I am now waiting on CT and MRI before further review and setting of date. Seeing Back care co-ordinator tomorrow with regard to advice re work and what I can do etc and also reasonable adjustments!!! I will probably wait until after Easter before contacting the Pensions people, gives me a bit more breathing space. I am quite lucky apparently as I have not had a break and so have 34 yrs service. Hoping this gives a good pension and lump sum, just can't imagine not working as have done all my life but I guess there might be something that I could move into, we shall have to wait and see.
I will let you all know how I progress.
Take care and thanks for your response.
Hi Maggie just to add that according to the phone message they have on their Choices number they say they are working hard to get all the letters and calculations out.So looks like some are still outstanding. J xx
Maggie sorry to hear about the spinal probs never blinking ends does it?I think mostly that the choices stuff has more or less ended. My prob was that they got it really wrong and severely miscalculated mine. So I had made plans based on wrong info. Depending on your age etc I think they have got a bit behind with their sending out of letters. It might be worth you looking at earlier retirement? I am sure someone earlier on this thread mentioned it. Take care Love Jackie xx
I to am working full time and did my pension choice last year, opting to stay until I was 60 - 7 more years, as it looked a decent pension to take then. I have now been told by a neuro surgeon that I need major (risky) spinal surgery which can't really be put off any longer as I am suffering significant back and spine problems. As we are all to aware, not without significant probs re mobility etc that will affect work and so I have been thinking.... did the Pensions people say that all the projections were over or is it just some unfortunate individuals? I don't really need to know the answer as I don't seem to have any luck at the mo, so I guess it is back to the drawing board and keep going for as long as I can.
Do hope that they come up with not to big a discrepency for you.
Hi Ladies wondering how you all are?
Not sure where to post but this seemed like a place to start. Did NHS Pension choices last year when I was in midst of chemo etc etc. Went back to work after 6 months off sick. Used A/L up and had phased return too. Now just back to F/T and really struggling physically and emotionally. So although I had not thought of retiring decided I needed to look at this option again.( Was 60 last Dec) Thought the projection on NHS choice leaflet would be roughly right poss a teeny bit more. Found out on Fri from our pensions lady that the NHS Choices projection is 125% over estimate. Had to wait til this am to phone NHS Pensions Agency in Fleetwood and they agree and say some data was inputted by them wrongly. All she could say was would I have made a different decision if I had had different figures? Well I simply don’t know and in any case the decision cannot be reversed. They have arranged for someone more senior to contact me but it seems that their incompetence is having a dire impact on me..
Goodness knows how many more people maybe similarly involved
I think I have to swallow this but it has come as such a body blow. Any comments/ideas. Jackie xx
Firstly, welcome to the forums, I'm sure you'll find them a friendly and supportive place.
I thought you might be interested in reading our factsheet on Breast Cancer and Benefits, it can be either downloaded or ordered here:
Macmillan can also offer lots of support and advice with regard to financial assistance, their website is http://www.macmillan.org.uk, have a l ook if you get chance.
Finally, our helpline can also direct you to other sources of support, do give them a call if you can, their on 0808 800 6000 and they're open M-F 9-5 and Sat 9-2.
I have just been diagnosed with brease cancer and am having a lumpectomy and sentinel node biospy in a couple of days.
I work in primary care as a practice nurse. We do not have Agenda for Change. I have worked in my current job for over 10 years.
I have been told that after much agonising - I will only be entitled to 6 weeks sick leave with full pay (minus any sick leave taken in the last 12 months, unfortunately I was off with a chest infection for 2 weeks before Xmas - my average sick leave in 3-5 days a year normally) and 6 weeks on half pay. I am on my own with a mortgage and am supporting my daughter through her nursing training.
Having spoken to other practice nurses - it seems I am quite lucky to get 6 weeks full pay - other GP only pay statutory sick pay or even 2 weeks at full pay then nothing else. I have 2 jobs and work 7 days a week.
I am astonished by the lack of compassion by the employers in a caring profession.
I have been advised to take 2 weeks off following my surgery but I will have to go back after 1 week. I may need to have a surgically induced menopause as well so I'm not sure how I am going to manage financially.
I find the financial worry more stressful than the cancer and wonder how I will cope.
