Accessibility options |

I retired after 34 years of NHS service. Now I’m back thanks to Retire and Return

01 October 2019

Although the typical retirement age in the UK is 65, many people take the option if they can, to retire early.

For some, though, after a taste of retired life, pottering in the garden loses its appeal and they realise they miss being at work. But having left their previous employer, and unsure if they would be welcome back, they can find themselves seeking work in different sectors.

Fortunately for staff like Patrick ‘Pat’ McKee, at West London NHS Trust, there is the option to ‘retire and return’. This is an initiative which leaves the door open, and also provides a way for individuals to gradually reduce their hours in preparation for full retirement, later on, whilst also maintaining links with the working world.

Pat worked for the Trust for 34 years as a Modern Matron, before deciding to retire early, in May 2016, after receiving Mental Health Officer status.

Five months after leaving, although he enjoyed having time for his hobbies, which included restoring his motorcycle, he felt there was something missing and decided to return to work part-time, using the Trust’s Retire and Return scheme.

“The Retire and Return scheme gave me the opportunity to return to working in an environment I knew and had enjoyed throughout my career, and to feel part of a team again.”

He was approached to apply for a part-time Transitional manager post in the Broadmoor Redevelopment team, supporting and facilitating the transfer to the new builds.

He says, “Before I retired, I was the Nursing Directorate’s representative on the redevelopment programme, so had gathered a lot of information from early in the project, which is now proving invaluable in my new role.”