The latest statistics and projections produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that in 50 years' time there are likely to be an additional 8.6 million people aged 65 years and over - a population roughly the size of London. What does this mean for the NHS workforce? From a workforce and talent management perspective this scenario means that the NHS must think seriously about the demographics of its future workforce and ensure that we make the most of the skills and expertise that all ages bring. 

Key facts, figures and information

In terms of workforce planning, NHS Employers produces an age in the NHS infographic every year showing the age profile of the overall NHS workforce. This reveals some interesting statistics, such as 6 per cent of the NHS workforce is aged 25 or under and 52 per cent of staff between the ages of 35-54.  

The NHS working longer group was established a few years ago to look at the implications of a later, raised retirement age. It reported that the health service as an employer has to tackle a wide variety of challenges which health professionals face as they age. This includes deteriorating eyesight and motor skills (a concern of surgeons); the physical strain of lifting and handling patients (cited by nurses); the risks associated with working in hazardous work environments (noted by paramedics) and the stress of working in an increasingly taxed health service (mentioned by almost everyone). Find out more about the work of the NHS working longer group.

Examples of good practice and research

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