Dear Happy Shopper, sorry you feel like you do, I've been there and am just coming out the other side.
Ill health retirement is not impossible. I've just got it and it was fairly straighforward and took about 2 months to get the paperwork together and to get a decision.
Dx 3yrs ago, bilateral BC with bone and liver mets. Had chemo last year and went back to work June 10, but just couldnt cope, especially with the emotional side of the job and felt that the stress was not doing me any good at all. Nursing 26 years, but only 13 in pension.Was only working 15 hrs/wk
You need to make sure everyone will support your application. I started with my manager & HR manager, who where both very supportive (the HR lady started the paperwork) I then got a letter from my Oncologist to support my application, then went to see the OH consultant who completed the paperwork.
Why dont you go and see the OH consultant and run the ill retirement idea past him/her and see what they say.
The other thing you can do is ring the pension agency and tell them you are thinking of taking ill health retirement and ask them for a forecast of what money you could expect. There are two tiers of ill health retirement & they will give you figures for both.
A word of warning - once you have decided to go down this route and got the ball rolling, there is no going back, you are stating that you are unfit for work, so your employer can terminate your employment.
If you get IH retirement you can also claim Employment Support Allowance. Ring MacMillan and get an appt with one of their financial advisors, they will tell you all of what you are entitled too. Hope this helps xxxxxx
Just read your post about Macmillan - i hadn't thought of contacting them regarding work issues so thank you very much for that piece of advice.
As for me, I am now 6yrs post dx(2004) and orininally started this thread, regarding the possibility of ill health retirement.
I am wondering if macmillan support may be able to advise with this issue? I am feeling really low at the mo- have not been able to cope (pschologically) since dx. Took myself put of the clinical area as i was finding it really hard there(loss of confidence, foggy head, scared stiff I would make clinical mistake (as has been done numerous times in my care).
have now been non - clinical, but still feel I need to make a complete break from health care altogether - just cannot cope. Feel worried/ anxious all the time. Recently been dx with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis(osteporosis another case of mismanagement) at the same time.Also have lymphodema.
Although my hours are great, (I finish at 2ish)I am absolutely shattered by about 5 (this was another reason for coming out of the clinical area - couldn't cope with the shift work).
I feel that I have tried all that OH have asked of me, but I still feel the same psychologically, and also fatigued physically (have not yert seen the OH Dr about these latest issues, but nurse aware who just said "you've got a lot to deal with".
However, many people seem to say how "impossible" ill health retirement is to get, so not sure what to do. Can't afford to give up work with no income of some kind, and never thought I'd find myself feeling like this. (Have been nursing for 26 yrs) I really don't know where to turn, just know something has to give.
XXX p.s. sorry for the moan,as if you all don't have enough to deal with. - having a bit of a down time at the mo....
Happy New Year to you all, and really hope that it is a great one for each and everyone of you!
I am getting ESA, whick kicked in after my SSP ran out at 27 weeks off sick.
If you ring Macmillian on 08088080000 they will talk you through it all, they are very helpful. Job centre plus actually isue the allowance, again very helpful, their number is 0800 055 6688.
my understaning is that it can be awareded via 2 routes, means tested or via your NI contributions, I went with the latter.
all the best
Happy New Year all. Has to be an improvement on the last - surely.
Jan - I'm a nurse in primary care, and I'll be heading for the half-pay after 6 months. I've read somewhere on this forum that once you go to half pay, you can get ESA if you're fully paid up in National Insurance, and it isnt means tested. I'll be looking into that. Must admit though - feeling very unsure about returning to such a highly stressful job.
