NHS 24 Hour Retirement and The Temple of Doom!

 Eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones is back to tackle the great terror surrounding the mysterious Temple of Doom. After crash landing in India, Jones and his companions end up in a small village where the residents claim a dark power has stolen their precious stone…and their children. Agreeing to help, Indiana and friends make their way to a nearby palace and inquires into the strange happenings. Discovering a secret passage into a booby-trapped temple he stumbles onto something thought to be long extinct. It seems the age-old Thuggee cult is attempting to rise once more, believing that with the power of the five Sankara stones they can rule the world. Now, it’s up to Indiana to put a stop to the Thuggee campaign, rescue the lost children, find the stones, win the girl and conquer the Temple of Doom.

This brings me neatly on to the subject of NHS 24 hour retirement. As a practice owner and provider you’ll need all five stones. If you are an associate you should get away with just two.

You’ll need many months to get all five stones in place, so a little reading is perfect preparation. Navigate the NHS pensions website and download the comprehensive information booklets on retirement and the pivotal AW8. There’s also policy variation forms and even ‘advice on filling in the forms’ etc. Probably the best place to start however is this link.


The article quotes three to five months but I reckon that’s a little optimistic. The thing is everyone really wants you to collect your pension it’s just collecting all the stones in the right order is a devil of a process. It’s not that anyone is keeping or hiding a precious stone for themselves it’s just you have to perform various tasks to get them. A cross between ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and ‘The Crystal Maze’.

Now to the five stones.

A Solicitor.

A solicitor who specialises in these matters is essential. They know your NHS area team the CQC and most importantly all the paperwork. They are vital in progressing things forward. You see the holders of the other four stones are there to respond rather than initiate. A point of contact to guide you through this ‘game show’ is comforting. Over one hundred emails between you and your solicitor seems about right, then maybe halve that again for their correspondence with area team CQC and the NHS pensions people. They ask you for loads of stuff, your details, your intended partner’s details and a copy of your NHS Contract. All this will come into play over the time.

A Partner.

The second stone is appointing or finding a partner. A colleague, an associate. Someone who’ll take time out to read documents, send and respond to emails, sign the 292 and 299 notices, get a DBS check and send in all documentation you need while you both register your brief partnership with the area team and CQC. Only to sign again when the partnership is dissolved. What happens if the unthinkable happens to you during this period is mind altering.

Form AW8 and the NHS pensions people.

This is the third and most important stone. The key to unlocking the prize is the AW8. Have a look through it. You’ll need proof of ID, partner ID, children’s ID. Don’t worry when you finally send it off they scan and return your certificates immediately. Choose your financial options and what scheme you are in. They need a Lifetime Allowance Certificate and your bank details too. Don’t forget the NHS are your employers and it is to them you send all the forms and documents not the area team. I won’t embarrass the lady by naming her who helped me but she was exceptional. I’ll leave the current forms and booklets for you at the end.

The Area Team.

Stone number four. The area team are your first port of call, other than appointing a solicitor. They are the people who understand the process and finally sign off to the pensions people that you have in fact taken 24hour retirement. The 292 notice under the variation of contract proposal means you go into partnership with preferably another dentist for a while then relinquish this partnership some days or week later, that’s the 299 notice. If you don’t do this then the area team will look at your contract and may not offer it back to you following your brief retirement period. It is the area team that finally confirms that you have taken the required period of retirement and tells the pension people you are back in business. Usually under your old contract number. Remember whilst you are in partnership you will have a different contract number with the NHS Compass people. So to collect your monthly NHS earnings during this period, and for me it was four months, you need to reconfirm bank details of the partnership online via the Compass website.

The Care Quality Commission.

The CQC are the folks who have to approve your partnership and then approve your re registration, all be it some weeks or months later. They need a fresh DBS certificate for both partners. You effectively go through the whole registration process again. Much talk of inspections, telephone interviews and the like to satisfy the CQC. Like you did a few years earlier. Fortunately one or two of the CQC people understand what you are trying to achieve and can provide assistance. Rather slowly. I found it somewhat amusing they asked me to complete a ‘how did you find the registration process’ questionnaire, I let loose, and to date no reply.  A dedicated and appointed soul their end, just to give a helping hand in getting this fifth stone would be so welcome.

So that’s about it. For me, nine months, a partnership of convenience, hundreds of hours, if you include all the cast and we’re there


This article was written by Dr.Andrew Parker who kindly agreed to Goodman Grant reproducing it on their website.


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