Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


More hospital doctors are opting to retire early

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 04 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3744

Rapid Response:

Re: More hospital doctors are opting to retire early

It was interesting to see the chart showing the increase in voluntary early retirement. I had always planned to continue until I was 60 years of age and then review my options.

However, I have now lost count of how many of my medical and senior management colleagues have decided that due to government pensions policy they will retire a couple of years early and then return part-time. Of those who have returned part-time, it is remarkable that they usually only manage 6-12 months before deciding that they can manage perfectly well on their pension and that they now have far better things they can do with their time than coming to work. This results in a serious loss of expertise to the health service.

Discussing this with yet another senior colleague a few days ago, we realised that we have appropriated the #MeToo tag. For a senior NHS employee, this means that: "just like you, I am going early".

I would therefore like to thank the government for introducing the lifetime allowance because it has made me see the light. It is not worth continuing to work for an ungrateful government: At my (less than 60th) birthday next year, I shall be retiring early and cutting my hours down to 6PAs per week (it was 14 PAs at its maximum). Who knows how long that will last...

In the words of the Great Douglas Adams: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 September 2018
Tim Reynolds
Consultant Chemical Pathologist
Queen's Hospital
Burton on Trent