§ Baroness Finlay of Llandaff
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How comprehensive are the provisions in place for National Health Service professionals to take flexible retirement; and how many have taken up this option. [HL3007]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner)
The Department of Health (England) is actively encouraging National Health Service professionals to consider flexible retirement options.
The flexible retirement initiative was launched in July 2000 to ensure that the NHS makes the most of valuable experienced staff at the same time as enabling them to extend their earning lives. Flexible retirement has been included as evidence for organisations in the Improving Working Lives Standard, which all trusts should have achieved by April 2003. The Flexible Careers Schemes for general practitioners and hospital doctors can also be used to support individuals in taking flexible retirement.125WA
Two guidance booklets, in the series Working Lives Flexing Retirement, one for staff and one for managers are available on the Improving Working Lives website (www.doh.gov.uk/iwl). Two more in the series planned for GPs and hospital doctors are due to be published in June. There is also a Flexing Retirement Helpline (01253 774440) for all National Health Service staff who want to review their retirement options arid how they will affect their pension.
Data are not available on how many National Health Service professionals have taken up flexible retirement options.