NHS nurses may be asked to work until age of 68

NHS nurses may be asked to work until age of 68

(Top News) In order to avert a looming staffing crisis in the NHS, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is looking into an option to ask nurse to continue serving in the hospitals until the age of 68.

As many as 200,000 nurses are set to hit the age of 60 and retire in the next few years.

A Working Longer Review Group has thus been set up by the government to look into the chances of allowing nurses aged 60-plus to continue to work in hospitals at flexible hours.

The Working Longer Review Group consists of representatives from the government’s Department of Health, NHS Employers as well as nurse unions.

If nurses are allowed to work until the age of 68, it would be the first decision of its kind. Gerry O’Dwyer, employment relations adviser at Royal College of Nursing, said, “The NHS has little experience of people working beyond 60, never mind 68.”

As per some recent estimates, the number of nurses at NHS hospitals will drop by more than 60,000, or 11 per cent, by the year 2016.

The government is looking to hike the maximum age-limit for NHS nurses as a fresh study by University of Bath suggested that healthy older people can perform as well as their younger counterparts in the NHS.