Working longer in the NHS

The ageing workforce
The introduction of the 2015 pension scheme arrangements in the NHS saw a change in occupational pension age, as it was set equal to a person’s state pension age for the first time. Before its introduction, a tripartite review group of trade unions, NHS employers and the UK health departments was set up to assess the impact of working beyond 60 in the NHS and to consider how NHS staff will continue to provide excellent and compassionate care when they are working longer.

Following an in depth review of evidence and expert opinion, this tripartite review came up with 11 recommendations in their preliminary report. Key recommendations in the report was the necessity of good occupational health and safety provision and employers taking appropriate action to support the wellbeing of their workers of all ages. 

As a long standing and integral sub group of the NHS Staff Council, the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group (HSWPG) was commissioned to take forward the recommendations relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of older workers. 

This guidance has been developed as a first step to support employers with implementing these recommendations. HSWPG have taken the occupational health, safety and wellbeing indicators from the working longer group’s organisational readiness checklist to define ‘what good looks like’ and provide further support and signposts around implementation. The guidance has been split into two sections in line with the original review recommendations. 

We recommend that you use this guidance after completing the organisational readiness checklist, to help you address the gaps. Where there are no gaps identified, please tell us what you are doing so that we can share good practice. 

The work of the review and that of the NHS Staff Council and its respective sub groups, including HSWPG, is underpinned by the principles of partnership working.

This guidance is aimed at human resources, health and safety and occupational health professionals and trade union representatives, especially safety representatives.

The ageing workforce

Job design and the working environment

Steps to consider, to ensure a working environment and job design that enables everyone to work safely effectively and productively. 

The ageing workforce

Occupational health, safety and wellbeing

Steps to consider to ensure and effective occupational health response to support an ageing workforce.

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