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UHNM staff praise retire and return initiative

Staff from University Hospitals of North Midlands taking advantage of its retire and return initiative which allows them to retire, draw their NHS pension and return to work under a new contract.

The NHS Retire and Return scheme means Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital, Stafford are able to retain experienced staff who previously would have left the organisation and who can help nurture and support future staff members. The scheme supports staff wellbeing as they are able to tailor their own work life balance while also giving them a sense of purpose within the organisation.

Amanda Lavick, Senior Therapy Technician at Royal Stoke retired in October 2022 and returned in November 2022, working three days a week thanks to the scheme.

Amanda who has worked at UHNM for 25 years, said: “I couldn’t afford to completely retire but also I don’t want to retire yet. Once you know what you need to do, the process took over four months in total. You get sent the forms and fill them in, send them back. It’s a gradual process.

“I have had a lot of people ask me how the process was and I found it really simple. The calculator on the intranet is really useful to see what you will be losing if you leave the pension early.”

She added: “I really enjoy my job in therapies, I like patient contact. It’s nice to have a feeling that I have done something to help and made a difference to patients and relatives. We are a close team, we help one and other whether it’s good times or bad times, personal or professional.”

Jane Teasdale, Divisional Therapy Manager for the Medical & Surgical Division said: “We have supported a total of four retire and returnees in the Medicine, Surgery and Urgent Care Therapies Directorate to date with a further one planned for April.

“These staff have returned to their therapy technician and administrative roles allowing us to retain their invaluable experience in service and for the mentorship and development of more junior staff.

“This has also helped with recruitment challenges whilst allowing the individual staff the flexibility to return to a job they love on less hours and with more work life balance.”

Clare Johnson, Head of Therapy Services at County Hospital: “Medical Therapies are delighted to celebrate the fact that over the last 12 months we have managed to support several retire and returns for our therapies team across registered, support and administration staff.

“We think this is a great way to promote and retain the talent of our experienced staff.”