nhs ill health retirement

Hi i have polyarthritus, in lower neck cervical spine right shoulder knees and both ankles, i had a total hi replacement 4 yrs ago, was successful but still get pain due to bursitis. Had the end on my right clavicle removed 8 months ago but still in pain due to muscle spasm and bursitis. I have severe brittle asthma, had numerous admissions to rests a &e and then admissions, on four different meds and 4 dif inhalers for breathing. I am suffering from severe depression currently on a mental health unit.

I have worked for the nhs for 34 yrs as a qual nurse, have tried to continue working but no longer feel able. my pain his high i an currently on cocodamol 30/50 1 gram qds, cannot take any other meds i.e. tramadol due to itching, naproxen etc due to asthma. I am awaiting a pain clinic appointment. I am seeing occupation health for ill health nhs retirement but from the things i have heard this is hard to get and i prob will not be offered it. I do has mho status so could retire at 55, i am 50 now, do not think i will last this long.

Any thoughts on above

Thanks suzy xxx

8 Replies

Hi Suzy!

Do not give up. I am currently going through ill health retirement with the NHS. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, aparently the decision I have been waiting for was put in the post yesterday....

I am a qualified nurse too, although only worked since 2001. I didn't have MHO status. I am 48. My SLE became increasingly worse and in January 2014 I went off sick and sadly never returned. Occy health Consultant was very supportive as was my GP. I kept fighting to get back to work. It wasn't until I made the decision and accepted I couldn't work, that I became positive and hopeful about the future, It is important you are in control of your life, not these diseases. Once I admitted this to my employer, I had to be dismissed from my job on ill health grounds. HR were very good and explained the whole retirement procedure.

My Rheumatologist and Occy Healy consultant had to write reports in support of retirement. This takes 3 months for a decision. I was granted tier 1, which means it has been agreed I can no longer work for the NHS and have been retired.However the powers that be, feel I am able to work full time in an office. My doctors, family and I do not, so I have appealed for tier 2. This has taken another 2 months. But I should know by the weekend, the outcome. It is a lengthly process, but if you have drs and family supporting you then apply for retirement.

I'm sorry to hear you are so poorly you are in hospital. The only thing that dragged me out of the depression was making decisions for myself and not feel everybody else was controlling my future. Life changing decisions are scary but can be fun. I wish you well x


Dear Suzy,

like you I also had to leave my job

With NHS 8 years ago. I was an Admistrator, working in a 30 bed ward on the Neuro department in one of our local Hospital. I loved my job. However, I become very ill sadly spending it 3- 6 month on the sick and finally I decided to ask them for Redundancy in view that I was only working for the Trust for 5 years. It took 3 years to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and only last year with Lupus. I had many steroids injections on my Shoulders and now I started with pains on my right hand too. I have a cough that it's killing me. I am have an appointment with my GP and my Rumy this month hopefully they will send me for further investigations. I am still working part time with a lots of effort and only because most my work its done from home on the phone.

I am now a Public service interpreter and l am still working with the trust on the Freelance basis.

This is my number if you would like a chat. Mob.07979494591. Do not despere! My children and grandchildren give me the strength to it to fight this terrible conditions.



I retired from my job in the public sector with far less issues, but enough to make it impossible to carry on working, than you appear to have...After a fairly lengthy process I was given retirement on health must fight for it, you are entitled to it. I found it very hard at the time, but 3 years on I am retired, living in a beautiful part of the country and living a life again.

Yes, I still have the health issues, which I won't list, but I have time to manage them, pace myself and do as much as I can. Good luck with it all...I really hope you feel better soon.

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I was given ill-health retirement from teaching with far fewer health issues than you have, but significant enough to make it impossible for me to carry on. When I and the consultant filled in the forms we focused very much on the impact of my health on the pupils and their learning/health and safety, rather than on the impact on me. I had been advised that if I wrote about my pain/disability they would come back expecting me to take more drugs/use aids/special chairs/work fewer hours etc. I was awarded the higher level very quickly, when I had expected to have to appeal to even get the lower level.

As others have also said, taking back control of your life is a very healthy thing to do. Wishing you very good things out of the process, Dotty x

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I finished my job in local gov in Feb after 10 months sick and finally ill health dismissed. I found all involved to be as supportive as they could be and even though I was sad to leave my job and especially my collegues it got me to wishing that I had got my life/work balance better before this happened. It might not have stopped me being ill but I think I would have coped better and it would have made me realise sooner that there is more to life and I am in control. The stresses in my life are now different and all about me and not work so I can deal with them differently. It isnt easy and takes a while to get used to being in this position but I have slowly started to adjust and find the joys of life again just in a different way. Hope all goes well for you. Gentle hugs Joolz.x

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Hi Suzy,

I don't have much to contribute on your retirement situation but I wanted to mention that our Helpline team are here for you on 0800 298 7650 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4.30pm) if you need a friendly ear.

Best wishes,


Community Admin

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Hi Suzy

I retired from NHS clerical about a year ago, with severe RA and associated lung problems. Like Tinky says once the decision is made a weight is off your shoulders. I struggled for 10 yrs and actually managed quite well, but I worked in the office and had tremendous support from my boss and colleagues, but eventually my sickness was getting longer, and hospital admissions more frequent. Your boss will request the specific form for you and reports from him/her and occ health as well. I had great support from both, plus supporting letters from my rheumy and GP. I was advised to apply before my sick pay ran out for obvious reasons. I was lucky and was awarded tier 2 without any bother probably because I was already in an office and couldn't manage that. As a bit of extra advice, at the time I applied the decision was made by ATOS on behalf of NHS pensions, I am not sure if they are still doing the deciding cos I know there has been some controversy over them, BUT when I applied for my ESA I informed them the decision for tier 2 pension was made by them, I got my ESA (support level) without going for any medicals. It can be stress full but just put in all the evidence you have and things will work out if you have good support from work. I have had a lot of lung problems since then, including a serious admission to hospital with pancreatitis last year, which affected my lungs even more and I am still not back to full health. but the fact that I am not stressed about being off work makes such a difference.

Hope everything works out for you.

Good luck

GJ x

p.s let us know how you get on


I retired on tier 2 ill health. Basically my occupational health consultant sorted it all out for me. I have severe RA had lots of feet and hand surgery and worked as a midwife till I was 56 had RA for 23 yrs when I finished. Retirement wasn't something I wanted to do but working was making me unable to function at home at all. Get home and go to bed and the pain was becoming unmanageable. I was also at a point where I had to think about patient care. I just couldn't function any more! I was a little depressed for a couple years I missed it so much. Didn't help that not ATOS but Dwp DM said I could go back to work 2 months after I retired. That was reversed and I was put into support group for ESA. I'm glad I finished now because it was the right thing for me. Stress levels down and a new life and new friends. I'm happier now than I have been for years even though I've been diagnosed with severe spinal probms and fibro. The positive side is I help on the RASMP and RA is my qualifier.

Yes life's hard with out the salary but because I retired on tier 2 my pension was enhanced as if I'd worked to 60. So go for ill health rather than just retire. Get some good advice from your OH dept I found them very helpful.

If you have genuine reasons for retirement there's no problem. Occupational health will advise you and as I found out you can end up with a whole new life which I rather like.


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