Ill health retirement NHS

Morning everyone,

Just wondered if anyone has any advice on the above please.

I have been off sick since the end of Jan, last year had 3 months off too. My manager came out to see me last week. She commented how much better I looked with not being at work. I am too and can do more normal things like cooking proper meals even going to aqua aerobics. That was until my back started playing up again a couple of days later. Talk about tempting fate :).

My manager is supportive and said she will do all she can to support me. G.p has sent her a letter which is very supportive of ill health retirement criteria. Rheum Nurse says I need to decide what quality of life I want no work and have a better quality of life or go to work and struggle with basic day to day things.

It is a big decision and part of me feels like giving in. My brain says I am fine nothing wrong and should be at work.

Things changed in Nov last year due to organisational change, my job was gone put in another role without training. 7 am starts no parking and sitting behind a desk using a computer for 6 hours a day.

Just wondered how hard it is to be accepted for ill health retirement now. The forms are being completed and I know there are two tiers. Worrying in case I am not accepted. Worked at my present hospital for 27 1/2 years. NHS for 38 years in Sept but I was retired from Nursing on ill health 27 years ago. That was a blur I was so upset and I did not fill out any forms my G.p just said he would sort things out for me.

Oh apparrently I may have to go to occy health again. I did go last July, the Dr then asked me if I wanted to carry on working. My job then was much better although I was struggling. I just said well I have to work don't I.

Sorry for long post, any advice welcome.

26 Replies

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  • I sympathise with you as it is a big decision to make , I retired from local authority last July and I've never looked back I was there 23 years, the year before I retired I struggled at work but now I've got more time to do things and go to fitness classes most days and Aqua aerobics which has done my joints a lot off good, I hope you get on ok and get it you won't look back xxx

  • Thank you. I remember you taking early retirement and saying you felt much better for it. Fingers crossed I can get it. I know financially it will be difficult but I will cut costs accordingly.

  • People think they will struggle financially when they retire, but there are so many things you save on when you do retire.

    No daily fares or petrol costs, no expensive work clothes or shoes, no buying the expensive easiest food as it's quick to prepare, no daily designer coffees ...(that can cost £60 per month) no contributions to birthday gifts that seem to appear every week, no daily lunch to buy or prepare, no mad moment cosmetic purchases that really add up ( I once spent £25 on a lipstick in my lunch hour).

    Get the idea? Yes you will have less disposable income, but there will be so many things you won't have to buy.

    So don't let that be the major reason you try to soldier on.

    If you tot up how much going to work actually costs you, you'll see how retirement will affect you.....& it probably won't be as much as you think.

  • Yes you know that is right when you put it that way.

    There are so many plus points.

    And the dreaded writing of Christmas cards :)

    Thank you.

  • You will have time not only to write the cards but catch up with really OLD friends. I now correspond by email with Poole I went to school with 60 years ago. Great hilarity when we'd wal old school photos & best of all the fashions our mothers were wearing!

    If it's right for you Moomie..go for it!

  • OMG - did you go to Parkstone Girls' Grammar? or did u type Poole in error meaning people?? gave me a smile anyway! I grew up there but married n moved to Belfast x

  • No grad not GranAmie - it's my rubbish typing!

    I went to school in Wimbledon...but Class of XYZ has ended up all over the world

  • well a touch of optimism at nrly 75 can't be bad lol xx

  • I threw in the towel and took early retirement at a reduced rate rather than carry on and hope for ill health retirement at the full pension.

    Certainly retiring was a good idea, as my health improved dramatically as I had the time and mental energy to look after myself. I was worried about it as I loved my job, and wondered what I would do with myself. But it's been largely good and I am now fitter and healthier than I've been for decades.

    Yes sometimes I wonder whether I should have held out for a full ill health pension as I was certainly in a bad way when I left work. But another year like that of mega stress, 60 hour weeks, endless traveling and I'm not sure I would have recovered the way I have done. And I've found that I can live more cheaply with not working, so the financial constraints aren't a problem.

    So my vote goes for trying to get full ill health retirement and if not, if you are 55+, then look into early retirement.

  • It sounds like you have really benefited from packing in. What a shame though you didn't get the ill health.

    I am 54 so not far off taking the option for early retirement.

    I want to take positives from It, like you say having the physical and mental energy to do normal everyday things.

    The job I was moved to, well I hated it so would not miss that aspect. In the past I have helped with the charity so could get involved with that. Again could do it when I felt I could without pressure of work. That way would feel like contributing to society. I actually organised a fun Dog show last year and raised 1000 pounds for the children's Rheumatology dept.

    I certainly realised being off work how much it took out of me. Simple things like not having to go to bed at 9pm exhausted.

    Thank you for your positive advice.

  • I'm lucky if I make 9!🙄

  • I retired on ill health from the NHS last September at the age of 50 and it has improved my health dramatically! I can pace myself now and am less stressed and fatigued. I have time to exercise, ( I walk and swim) I cook good healthy meals and have lost nearly 2 stone, my joints are great at the moment, of course the Rituximab and Sulphazalasine have a lot to do with that but I know my new retired lifestyle has been the icing on the cake! When I was working I was so fatigued and stressed out I was really struggling and miserable and had no quality of life outside work ! My managers were totally unsupportive but I had a great Occupational health doctor who supported me all the way through the process and with consultant and GP letters I finally got tier 2 pension. Tier 1 is the best one to get financially however I am lucky that my husband works and has supported me in retiring, we have had to adjust our finances accordingly but it's worth it as I value my health more! I would say go for it you won't regret it!

