Self-preservation comes at a cost – why British NHS Paramedics might be choosing a healthier, but poorer, retirement

Debbie Roy, Andrew Weyman, Peter Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objectives
To explore and portray the perspectives of National Health Service (NHS) Ambulance personnel related to the latest rise in the NHS occupational pension age.
Methods
Data gathering took the form of 35 in depth interviews. A thematic analysis was used to characterise and articulate key concepts and meanings. The analysis applied interpretive techniques, as views expressed were from personal experiences, and allowed for an in-depth analysis of shared meanings.
Results
The themes reported captured the desire of many Ambulance personnel to exit their employment well in advance of their retirement age, despite satisfaction gained from patient care. This early exit is being driven by increased worry that the work demands of the job are unsustainable, especially for older workers, as clinical responsibilities increase, and their social support diminishes. Also, Ambulance personnel feel betrayed by their employers, because their retirement is being delayed further by another change in their pensionable age.
Conclusions
There is an increased orientation for ‘living for today’ and indications of a willingness to sacrifice salary and pension income in order to protect their health in older age, which has implications for their long term financial and general well-being in retirement.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalSage Open Medicine
Early online date21 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 21 Jan 2020

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