GP Services Face Staffing Crisis

Large Numbers Considering Retirement Or Fewer Hours In Face Of Excessive Workload

17.04.2015

The increased pressure upon services is pushing a high number of GPs to consider retirement, a move to part-time employment, or moving abroad within five years, new research suggests.

A British Medical Association (BMA) poll of 15,000 UK GPs found that as many as a third of doctors are considering retirement in the next five years, while a quarter were considering a switch to working part-time.

One in ten were considering moving abroad, while 7% were considering quitting medicine altogether. In total, as many as eight out of ten respondents were considering making a change that would affect staffing levels and availability.

The reasons cited for the potential changes included an excessive workload, un-resourced work being moved in to general practice, and a knock-on effect of having less time to spend with their patients. Promises made in the advance of the general election about the availability of care were also of concern.

BMA GP leader Chaand Nagpaul said: "This poll lays bare the stark reality of the crisis facing the GP workforce. It is clear that incredible pressures on GP services are at the heart of this problem, with escalating demand having far outstripped capacity.

"GPs are overworked and intensely frustrated that they do not have enough time to spend with their patients. It is absurd that political parties were attempting to outbid each other on the number of GPs they could magically produce in the next Parliament.

"Since it takes five to eight years to train a GP, it is not possible to create thousands of GPs in this timeframe."

Expert Opinion
It is worrying that our local GP services are expecting even more problems with the increasing level of pressure they face. Staffing levels at all healthcare facilities should be adequately staffed to meet the demand.

”It is vital GP surgeries failing to provide adequate care to patients are identified and that any failings found in their procedures and care are uncovered and resolved immediately.”

“Patient care should always be the top priority and it is important people are able to access the medical care they need. It is crucial that patients requiring immediate medical attention are still able to see a trained medical professional face-to-face.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner