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This Toolkit is aimed at health professionals approaching the later stages of their careers in primary care or those preparing for retirement from the primary care sector. The support highlighted in this toolkit draws on offerings from the NCL Training Hub, NCL Integrated Care Board (ICB), General Practice Provider Alliance (GPPA), the London Medical Committee (LMC) and other voluntary organisations. It ranges from identifying opportunities for health professionals to remain in the workforce to supporting individuals to access their pension. We hope that these resources will help support primary care professionals to remain in the workforce for as long as possible and for those ready to retire, to support a smooth transition into the next phase of their life. 

It is the intention that this document will be continuously updated, and welcome your feedback on its contents, etc. If links do not work or if you are aware of resources that have not been included, please feedback to nclicb.nclth@nhs.net.

Resources within this toolkit are relevant to all members of general practice unless otherwise indicated. Resources for specific roles are indicated by the resource in bold.

Coaching and Mentoring

GP Professional Support Network which offers peer to peer professional advice and support and includes GP Support services to GPs and their Practices; Supporting a return to work after maternity leave; Educational Supervision; Clinical Supervision Educational Support; Professional Coaching; and Talking Therapy Support (Doctors).

Royal College of Nursing: Career Coaching - The RCN Careers Service offers two types of coaching: interview coaching and career coaching. Members can have up to 3 telephone Career Coaching sessions in a 6-month period (Nurses).

Wellbeing and Resilience

NCL Training Hub Health & Wellbeing page – Keep up to date with wellbeing events and resources available to the NCL primary care workforce.

Evolveworkplacewellbeing.org - Guide to explore and embed workplace wellbeing.  

British Medical Association – Your Wellbeing - Range of services and information to support doctors at all stages of their career.

Counselling and peer support services - Free and confidential 24/7 counselling line and peer support service open to all doctors and medical students on 0330 123 1245. Six sessions of structured counselling is also available to BMA members (Doctors). 

Doc Health: RMBF and BMA's confidential support service for doctors experiencing mental health issues. DocHealth is a confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for doctors. The service is for qualified, practicing doctors only (Doctors).

Doctor Advice hub: Expert articles covering career advice, wellbeing, money matters and more (Doctors).

Good Thinking - Resources to help Londoners improve their mental wellbeing.

Index of Well-being in Later Life – A new way to measure wellbeing in later life, using rich data sources and state of the art statistical techniques. Find out more and read about what the key factors of wellbeing are in later life. 

LLMC Lunchtime Wellbeing Seminars - 40-minute webinars for GPs aim to improve the emotional and psychological health of staff by supporting them in finding personal strategies, tools, and coping mechanisms (Doctors).

NHSE – Support for all NHS staff - Staff mental health and wellbeing initiatives that seeks to connect and support the health and social care workforce. They include a range of support including peer-to-peer support, return to work advice, coaching and talking therapy support. 

NHSE - Supporting your physical health and wellbeing – Physical health and wellbeing support for all NHS staff.

NCL Schwartz Rounds  - Multidisciplinary forum designed for staff to come together once a month to discuss and reflect on the emotional and social challenges associated with working in health and social care. 

NHS Professionals Wellbeing Hub -Resources, ideas and guidance to help manage mental health and wellbeing (Doctors, Nurses, Advanced Health Practitioners).

NCL ICB Peer Led Mindfulness - This is a peer-led initiative on Teams with 15-minute sessions on Tuesdays at 12:00 and a 30-minute session on Fridays at 10:00. No need to register, simply join via the Teams Link   

Practitioner health support – Free, confidential NHS primary care mental health and addiction service with expertise in treating health and care professionals (Doctors, Nurses).

Preparing emotionally for retirement - Retiring is a huge life event and can sometimes leave us feeling like we’ve lost our identity. 70-year-old Jay Cassie talks to us about how she prepared emotionally for retirement and the 3-point plan which helped her.

Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Wellbeing resources - Wellbeing resources, support and helplines, including organisations that can help with your health, finances, indemnity and legal advice and their online wellbeing resources (Doctors).

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund - The RMBF provides support for doctors and their families through all stages of their career and beyond. Help ranges from financial assistance in the form of grants to a telephone befriending scheme for those who may be isolated and in need of support (Doctors).

Employer Support

Guide for late career AHPs supporting students in practice-based learning – This guide supports employers in offering flexibility to those staff that are considering retirement or would like a change in career direction before leaving the health service (Advanced Health Practitioners).

