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Nurses urged to complete survey on longer working


Health unions are conducting a survey of members to investigate your views about working longer in the NHS.

It will form part of their response to the Working Longer Review, which is being carried out jointly by unions, NHS employers, and government health representatives.

The Public Services Pensions Act 2013 means the majority of the NHS workforce will have a normal retirement age of between 65 and 68.

The review has been set up to consider the possible impact of a raised pension age and how the NHS will be able to provide a high quality service with an ageing workforce.

The review has launched a “call for evidence” to identify examples of best practice that facilitate staff working longer as well as learn about any issues and barriers that may make working longer to a higher pension age more difficult.

Royal College of Nursing employment relations Adviser Nicola Lee said: “The issue of NHS staff working longer is a contentious one. Some staff believe they will not be able to work longer and some NHS organisations are not prepared for an ageing workforce.

“However, the Public Services Pensions Act 2013 is now law. That means from 2015, 70% of the NHS workforce will have a normal pension age equal to their state pension age, which will be between 65 and 68, and so the NHS must be ready to meet the challenge.”

The deadline to complete the 5-10 minute survey is 12 August.

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Readers' comments (18)

  • michael stone

    So it isn't reviewing 'should nurses be allowed to retire earlier then' - instead, it is saying 'You've got to walk across that minefield, we'll see how we can help you do it without getting blown up'.

    I personally think seeing how many people get blown up even with the helpful advice, is a valid investigation (ie., here, does it turn out that even with extra 'support', nursing is too physical for many nurses to work to that age).

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  • dont you think they need to get the staffing levels right before they expect us to work with zimmers for gods sake 68 year olds looking after 18/107 year olds where is the real world or" hang on my dear we will go after three one two roll oh dear can we have another go are we ready this time gurtie! sorry! it will like a scene out of mrs doutfire or nanny Mcfee cant wait to see the out come

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  • Anonymous | 19-Jul-2013 10:27 pm

    perhaps it would be a good scenario for an exciting new series of the 'Carry On' films!
    I bags the starring role!

    I don't think your suggestion of rolling a patient or even trying to lift one is a good idea for elderly nurses because of a higher risk of spontaneous fractures due to old age! :-)

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  • If nurses are expected to work until 68 are fire fighters and police also or are there going to be exceptions?
    I do not believe most 65+ year olds could manage the physical side of working on a busy ward. We all slow down and get more tired as we get older, and everyone's thinking processes suffer when exhausted. After working two or three very long shifts, would you want an elderly nurse to calculate your intravenous meds?

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  • tinkerbell

    Surely there is no shame in admitting i'm not as young as I use to be and my body is not as flexible and strong as it use to be and that after 25 years of heavy manual work my body is knackered and although the spirit may be willing my flesh is weak and could I please be retired with a decent income. Thank you very much. Why deny the obvious, we get older and I can no longer stretch and bend my foot up to touch my head as I use to be able to do.

    Good for all those who are the exception to the rule of getting older and becoming stronger and more flexible.

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  • "...I can no longer stretch and bend my foot up to touch my head..."

    this was never a requirement in my job description!

    however, as a pensioner before 68, I am beginning to feel like a guilty benefits scrounger.

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  • dont worry i can't touch my head ether,
    some younger nurses can count too or write or spell dont feel guilty they would do the same if they had the chance

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  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 20-Jul-2013 12:58 pm

    I definitely wouldn't be fit enough to do nursing tasks (or, as it happens, walk) if I touched my foot to my head !

    Off topic, someone in the Lanyard one (I think it was that one ?!) asked why I'd not posted the link to my BMJ post - I have done, now.

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  • Anonymous | 20-Jul-2013 1:59 pm

    one of my collegues and a friend once suddenly did the splits in the office to demonstrate some point under discussion. I was quite envious but she must have been in her late twenties at the time and did some regular training. maybe she is a good candidate to retire at 68!

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  • I have done the online survey, but this is too little too late. In my experience, there is a lot of discrimination against more experienced, older workers. This is due to professional jealousy of the knowledge base of older workers.
    A lot of clinical work is very physically demanding, and becomes more difficult long before the age of 65. Most employers will not cater for older workers because most unions are ineffective and will not challenge on age discrimination.

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