Oh dear it never ends. Last Fri late 4.50pm had a phone call from my manager to say I needed 2 letters from my Consultants besides GP note and Occ Health stuff( latter to be 10 min phone consultation) before I could go back to work and I also needed to ask HR a lot of questions for her re who to let know I was going back etc etc. Told her as I am more experienced that this was her job long story short she cannot see me to fill in 6 page phased return form which is very very inquisitive and feel floored by this. Have already persuaded GP to let me go back sooner. So Mon rang HR with queries and also asked who I could tell my Onc and surgeon to invoice for their letters ( I had no doubt that these 2 lovely men would do this for me on request, but last saw surgeon July and Onc Oct)I felt a 10 min phone call from ATOS was putting ball in Consultants court. Guess what no letters needed Whoa. I just want to go back to work and am so cheesed off that being off sick has been made difficult and now going back is being made so difficult too. Caring profession give me a break.Can see no resolution to this. Sorry for rant.Jackie
Hi Dima and everyone, I'm a Health Visitor in Primary Care. Just at the 5-month stage of sick leave and waiting with baited breath for the bombshell re half pay. When the time comes, I'll discuss the discretionary element mentioned in AFC and see what they say. Might also think about retirement but to be honest I want to see how things are when I return to work. Its a fairly stressful job to say the least but I work with a very supportive team and so far my manager has been ok. Watch this space 🙂
That's a deafening silence then!
Info about the two tiers of ill health retirement from the NHS, the factsheet is here:
Okay that's the FAQ now, Im sure it was the factsheet when I bookmarked it. Ah well.
To qualify for a Tier 1 pension you must be permanently incapable of efficiently carrying out the duties of your employment because of illness or injury.
To qualify for a Tier 2 pension you must be permanently incapable of engaging in regular employment of like duration to your NHS job (i.e. either whole time or part time) because of illness or injury
it goes on to define what some of those terms mean.
Okay, the factsheet is here sorry. Blame the brainfreeze!
Don't forget you need to know whether your pension is oldstyle (1995 section) or newstyle (2008 section) and if you are in the special classes (mostly nurses) who originally signed up for a normal retirement age of 55.
ooh, i hope those links work!
i didnt know you could get extended sick pay.... last year when i was working as a band 6 sexual health nurse id only been employed contunously for 4/12 years when i went off so didnt get the 6mth FP and 6mth HP instead it was 5 months of each 😞 so ended up on no pay for the last month of 11 months off....
even though i had well over 5 years of service in total.... and went through the 5 year mark during my sick leave... they also were intimating id need to you my accrued annual leave as part of my phased return and were really pushing for me to come back sooner.... the mental thing is after i left i didnt my post never even got replaced so why all the pressure for me to return 😞
why are we so unsupportive of our own?
my new job is much more supportive so far... but then i work as a BCN in breast cancer screening and genetics now.
libby im so pleased they are eventually sorting it out for you.
Maria you are quite right we nurses know a lot but not about BC and should show ourselves the level of care we show our patients/clients.
Bird I think we must have the same HR dept but I think you are being a bit unfair as chocolate teapots are useful for eating that is, esp. if they are Greens and Black choc yummie.Plus we had surgery the same day 27/5
Achieved a result this am. when the lady in payroll rang me back and said she had it all sorted out for me and we had a very satisfactory chat.Apparently HR faxed her my continuous service late yesterday afternoon. They only knew there was a prob with it early in May way before I went off sick poor overworked lambs.I suspect my manager may have told them I had said that I had been advised to take out a grievance.Not had a wink of sleep all night with this anxiety. Thanks as always for encouragement and support. Love Jackie
I am a Band 6 orthopaedic nurse. I was diagnosed on 18th May 2010 had first surgery on 27th May and haven't been back to work since!
After reading all the posts I feel so incredibly lucky. I have had incredible support from my ward manager and my colleagues. I told my team the day after diagnosis because I know how gossip spreads like wildfire around my trust! The day after I told my team most of the hospital knew!! Many members of staff came to the ward and hugged me and all the stuff that goes with it - I'm sorry ect....... I just though it only fair because for me to suddenly not be at work for months and for my manager to have to keep it quiet would be too much.
I am too saddened by some of the hideous care that some of you have had from your trusts/managers/colleagues. You really would think that working in a healthcare environment people might have a better idea of how to treat people and know when to keep their traps shut!!!!!!! Breach of confidentiality is a disciplinary without a doubt. Whether a person is a nurse or clerical or a cleaner - it is not acceptable in any form. If I was in that situation how on earth could you trust your colleagues again? Shocking behaviour absolutely no respect, makes me very cross 😞
I have tried to keep up to date with things at work - infact I am going out to lunch with my fellow band 6 and my manager this afternoon - we are all good friends and they have been my 3rd rock next to my husband and my family! HR are starting to stick their nose in now cuz my pay will drop to half pay this month. Unfortuanately our HR dept are as useful as a chocolate teapot and have the tact and understanding of a wild bull!!! I have yet to see occ health and I know that a phased return is coming my way -but to be honest this will be a good thing.