Londonwide Local Medical Committees - GP Professional Support Network which offers peer to peer professional advice and support and includes GP Support services to GPs and their Practices; Supporting a return to work after maternity leave; Educational Supervision; Clinical Supervision Educational Support; Professional Coaching; and Talking Therapy Support (Doctors).

NHS Business Service Authority – Employers Hub – If you are an NHS employer you will find the Employer Hub useful to:

  • update and amend member records via Pensions Online (POL)

  • get the forms you need

  • get technical guidance

  • apply for access to the Scheme

  • find information on NHS Pensions Finance

  • use the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) for pensions

  • use our Pensions events calendar to stay informed about NHS Pension Scheme contribution rates, payment schedules and assurance exercises

  • access employer resources

  • meet our Stakeholder Engagement Team who can help you administer the Scheme and can help with any queries you may have

NHS Employers: Using flexible retirement to support retention - How to support staff to work flexibly using the new flexible retirement options being introduced this year.

NHS Employers - Promotes wellbeing at work, with advice and information for NHS provider organisations on health and safety, stress, sickness absence, pensions and more.  

Wellbeing Conversation resources and templates - resources to hold health and wellbeing conversations intended to be regular, supportive, coaching-style one to one conversations that focus on the wellbeing of our NHS people 

Recruitment opportunities

NCL Nurse Legacy Mentors - Legacy Nurse Mentors are experienced nurses who provide mentoring to our primary care nursing team workforce. North Central London Training Hub is now looking for Nurses in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington who would be interested in taking on this role. Applications can be made via the Nurse Legacy Mentor page by Tuesday 30th April 2024 (Nurses).

AHPs in later careers supporting students in practice - NHSE - The following have been identified as benefits of individuals in late careers supporting practice-based learning (Advanced Health Practitioners).

NCL Faculty of EducatorsBecoming part of this broad network of educators and supervisors is a great way to connect with colleagues and support you in your role in multiple ways. Find out more about the faculty and how to contact the lead educator in your local borough.

NICE Healthcare Professionals - shaping our work - A wide range of healthcare professionals, including primary care colleagues, work with NICE to develop our recommendations. Find out more about this opportunity and how to get involved.

Medical Examining Officer (MEO) Roles – Coming from a range of backgrounds, MEOs will be involved in all stages of the ME service, from talking to attending physicians, advising on the wording of death certificates and explaining this to bereaved families. Find out more about this role and how to apply for the training required (Doctors).

Medical Appraisers – A medical appraiser will normally be a licensed doctor with knowledge of the context in which the doctor works. Find out more about this role, the skills and experience required and the training and support that is available (Doctors).

RCGP: Personal Stories - Discover the endless opportunities general practice has to offer and be inspired by your peers from across the UK:

Do you work in NCL and have a story you want to share?  Get in touch via nclicb.nclth@nhs.net - we’d love to hear from you.  

RCGP: Transforming the careers of senior GPs - Discover a menu of opportunities available to you as a later career GP (Doctors).

Retention Support

GPN Return to Practice Enhanced Offer  - The Return to Practice Programme and bursary prepares nurses for re-entry into the professional register and is an essential requirement for returning to nursing and regaining registration (Nurses).

National GP Retention Scheme - Package of financial and educational support to help doctors, who might otherwise leave the profession, remain in clinical general practice (Doctors).

NHSE Retaining doctors in late-stage career – This guidance provides suggestions for systems and employers about the strategies that could help to retain experienced doctors in late-stage career (Doctors).

Retire & return- NHS Pension Scheme (from 1 April 2023) Enabling NHS staff to retire and take their full pension, then return to work after a short break and re-join the NHS Pension Scheme to keep building future pension benefits.

Personal Finances

All Our Health: Financial wellbeing bite-sized course - We offer information, guidance and action on UK doctors' occupational pensions, including the NHS pension schemes, Annual and Lifetime allowances and more.

British Medical Association - Pensions - The BMA offer information, guidance and action on UK doctors' occupational pensions, including the NHS pension schemes, Annual and Lifetime allowances and more (Doctors). 

NHS Business Service Authority: Pension Hub - If you are an NHS pensioner or a surviving spouse, partner or dependant the Pension Hub has information on:

  • pensions increase and P60s

  • being re-employed in the NHS

  • having your pension paid overseas

  • what happens to your pension in the event of your death

  • what you should do if you have a change of circumstances

  • Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP)

  • overpayments and what to do

NHS BSA: Flexible retirement options for NHS staff - New flexibilities mean that NHS staff, who are current members of the NHS pension scheme, will have options to use their accrued pension benefits to achieve a better work-life balance. This includes the Retire & Return pension scheme and Partial Retirment options.

