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GPs are only delaying 'inevitable changes' if they win the battle to keep their retirement age at 60, the head of the body negotiating on pensions for the NHS has claimed.

Steve Barnett, director of NHS Employers, said pension schemes right across the public sector were 'unaffordable'.

He said: 'There are a range of issues that won't go away whatever you do to negotiation arrangements.

'There are only so many things you can do. Even if a consensus is reached it only puts off to another day a major national problem.'

GPs and consultants have warned of a mass exodus from the NHS if the retirement age is raised to 65.

Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA's pensions committee, said the proposed pension changes were not inevitable.

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