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GPs' life balance improved by dropping out of hours

By Christian Duffin

GPs' work/life balance has improved dramatically since they opted out of out-of-hours care.

A survey of 1,770 GPs by the public spending watchdog Audit Scotland showed that three quarters of GPs reported an improved work/life balance. Two-thirds said that a career as a GP had become more attractive, but only one in ten thought out-of-hours care had improved under the new arrangements.

The survey was part of a major investigation into the quality of out-of-hours care. About 600 patients responded to a separate survey.

‘The overall impact on patient care of GPs opting out of out-of-hours care is not as clear as it has been introduced alongside other changes,' said Audit Scotland's accompanying report, Patient Out-of-Hours Services. ‘Due to the lack of national data available it is difficult to assess whether patients are benefiting. However, 80% of patients are satisfied with the service they receive and know how to access NHS 24.'

GPs reported a better work/life balance since opting out of out of hours GP on an out of hours visit

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