NHS Employers is supporting government proposals to scrap the default retirement age of 65 and allow employees to work for longer if they wish.

Alastair Henderson said: “Many NHS organisations feel that forcing people to retire at a prescribed age when they do not wish to is no longer helpful, especially given the need to retain talent and to encourage people to stay in work for longer.

“There are employers in the NHS who have already raised this issue with the health trade unions and have agreed to… allow employees to work longer, while three-quarters of trusts already have workforce age policies place.”

He said that NHS Employers had contributed to the cross-government strategy Building A Society For All Ages, and believed that “its introduction will be critical to addressing the challenges arising from demographic change”.

He added: “NHS organisations have a central role to play in delivering this new strategy, and this includes providing health prevention programmes, flexible employment packages and education and training for staff of all ages so that we retain staff throughout their working life.

“We are pleased that the review of the default retirement age has been brought forward to 2010.”