The rising GP workload must be tackled after a survey reveals two-thirds of the profession are considering early retirement, the BMA says.
The BMA's regular tracker survey of members' opinions via a panel of 2,650 doctors, includes about 820 GPs, of whom 420 replied to questions on workload, morale and intentions. The survey shows the effect increasing workload is having on GP morale and, in turn, the potential impact on retention levels.
Nine out of 10 GPs regularly worked beyond their normal hours and more than half of GPs reported their morale to be ‘low’ or ‘very low’.
Yet the research also reveals that eight out of 10 GPs are changing the way they work to offer more emergency appointments to patients, despite the workload pressures they are under.
The BMA GPs committee says the ‘workload disaster’ needs to be urgently averted to protect the future of general practice. There are more than 40,000 GPs across the UK.
BMA chair Chaand Nagpaul said results from its online tracker survey of members demonstrated GPs were working harder than ever while trying to provide more emergency care appointments and evening consultations. Nagpaul said:
"It is clear general practice is facing a workload disaster that is threatening its long-term future. We are seeing morale dip to a level that I cannot remember in my 25 years as a GP."
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