The BMA has warned that a new survey highlights the need to address a growing GP workforce crisis and soaring workload pressures
The University of Warwick has released the results of a survey which found that 40% of GPs intend to quit general practice in the next five years amid growing workload pressures.
In response, BMA GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey, said: “This is yet another worrying report about the state of the GP workforce crisis and these findings are consistent with other surveys which give rise to growing concerns for practices and their patients.
“Added to this is the fact that almost one in every two GPs are over the age of 45.
“The medical workforce is ageing, and many experienced older doctors are finding that working in today’s NHS is too taxing on their work-life balance and can have a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing, causing some to seek early retirement.
“It comes as no surprise that many want to quit within the next five years, and now is a critical time to address the underlying issues that are causing GPs to want to leave the profession.
“Though there is clearly much progress that needs to be made, we should begin to see some positive improvements as a result of recent government investment in general practice as part of the NHS Long-Term plan, which has been copper-fastened in the new GP contract.
“Part of this funding will be delivered through a directed enhanced service enabling practices to employ additional healthcare staff to provide a range of services in the local areas, which should, in time, enable GPs to better manage their workloads and subsequently improve the patient experience.
“Though much more needs to be done to address the fundamental problems caused by pensions annual allowance and premises issues to properly tackle retention in general practice.
“As well as the long-term reform which is essential to the sustainability and ultimately, the survival of general practice, the current demands on GPs are immediate, and as such, we need to see the swift delivery of investment to begin to alleviate some of these pressures.”