Liz Truss draws up radical plan to prevent GPs from leaving the NHS

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The Tory leadership candidate wants to overhaul tax penalties that are encouraging consultants and GPs to retire early because they are “paying to work”.

Around one in ten are expected to quit over the next 18 months because they will lose tens of thousands of pounds by exceeding the annual pensions allowance that caps contributions at £40,000 a year.

It will heap strain on the NHS at a time when it is already struggling to cope with the backlogs caused by the covid pandemic.

Around 1,000 excess deaths are being recorded with the Department of Health investigating what is behind the figures amid fears the numbers are being fuelled by delays in treatment.

Ms Truss is said to have made the issue one of her top three priorities on entering No 10 if she wins the leadership race.

The Foreign Secretary is also considering plans to introduce a national “retire and return” scheme that would allow retired doctors to serve in the NHS under a relaxation in pension rules that limit their part-time earnings and lighter red tape on training.

“The Covid pandemic put unprecedented strain on our NHS, and the resulting backlog is seeing people struggling to get appointments and treatments. We must act to tackle it, and we will,” a source close to Ms Truss told a Sunday newspaper.

“We will make it easier for doctors and nurses who have recently left or are planning to leave the NHS but want to return or stay to do so.” 

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