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Rise in NHS consultant retirements

Dissatisfaction in the NHS is being blamed for the huge rise in consultants taking voluntary early retirement over the past 12 months, doctors' leaders said.

Between 2010 and 2011 there was a 72 per cent increase in the number of consultants taking early retirement before the age of 60, figures show.

The number has jumped from 98 in 2010 to 169 in 2011, according to data from the NHS Business Services Authority's pensions division.

It was also the first time the number had risen above 100 in the five years of data collection, it was revealed.

This year's retirement figure showed that 14 per cent of those who left the profession took voluntary early retirement which is double the seven per cent seen in 2006.

The increase could be down to the growing dissatisfaction among consultants over changes to the NHS, according to Dr Ian Wilson, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's central consultants and specialists committee.

In the year to March 2011 there was a 30 per cent rise in the number of consultants who were given a pension award on the grounds of redundancy or voluntary early retirement, age or ill health, up to 1,211 from 937 last year.

This was partly attributed to an annual 4.5 per cent increase in the number of consultants working for the NHS.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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