NHSE: Information and examples of flexible retirement - Retire and re-join the NHS Pension Scheme (from 1 April 2023)

NHSE GP Pensions - GPs who are members of the NHS Pensions Scheme as a GP Partner, Salaried GP or Locum GP, can now use PCSE Online for several administrative tasks including submitting End of Year pensions certificates and Self-Assessment forms (Doctors).

Pharmacist Support – Finances – A wide range of information and resources that may help you manage your finances and debt more effectively. You can find information about different types of funding for pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and pharmacy students (Clinical Pharmacists).

Pharmacist Support – Grant Application Tool - This portal provides an easy and secure way for you to apply for financial assistance from Pharmacist Support. To access the portal, you must meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a Pharmacist Support grant (Clinical Pharmacists).

Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Financial Help- Wellbeing resources, support and helplines including organisations that can help with your health, finances, indemnity & legal advice and online wellbeing resources (Doctors).

Royal College of Nursing: Pensions - The RCN is committed to working to ensure members have equitable access to good quality, sustainable pension provision. Discover information to start planning now for a long and enjoyable retirement (Nurses).

Royal College of Nursing: National Pensioners Convention Network - The RCN National Pensioners Convention Network’s main objective is to promote the welfare and interests of all pensioners, as a way of securing dignity, respect and financial security in retirement (Nurses).

Support via MoneyHelper Service - Free, independent support including tools and resources to manage finances. 

Taking Personal Responsibility for your NHS Pension: A guide for general practice nurses - CapitalNurse has commissioned the writing of this guide so that General Practice Nurses (GPNs) can be informed about their pensions throughout their career in General Practice. It is intended to serve as a guide for those starting a career in general practice as well as those approaching and considering their retirement plans (Nurses).

Unison: Flexible retirement options for NHS staff - A summary of the changes to pension regulations around flexible retirement after 1 October 2023.

Life-long learning

NCL Training Hub – A variety of events and training opportunities in NCL. 

National Institute for Health Research - Learning and Support - NIHR Learn is an online Learning Management System (LMS) and the platform used to deliver accredited learning programmes. There are a range of courses on offer to develop your knowledge of clinical research.

NHSE e-Learning for healthcare - Access eLearning programmes to support the health and care workforce. Retired individuals with an existing full-access account can continue to use that account. Otherwise, some of the learning on elfh can still be accessed.

NHS OpenAthens – Retired members of staff can continue to access OpenAthens if they are in any way involved with providing or supporting healthcare in NCL. If creating a new account, click to sign up and choose ‘GPs, practice staff and CCG staff in North Central London’ as your organisation. If you already have an account but need your password reset or a reminder of your login details, just email ncl.lib@nhs.net and one of the knowledge specialists will help.

RCGP: Life after practice: Membership benefits and resources - As a retired member, you still have access to RCGP resources, courses, publications, events, and new opportunities.

Royal College of GPs Learning and Resources - Conferences, personal and online learning, consultancy books and journals to support RCGP members throughout their medical career (Doctors).

Stay connected

NHS retirement fellowship charity - For retired NHS and social care staff, providing a bridge between life in employment and new opportunities in retirement. Members enjoy a range of activities and interests meeting former colleagues, making new friends and participating in a variety of events.

The NCL Training Hub Newsletter - Register with the NCL Training Hub website to receive up-to-date information about news and events that may be relevant to you.

Volunteering Opportunities – Find links to various volunteering opportunities and information about the rights and expenses involved.

RCGP: Later Career & Retired Member (LCARM) Community Group (Doctors) - Join the LCARM Community Group, which exists to ensure that later career and retired members have the opportunity to:

  • Shape their experience as a member of the RCGP

  • Discuss matters relevant to their stage of the career and beyond

  • Make suggestions and propose changes to improve the College's offer

Royal College of Nursing: Retired members: Stay connected - Retired members can still benefit from RCN membership, including membership of the National Pensioners Convention Network.

Team London - Volunteering opportunities in your borough

20 tips for a happy retirement (www.bhf.org.uk):

  • Get your finances in order.

  • Wind down gently.

  • Prepare for ups and downs.

  • Eat well.

  • Develop a routine.

  • Exercise your mind.

  • Keep physically active.

  • Make a (to do) list.

  • Seek social support.

  • Make peace and move on.

  • Go for a health check.

  • Keep in touch with your friends from work.

  • Pamper yourself.

  • Practice mindfulness.

  • Give back to the community (www.gov.uk/volunteering).

  • Be one with nature.

  • Travel more.

  • Get a new pet.

  • Push your boundaries.

  • Take up a new project.