The NHS is facing a staffing crisis after the number of doctors taking early retirement more than trebled.
GPs and hospital medics are now retiring at an average age of just 59, blaming high workloads and ‘punitive’ taxes.
Figures show 401 took voluntary early retirement or retired because of ill health in England and Wales in 2007/8.
This rocketed to 1,358 in 2020/21, according to the NHS Business Services Authority.
GPs and hospital medics are now retiring at an average age of just 59, blaming high workloads and ‘punitive’ taxes
The total number of doctors retiring for any reason rose by 21 per cent over this period, from 2,431 to 2,952.
The British Medical Association, which represents the profession, says exhaustion is to blame for the rise in early retirements, along with a five-year freeze on the lifetime allowance for pensions tax.
Dr Vishal Sharma, of the BMA pensions committee, said doctors ‘continue to battle stress and burnout’.
He called for pension arrangements to be changed for NHS staff as they have been for the judiciary, which is also facing a retention problem.
The total number of doctors retiring for any reason rose by 21 per cent over this period, from 2,431 to 2,952
Due to Covid, waiting lists have climbed to a record 5.1million. Meanwhile, the NHS has 7,032 vacancies for medical positions.
The retirement figures were released under a Freedom of Information request by the British Medical Journal, which has published them in a study.
The Department of Health said there are record numbers of NHS doctors in England, and the Government is doing ‘everything it can to support their wellbeing’.
It said the NHS pension scheme provides ‘generous retirement benefits’.
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