I finish chemo on 30th Nov - hoorah! and then rads start in new year. So I am hoping to return to work maybe March time. I am concerned however about my brain and its new lack of being able to work properly! Before all this chemo nonsense I was very switched on and fairly confident at work, but these days I struggle to remember the simple things. I have to write everything down! I had a bit of a freak out moment because i was trying to remember what to do with an anaphylactic reaction (lord knows why I was thinking that!!!) and I just cannot remember a thing which scares me!!!!!
I think when I go back to work I am going to update all my basic training cpr , anaphylaxis, infection control, fire ect...... the whole kit and caboodle! I am just worried of making a monumental error out of something simple. I am concerned that this what I can only describe as a dementia!! will be permanent. It scares me and I hate being so out of control in regards to my brain activity - or rather lack of it and my clumsiness. Not good for a nurse!!!!!
Anyway I go on! Good luck to you all with your returns to work or not whichever you decide.
I'm a nurse too, but have been working in Switzerland for over 30 years. Luckily I have no pressure to go back to work (except from myself) and I am still on full pay. My treatment is now over and I see my onc at the beginning of December, when I shall discuss returning to work part time for a while, before I resume my full time post.
My problem, as a nurse, is knowing too much and not enough about bc. Also this problem about caring for others and not enough for myself, but I am learning !!
Good luck to all the nurses and doctors and HHS workers with bc
Ladies thanks so much for your comments. Catkin and happy shopper it is appalling that confidentiality was breached.They really have no idea do they? Lulu I agree it is not up to my employer to determine whether I qualify or not.My previous record had not been sent on to my current employer from my previous one and even back in May I signed a form to give my permission that this could be accessed. It hasn't. Yesterday morning I ended up beside my self with HR saying I had to speak to payroll and the latter saying I had to speak to HR.I went round in circles. I spoke to my manager whose intervention had no effect and more phone calls from me to both incompetent depts again.All this served to do was cause further stress and still none of the returned calls I had been promised.
It is difficult in this reorganisation of NHS to know how far I can rock the boat without this rebounding badly on me.As I am part of a v.small team I think my manager would not support extra time off on full pay if that ever materialises.Part of me feels that I need to get back asap and part feels I should go with what my Onc told me 'We will discuss this at my next appt in Jan' OK rant over Ladies whatever you are up to hope you are all as OK as poss. Thank you again for your support. Love Jackie
Ruby and Rugby girl are absolutely right re; AFC. I have also read somewhere that , at theire discretion, sick pay can be paid for another 3 months, on top of the 6 months full, 6 months half pay.
unfortunately this is not well publised and I believe can be put forward by your manager.
good luck with all of this.
hi I have worked in the NHS for 32 years, laterly as a consultant Nurse, I have been saddened and appalled by the way some of you have been treated.
my understanding under Agenda for Change there is a descretion that employers can use to extend your full pay entitlement whilst on sick pay for a further 3 months. which may be helpful to some of you.
I really hope that you all get the necessary support that everyone needs during this difficult and challenging time.
all the best
Rugby girl xx
libby have you had a look at the AFC handbook....
"12.1 An employee’s continuous previous service with any NHS employer counts as reckonable service in respect of NHS agreements on redundancy, maternity, sick pay and annual leave."
its not up to your employer to decide whether you qualify or not... if you work in the NHS they have to do it.... if you dont want to take the grievance out if you speak to HR and tell them you have been advised by your union to do so that alone may be enough for them to pull their finger out.
I started this thread a while ago and think that it is very sad that so many of us are treated in such an uncaring manner.
Ctakin19 - I am absolutely appalled at what has happened to you and what a terrible breach of confidentiality.
Similar happend at my work - I was working as a Nurse practitioner and found out within days of my diagnosis (having wanted to keep it all low key) that staff at the 2 satellite hospitals 12 miles away had been told!
Jackie, i cannot believe you have been treated so appallingly. You are right, why should you be put through even more stress taking on HR when they should have done their job properly in the first place? it really beggars belief. The caring profession.
