The involvement of occupational health services prior to ill-health retirement in NHS staff in Scotland and predictors of re-employment

Brown, J. , Reetoo, K. N., Murray, K. J., Thom, W. and Macdonald, E. B. (2005) The involvement of occupational health services prior to ill-health retirement in NHS staff in Scotland and predictors of re-employment. Occupational Medicine, 55(5), pp. 357-363. (doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqi069)

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Abstract

Objective: To assess the process, causes and outcomes of retirement because of ill-health in NHS staff in Scotland. Particular areas to be investigated include the involvement of occupational health services, access to rehabilitation and redeployment, current health, whether working again and to identify predictors of re-employment.<p></p> Method: An ill-health retirement (IHR) questionnaire was mailed to 863 NHS staff awarded IHR benefits by the Scottish Public Pensions Agency between April 1998 and March 2000.<p></p> Results: In all, 49% of the 863 postal questionnaires were returned. The most common reasons for retiring were diseases of the musculoskeletal system (38%) and mental disorders (21%). Seventy-one percent of the participants reported their ill-health was partly or completely work related and 29% not work related. Ninety-two percent of NHS staff had attended an occupational health department prior to IHR. Twenty-three percent of participants had no contact with their line manager during their illness prior to retiral. Eighteen percent of individuals were offered the opportunity of working part-time and 15% offered alternative work. Seventeen percent of participants have obtained other work. Predictors of re-employment after IHR were: medical condition, managerial responsibility, improvement of health, wanting to work again, occupation and age at retirement.<p></p> Conclusion: This is the first comprehensive study investigating NHS staff experiences of IHR in Scotland. This study illustrates the need for improved support and rehabilitation for ill-health care workers and that there is the potential to reduce levels of ill-health retirement.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacDonald, Professor Ewan and Brown, Dr Judith and Reetoo, Dr Kumari
Authors: Brown, J., Reetoo, K. N., Murray, K. J., Thom, W., and Macdonald, E. B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Occupational Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0962-7480
ISSN (Online):1471-8405

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