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Are GPs really ‘clapped out’ in their 50s? Perhaps not, study finds

by on June 19, 2013

The weekly medical news briefing for General Practitioners ‘Pulse’, reports on the current debate into the appropriate retirement age for GPs.  It is clear from the range of issues debated that this is a controversial topic with the key players in the UK’s health system – NHS, Department of Health, BMA – all proposing evidence regarding the practicalities and possibilities of doctors (not just GPs but across a range of practice areas) continuing to work into their 60s and beyond.

The Pulse article suggests that the key finding of the ‘Working Longer Review’ (produced in conjunction with the University of Bath), is that “as long as older people are in good health and have up-to-date skills then their performance and capacity for work is roughly the same as younger counterparts”, though the Pulse article reports criticisms that the review has not taken sufficient account of different areas of practice within the NHS.

Overall it seems that the headline claims of those both supporting working longer and those in opposition are further complicated by the lack of quality data and the complex interaction of a huge range of factors that influence performance at work, of which age remains only one.  General claims can only ever be that – general claims.

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