Ill Health Retirement fromm the NHS

Morning every one,

I am considering ill health retirement from the NHS, it has been a difficult thing even to think about it as I am Midwife on an extremly busy unit BUT the hard part has been I love my job. Though realistically I know it will be really difficult to return, even though I have had the support of my wonderful Manager and other options have been explored.
I am now back on chemo for Liver mets, to go with my bone mets :frowning:
Any advise or experiences would be great

Thanks Mandy

Hi Mandy
I had to take medical retirement from the NHS last June after 32 yrs of nursing, i’m 52. Like you I really enjoyed my job and my employer couldnt have been more supportive but it was a fairly easy decision at the time as i too was undergoing chemo for bone, liver and lung mets and knew i couldnt do my job effectively as i was so knackered and i could not see me getting back. My plan was that as i began to feel better i could maybe do something completely different part time, however i am still having chemo so that hasnt happened. Surprisingly i havent missed the job too much but i have missed the company and the laughs and a reason to get up in the morning and i would say that i am starting to miss it more now. I try to keep as busy as i can manage but not working has left a huge void and its a constant reminder of something else that the cancer has taken away from you. It isnt all bad as you do have more time to spend with your family and do things that you never had time to do before and i suppose it is another chapter of your life that you have to get used to i mean we all have to retire sometime its just a bit earlier than i would have liked. Also it is the first time in my working life that i have had every weekend and public holiday off and not had to request days off so its not all bad i suppose!
I wish you all the best with whatever you decide and a long and happy retirement. Best wishes.

I have recently taken ill health retirement from the NHS at the age of 53. The process went quite smoothly ,the biggest delay was with Occ Health …in the end they submitted my request with her report supported by my copies of letters and MRI scans.Once submitted tier 2 ill health retirement was approved in a day or two. there was someone really helpful within HR who guided me through the procedure…she also organised for the trust to terminate my contract once it was clear ill health retirement would be approved so they could pay me 3 months salary in lieu of notice which was very good and I wouldn’t have known this without her help…Ypu also have to make a decicion as to whether to take a pension or take all the money in a lump sum because you have a “terminal” diagnosis…you need financial advice from someone who knows their way round the system. If you take tier 2 ill health retirement you cannot earn more than the level of NI contributions from any source because the pension is enhanced. I do miss my colleagues at work and the day to day interaction…but I did one or2 courses at thelocal uni lifelong learning centre and will pick up one or two more in sept all being well. as for the job I also had a responsible consultant post and do miss the patient interaction…but I don’t think I could work full time as I was working, and financially it didn’t make sense to reduce to part time…also the service is under enormous pressure at the moment which would have been an additional stress. I tried to post all this last night but i think it was symultaneous with the post above and it simply disappeared…?more gremlins. Pamx

Hi Mandy
I’m 64 and after 45 years of nursing I have not worked for the past two. I moved countries early in 2010 to be with my daughter who was starting a family. I had the intention of finding work after I had found a house and done my “grandmother duty” in the early stages. BC struck at the end of 2010 and 2011 was wiped out by treatment etc. My son had a daughter mid 2011 (in Australia) and I plan to visit him and meet her in July this year. Then when I return I’d like to find work again. However, I’m in the same boat as you wondering what to do. Letrozole has hit me hard and I wont know until I try as to whether or not I’d be able to work in Geriatrics/Palliative Care again. I have really enjoyed not working and as Trish says the benefits of time with family, public holidays off without having to request it, and me time, is great.
BUT I really miss working, like you I loved my job even though it was at the other end of the scale. I have put my name down as a volunteer to see if I’m going to be fit to work after July on my return to England. Of course with all the cut backs I don’t even know if there will be a job to be got! I too miss the camaraderie, the company, the laughs, the patients and the reason to get up in the morning, though it is really nice to sleep in if I’ve had a bad night. I’ve had more “pyjama days” in the last two years than in the past 60 put together.
I guess what I’m saying is there is good and bad. Of course finances come into it as well so if you found it was not for you could you go back to work part time or in a different sphere. Maybe try it out first without burning your bridges.
All the best with whatever you decide and if you do retire, like Trish, I wish you a long happy one.

