Mature doctor having a consultation with a patient

NHS to turn to retired doctors to help tackle backlog and cut agency fees

Retired doctors are set to be given an option to rejoin the NHS and help cut waiting lists and tackle the backlog, the health service has announced.

The new initiative will come into action from the autumn with ex-staff being able register on a digital platform and offer their services to NHS trusts across England.

NHS England say the signed-up retirees will be deployed to deliver outpatient appointments, whether that be virtually or in person.

The move comes with figures showing more than 80% of patients on the waiting lists still need an outpatient appointment as the NHS looks for a viable alternative to costly agency staff while also enabling former consultants a way back into the sector with more flexibility.

Speaking at NHS ConfedExpo, NHS England’s chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, described the platform as an “innovative example” of how the health service is “constantly adapting” its working practices to benefit patients.

“Using this digital tool will help us to match patients with retired doctors who we know are keen to stay working in a flexible way so they can keep caring for patients, as well as allowing us to expand capacity to see even more patients – and faster,” said Pritchard.

Local health systems will be able to select the clinicians whose skillset and availability best suits their requirements.

Health secretary Steve Barclay added: “Technology is transforming the NHS, and this digital platform will ensure that more patients receive the highest quality care from experienced consultants when and where they need it.”

Image credit: iStock

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

AI is key in helping dementia patients live independently for longer.

The Nov/Dec 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 39.
What makes a good NHS manager? with Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

In episode 39 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Anthony Painter, who is the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), to discuss all things management within the UK health sector and NHS.

During the podcast, Anthony shared some of the recent research CMI conducted in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, which centred around the state of management and leadership within the NHS.

More articles...

View all