I have now been diagnosed with osteoporosis(another error by my GP who refused to monitor my bone density whilst on AI and prem menopause ) and fibromyalgia too,to go with my trunkal lymphodema which is now spreading to my arm since desk bound. I am really not sure how bad things have to be before they support an application for ill health retirement but clearly I am not there yet, as some of you are experiencing also.
Good luck to one and all, especially with the current reorganisation of the NHS......
Hi Ladies Just an update. Am so so cheesed off. Just as I was starting to feel a bit better and could feel some energy seeping back.All my attempts at trying to establish whether my continuous NHS service has been ascertained ( currently have worked for just under 5 yrs in current area so counts as 4 yrs, but had cotinuous service in previous area from 1986 and no gap between the 2 areas) have met with none of the promised return phone calls. Then last week found I had been put on to 1/2 pay.Still cannot get HR to respond.Unfortunately I had more surgery the week rads ended and have been on a-bs since June as got an abscess separate from BC but poss chemo induced and may need further surgery.Had thought I might be back at work by now but not so. Have been off sick since late June worked through chemo and had A/L for WLE and ANC. Have now been advised to take out a grievance against HR by my union but I really find this is undermining my health and that I should not need to go to these lengths.Do any of you wise ladies have any comments/ advise? Jackie
Not a nurse, a doctor.........but recognise a lot of what people are talking about. I think the NHS needs to lose a few big disability discrimination cases to get its head round the notion that disabled staff are an asset, not a liability. I had a dreadful time going back to work, which included all my colleagues pretending they didn't know i'd had bc (they jolly well did, cos i told them........) and drumming up a malicious complaint against me. I've been told I'd be a liability, that nobody would employ me if I couldn't carry a full workload, etc etc..........and anyway cancer isn't covered by the DDA in our neck of the woods!.........(that from Occ Health so no help there.........)
However: I'm alive and cancer-free, my treating team were lovely, my depression is much better and my partner has been wonderful throughout........there were times when I just wanted to die I was in so much physical and emotional pain, but I'm damn well not going to die so hold on folks, there is hope!
Any other docs or colleagues from other disciplines welcome to PM me, we need to support each other through all this cr*p..........
I wasn't a nurse but worked in HR in the NHS until I retired this year. Even with really strong Occ Health and HR support, the pensions agency sometimes do turn down requests for ill health retirement. But don't give up, you can appeal and I used to find that many appeals succeeded. The best thing is to contact HR and Occ Health again for their support with an appeal.
Unfortunately I didn't take my own advice and didn't even bother to apply at all for ill health retirement so my pension is reduced, but even so, I don't regret retiring early at all.
This is my first post, I am not sure if to say I am a RGN for the past 16yrs with NHS trust -or to say I am a newly retired RGN infact termination of contract Sept 2010!
I have a complicated medical history which has all been both physical and mentally draing. I am 50% disabled from Industrial injuries to my back and left wrist and thumb. I was dignosed with my breast cancer Feb 2009 my first mastectomy March 2009 I returned to my work base on non clinical duties due to Oc H and H&S advise as I have to wear a wrist splint- this was far from a easy stress free role infact I did have counselling to attempt to help me come to terms with the massive changes to my work situation but also my family roles (I have been happily married for 35yrs) I lost my mum and two of her sisters 11yrs ago all to cancer in multiple organs but all with breast involvement. I chose to have my left mastectomy Dec 2009 and have had problems since I had a post surgical infection that has left me with lymph swelling on my breast wall and upper arm. I also had a thrombosed vein post surgery all this as increased the damage to my wrist and hand but also now left shoulder.
I will leave all the heartache for now- it really is a dark place I find myself just now I was supported by OcH and HR for a level 2 ill health pension or so I was led to believe and after 6weeks my letter from the NHS pensions dept arrived this morning -I do not meet their requirements for any early pension release oops I didn't say that I am now 54yrs old and could have taken my pension at 55 if my employers could have attemted to find me a suitable role. My full termoil of treatments etc. only came to 12months sick leave this included me having treatments from 3 diffrent consultants at 2 hospital sites. Since my diagnosis of breast cancer my Arthritis is now in all my joints and I can walk short distances only with 1or2 sticks wheelchair if needed. I have SS support for my personal care in the mornings my husband and family have helped me all through this, I have now been told I have fybromyalgia too.