  • Thank you. That sounds exactly like myself and all I want. The Rheumatology Nurse said almost the same.

    I thought tier 2 was the higher rate actually which have you an extra 2/3 of your wage.

    My other half works full time and we have discussed it. Fortunately he thinks I really need to do this now. Not only so I am not as grumpy because I am tired and sore.

    Hopefully I will.see the same OH Dr I saw last year, he was good and supportive. My G.p is excellent too and he writes OH reports so is in the kn ow.

    Really pleased it worked out well for you and you are benefiting.

    Thank you

  • Yes you are right! Tier 2 is the higher rate, I got tier 1! I only got it last September but have forgotten all the details already because I just don't think about any of it anymore! So glad it's all behind me . It's such a worry and all you can think about while it's going on but when it's all over it's definitely worth it! Good luck I hope you get what you want

  • I think I will be happy not to have the stress and worry. Just to think about getting fitter in myself without work.

    I saw an ex manager who got tier 2 a few years back. She said it was refused at first but she appealed and got it.

    Not sure if I would want the extra stress of all that.

    I have two little dogs who will be happy just to have me at home with them. Hopefully to take them on longer walks.

    Best wishes

  • Good luck.I took early retirement from the NHS two years ago. It was one of the best things I did.I had had several flares and had time of sick.

  • The only sympathy I had was aggressive phone calls from my immediate manager demanding my return and personal medical details.

    The only extra expense I have had is more heating in winter.

  • That is awful. So many managers are like that unfortunately now.

    I am lucky with mine. She did ask for medical info from my G.p. He would not send it her until she had gone through the proper channel's. When she did get it then she thinks I would be better off taking ill health.

    Pleased you have not had added expenses apart from the heating.

    I will have to buy an extra hot water bottle. Got a couple of hot dogs for warmth. They like to snuggle up. :)

  • Whatever you do don't resign until it's sorted! I'm a (now) retired Doctor and struggled to the end of a fixed contract before realising how I'll I'd become (this was pre-diagnosis of first significant depression & then seronegative RA whilst I was just being treated with sulfasalazinefor a nonspecific arthralgia.) If you are already no longer employed by the NHS you are unable to get the higher pension but have to qualify for it (ie convince them you'll never be able to return) to only get the lower one.

    I had help from the BMA experts and an amazing GP and was finally awarded a small pension backdated 11 months from applying. It was turned down first time but accepted after asking them to reconsider without a full appeal.

    Why not consider doing what I did (before applying for my pension) & finding more local less stressful partime work? I was working in my local church office for only a very small wage but it has been flexible & rewarding. Good luck, & consider joining a union simply for the advice & help.with the paperwork. I couldn't have done it without the BMAs help

  • Sounds like you had a rough journey. Pleased you got there in the end. It must have been so stressful.

    I will not hand in my notice, my manager has called round today with the paperwork. It all seems real and scary now, I keep thinking what I will do if I do not get accepted for it. My last occy health report was supportive, I have to go again for another review.

    Thanks for your support. I am in GMB union.

  • You at not giving in. I too worked for the NHS. I felt like I had lost everything when 30 years of nursing was gone, but now in hind sight, it was the best thing for me. It took a year to adjust. I got a new routine, my health improved alittle so I could enjoy, picking up my grandson some days, meeting friends, etc. I don't have to go to bed a nine, or worry about if I can get out of bed or drive. The worry has gone. If you feel financially you can manage then it is right for you. You deserve a quality of life that you can enjoy.

  • I am pleased you are happy with your new life. Lots of replies echo the same things, and that's all I want from this. Just to go about normal everyday things at my pace and to be able to enjoy simple things like going to a aqua aerobics class. I know if I returned to work I would be too tired to do this.

    I would not miss the job I was doing because I really didn't like it. Also found it stressful because I was left to get on with it without any training. I am old school and whatever job I do I want to do to the best of my ability and to help Patients. I didn't feel I could do that. So not being there , well I do not miss it at all. Sad after many happy years in the NHS from starting out as a 16 year old Pre Nursing Student.

    Thank you

  • I retired from Local government after 36 years and its great. I admit though I have a really good pension and that obviously helps. It's an old saying but true as one door closes another opens. The only person who can make the decision is you, but you already say you feel better not working. So are you defined by just a job or do you want to enjoy the rest of your life, lunching, with friends, enjoying your garden or local park, learning a new skill or volunteering as you clearly have skills with an organisation that would really value you input.

    I hope you find a list of pro's and cons will lead you to the right conclusion.xx

  • My Rheumy Nurse said almost the same. It is just a job now unfortunately.

    I did actually do a list of pros and cons and the pros came out tops.

    Strangely you said about as one door closes. Well my mortgage was paid off last year so that is a comfort. I will not get a lot of pension I know, but I am not the sort of person who likes lavish things, so I am lucky that way.

    My manager came round again today with the form for me to complete and G.p. I did get a little worried in case I am rejected and what the consequences will be. But worrying will not change anything. I just need to go for it.

    Thank you for the kind words

  • Good luck with it all.

  • Thank you

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