A new software system is being rolled out across the HSE occupational health services, which will facilitate the collation and interpretation of data relating to ill-health retirements, a HSE spokesperson has informed the Medical Independent (MI).
A HSE Internal Audit report found that the organisation does not monitor the incidence of ill-health retirements to identify and address factors such as medical conditions occurring in particular occupations, staff categories, age groups or regional variances. The audit report advised the HSE to implement a system to collate, interpret, and manage data on ill-health retirements to ensure that risk factors for staff and the employer are identified and mitigated.
The HSE’s employee superannuation schemes require that employees seeking to retire on ill-health grounds provide satisfactory medical evidence to the HSE that their condition prevents them from carrying out their role and is likely to be permanent. The medical evidence is assessed by specialist physicians engaged by the HSE’s occupational health service.
According to information provided to HSE Internal Audit, 309 employees retired on the grounds of permanent ill-health in 2021, representing approximately 10 per cent of all retirements.
The audit report also recommended that the HSE develop standard guidance and procedures for employees on the terms and conditions of the ill-health retirement schemes, and for management and occupational health staff on their roles and responsibilities in administering the schemes.
A working group will develop guidance for employees, management and occupational health, the HSE’s spokesperson told MI.