Analysis

Fears for nursing workforce as retirement rate surges

More than 65,850 NHS staff began the retirement process in 2015-16, adding to pressures on the health service.
Retirement

More than 65,850 NHS staff began the retirement process in 2015-16, adding to pressures on the health service

Workforce experts and nursing leaders have spoken out about their fears for the NHS after learning that the number of staff applying to retire has surged by 25% over the past four years.

The latest figures, uncovered by RCNi’s Nursing Standard, were published as widespread concerns about winter pressures on the health service have highlighted nurses’ heavy workloads.

The number retiring has jumped from just more than 53,000 in 2012-13, an increase of 3,000 on the previous year.

Retirement

While the figures from NHS Pensions do not provide a breakdown of the professions applying, nursing is the largest element of the workforce.

More than one third (37%) of nurses and midwives are over 50 years old.

The large

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