PLease if any NHS staff can relate to this I would appreciate your feedback- it just might stop me from the despare I am in just now.
Sorry it is so long Anne.
I completely understand the dripping bit! I'm a specialist nurse in the community and will be sitting in a patients home when, all of a sudden, my face will light up like a belisha beacon and I come over all unnecessary. I tell the patients that Im "having a moment." As most of my patients are elderly, they tend to understand!
Our hospital is very old and so the heating is always blazing away. I also seemed to spend the day dripping, especially if I was helping a patient in the bathroom. My lovely colleagues thought it was very funny! Although they were also very helpful offering me help and advise.
I have been nursing for 21 years and retruned to work full time with a phased return to work in March this year, five weeks after i finished my radiotherapy. I now wish I had given myself more time to get over chemo surgery etc. I worked through most of my chemo taking about a week off after each one. As a specialist nurse there was always something i could do each and my team were always happy to see me in work. My Lead Nurse was very supportive and even though i was in and out of work I never had to have an HR review.
I do find I get very tired and on friday evening i feel like I have been hit by a bus! I have a lot more hot sweats while rushing around at work.I tried really hard to go to work whilst I was ill as it made me realise just how much being a nurse was who I am as a person. Howerver, If I won the lottery now I would give up in a shot! THis more I think because i would like to have more energy when my family are around and the chance to go to the gym and manage my fatigue.
Being a patient has changed my perspective I will never again utter those words "this test is just routine" as was said to me whilst waiting for the results of my CT.
Sorry this post has rambled all over the place!
Luv to all nurses out there,
That breach of confidentiality is utterly appauling and that member of staff should be disiplined. With it being a Practice Manager, I assume there is no professional code of conduct, unless they are a nurse as well and also wonder who would discipline him? Of course, that won't reverse the damage he has caused or make it any easier for you. I pm a consultant with bc on this site. She had the different problem of all the staff assuming she should know all about bc, which she didn't, and therefore she was told very little. I had to tell her about post surgery exercises!
I`m not a nurse, but did work in an NHS Health Centre as a salaried GP.I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 7m ago on routine screening.I had informed my manager on the day of my biopsy that the diagnosis was likely to be Breast cancer and asked that my medical details be kept confidential.Two days later the histology confirmed the diagnosis, and the following day my husband telephoned the Practice Manager to inform him that I would be on sick leave for at least 4 months. Within 3 hours of this telephone call the practice manager had told ALL the staff in the practice of my diagnosis including the receptionists and nurses. I am devastated by this betrayal of confidentiality. It seriously affected my ability to deal with the shock of having breast cancer, and I am currently really failing in my attempts to come to terms with the fact that, as I feel I can never again trust the practice with ANY personal details, I can never return to work in that practice - and leave so much unfinished business with so many patients I knew so well. So much for caring and confidentiality in the NHS.
I am a nurse with breast cancer, and I have been very well supported by my manager, but it appears I am the exception and that is very indicting of the NHS. How can nurses be expected to peform their duty of 'care' when they are not being supported and 'cared for' by their employers, the NHS.
The hardest thing I have found in working with patients since my diagnosis, has been in the effect of caring for palliative patients.
I was surprised at how deeply affected I have been when managing such patients, although in many ways I feel I am in a privileged position to be doing so. I particularly found it hard when nursing a breast cancer patient whose circumstances were similar to mine. I'm just in the process of taking early retirement on Tier 2. I shall really miss my colleagues and my job. Just not up to it.
hI, been to see gp. Has given me a form for full blood screen to rule out things. Asked if it could be a trapped nerve and got a sort of vague reply. Have to return to work next week. Feel so low..
Hi, cant belive your post! I am a nurse, age 46 and had my diagnosis ten years ago, with many problems and operations since. I am still working in a large heavy nursing home, but i am physically and mentally exhausted. I have had severe wrist pain in my mast. side, but a bone scan ruled out a fracture. I now have pains both arms , shoulder , top of back with pins and needles. It must be a trapped nerve, so going to .gp today. It is very difficult in this profession as my managers are so uncaring. I would like to get out but due to financial commitment it is not possible.