Iamok, this is a question that you have not asked but wanted to point out that you may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance. If retiring on il health the extra money you may be entitled to may help you make a decision and help with the bills.It is not a means tested benefit. I think you have to be under a certain age to apply. YOur BCN could point you in the right direction and McMillan Nurses can help with form filing which is HUGE!.
My husband retired from the NHS on ill heath when I retired. I got diagnosed with extensive bone mets when I was 49. He says he missed the “banter” and the company but not the job so much. He was on constant night shift towards the end and I was on mixed shift work so we were ike ships in the night. I had to phone him after he did the late drugs round to discuss anything that was going on at home.
For me it was the best thing I ever did. I realise this is not the case for everyone. I find plenty to fill my days and it is good to share time with my OH. He has been a tower of strength for me and I would not be so well if he didn’t help me with his love and support. He does lots of housework and is a great cook and NO I am not sharing him with anyone else! His knowledge about health has also helped me when I am not sure about something. Sometimes friends just drift off and you are left on your own to get on with things.They have their own lives to live and I undrstand that.
I was sucessful in receiving DLA at the higher rate. We sold the car and applied for a Motobility Car. This uses up a large chunk of my DLA but means I do not have to worry about bills coming in for repairs, Mot or road tax. All I need to do is put in the fuel and usually my OH deals with that!
If I can help anwer any questions about the above please feel free to ask. Best wishes< Val

Really useful discussion - thanks. I’m not there yet but feeling it may come sooner than I want it to.
Laurie x

Hi Mandy, I am 52 and I was in a similar situation to you and have liver and bone mets. I kept going and going at work, until one day I had the shift from hell and back, and I knew then that, that was the end of my nursing career after nearly 30 years, I couldnt go on any longer.
I applied for ill health retirement and got it approved fairly quickly and retired in Feb 2011. Whilst this was going on the trust gave me 3 months notice on full pay and I didnt have to go into work for those 3 months. Since retiring I have not looked back, and am so glad to be out of it, and all the politics that are going on at the moment. I still see my friends from work, who keep me upto date with the gossip etc.
I also applied for DLA and got the top amount, so was able to get a Motobility car, which has been a god send to me. Retiring was the best thing I ever did, I keep myself busy, but can do as much or as little as I feel like.
It is a difficult desicion to make, but you have to put yourself and your health first, and with the cards we’ve been dealt, we dont kow how long we will be here, so hang up your uniform and enjoy life. x

Hi Everyone
I have just managed to juggle my way around the new forum
Thank you all so much for your comments they are really helpful
I have applied for ill health retirement and have the full support of my onc and occ health doctor, so I am hoping I get teir 2
I have been sereved my notice at work
The pensions officer is being really helpful
So my fingers are crossed it all goes smoothly
Thanks Mandy

Hi, Mandy
I retired from the NHS in 2009, after 18 years as a nurse at the age of 38. I was given a terminal diagnosis after bone mets were found. I found the couple of years really hard as I felt I had lost my identity and my career all down to this damn cancer. It has been hard but having more time with my kids and playing full time mum has been great and now I dont regret it at all.
Its a tough decision to make but i have just had to accept my life as it now and make the best of it and enjoy to the full.

Rachel x

Hi Mandy, I have also taken ill health retirement from the NHS, Tier 2, and like the majority of others, the only thing I miss is the banter and laughter, I find it easy to fill my days and have felt slightly better without the pressure of work, it is so nice to know that when I need to rest or sleep I can do so without feeling guilty that I am letting others down. I have been able to downsize and buy a bungalow with the proceeds and my health insurance. I feel fortunate that I have a reasonable standard of living and can concentrate on being as well as I can be, It is a major decision to make especially when you do not know what the future has in store for you. Life is going to be short enough, so enjoy it while you can. xx