not alone in trying to get through each and everyday just like all of you, if you don't mind I would like to let you know my decision/outcome of my application which is still in the first stages like you Jane.

Lv Bee x 🐝

Hi Jane, I retired on tier 2 from the NHS last Febuary and after my Occupational health consultant completed his part of the form and sent it off it only took about two months for it to be agreed, I didn't have to see anyone else.

It's pretty straight forward your manager compleats her part first basically from your sickness reviews with her then you compleat your part saying how your illness affects you then lastly your occupational health consultant.

Good luck there's nothing to worry about.

Wow just come across this thread....struggling to stay working in the nhs so welcome hearing about what others have been/are going through.

So difficult when talking to people who have no experience or compassion and just want to tick boxes.

Best wishes to all

Julia N

It took me 5 employment as a Social Worker in Child Mental Health was terminated on 31 March last year. I was awarded Tier 1 on 31 August of same year. Unfortunately Tier 1 is not good enough when you've been forced out if your job.

Tier 1 has no enhancement and also no penalty for taking early ill health retirement or pension. (So Tier 1 is unable to do current NHS job due to permanent ill health ), while (Tier 2 is Unable to carry out

regular employment of like duration to NHS employment due to permanent ill health in addition to meeting the Tier 1 condition).

In the interim I've not drawn any of my pension as I wish to dispute the NHS PENSIONS decision of Tier 1. I don't understand how they could not grant me Tier 2 when it's clear that I have multiple diagnoses and loads of prescribed medications/polypharmacy.

I do hope you are successful in your application.

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