In a letter to hospital trusts, the NHS called for retired and recently retired doctors to continue working part-time or from home in virtual wards.
The letter, seen by the PA news agency, also suggested they could help by training junior doctors.
According to the General Medical Association 21,000 doctors will retire in September. NHS has estimated there is a staff shortage of around 110,000.
Stella Vig, the NHS national clinical director for elective care, said NHS staff had almost halved the number of people waiting for treatment for more than two years in the last two months.
But she added, “We know there’s still a long way to go.”
“That is why we are urging those who are close to or have recently retired to consider staying on to educate and educate the next generation of doctors and nurses and the NHS as a whole – to support the current staff for to offload more procedures and develop the future workforce so the NHS can treat even more patients.”
The letter told the trusts that “improving and expanding the capacity of our workforce” was essential to clearing the Covid backlog.
It also directed the trusts to “create options for all employees” to increase their contracted hours.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/nhs-general-medical-council-england-b2071908.html The NHS is urging doctors to delay retirement to tackle the backlog