HDTI has teamed up with South Birmingham Community Health, to deliver a NESTA funded project aimed at supporting NHS staff who are retiring early, to think about their skills, experiences and expectations in order to fully explore further work-based options.
As senior NHS clinical staff approach retirement, many feel that there are few employment options open to them at a time when they may feel physically challenged in continuing in their clinical role. Some older staff may feel less able to retire and perhaps be looking for more flexible opportunities that could also be of significant benefit to the NHS, and other employers and the wider community in general.
Initially, a toolkit will be developed to enable physiotherapists, health visitors and nurses, who have special class retirement status, to be supported to stay within the health service or enjoy other employment beyond the potential retirement age of 55. The toolkit will demonstrate how their skills can otherwise be used in the health service, the commercial or third sector, or in self employment.
The development of the toolkit and processes developed to support its use will fully involve retirees and their managers through the use of tools such as co-design and rapid prototyping. Such tools are championed by NESTA as part of their active involvement in social innovation.
The Institute for Applied Entrepreneurship at Coventry University is actively involved in the development of the toolkit, which includes measures of entrepreneurial attributes and skills. Early work suggests that many public sector staff do display entrepreneurial and innovative attributes and skills, but these are often not recognised by either the employer or the employee.
The toolkit is expected to have far reaching use, benefitting other organisations such as the Police Service and Fire Service, and the project aims to explore its wider adoption. Such a product may also assist those who, through redundancy, find themselves seeking new job opportunities in later life.
For more information on this project, please contact Simon Fielden, HDTI Director.