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Independents' Day

Pulse launches major survey of GP burnout

GPs can measure their level of burnout and participate in a profession-wide survey of the level of stress and mental exhaustion by taking part in a new survey launched today by Pulse.

The survey comes as RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada warned the profession has reached its ‘tipping point’ and called on the Government to recognise the stress and workload crisis amongst GPs.

The survey uses a version of the validated Maslach questionnaire adapted for GPs, and the results will be collated to give a measure of burnout for the whole profession. Click here to take the survey.

At the end of the survey GPs are given a score for three areas of burnout and links to relevant resources.

Writing in Pulse, Professor Gerada said: ‘Everything else has increased our workload. The insistence that perfectly healthy people “see their GP” hauls demand for access to an unreasonable level and casts us in a role that we have never asked for.

‘GPs have now reached their tipping point. GP burnout is more common than ever especially amongst partners. The Government, policy-makers and think-tanks must recognise stress and workload issues crisis in the interests of patient care.

‘We are more than 10,000 GPs short according to the Centre for Workforce Intelligence, which threatens the sustainability not just of primary care, but of the whole system.’

Pulse editor Steve Nowottny urged all GPs to fill out the survey, to help build up a picture of the extent to which burnout is affecting the profession, and possible risk factors.

He said: ‘The survey will only take a few minutes of your time, and it will help to build a snapshot analysis of how the profession is coping. This campaign is something that we have been urged to take on by a number of GPs, and it is important that as many as possible take part.’


Readers' comments (10)

  • Have completed survey. If I were a patient, I would be signing myself off sick. That is not an option. What now?

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  • I totally agree with previous comment, and as a patient, I could only see 1/3rd of survey.

    I know my GP is under stress - what can patients sensibly do to relieve this? And please don't suggest reading the patronising leaflet "How to get on with your Doctor" which NHS has just wasted our money on.

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  • Anonymous | 01 May 2013 9:47am
    Take 2 paracetamol and see me in the morning!
    Sorry not being flippant as I too score highly and am burnt out and also feel that throwing the towel in or going sick isn't an option. I personally think that if we do not get a resolution to the inceasing stress and burden on general practitioners the GMC will be solving our problems for us! I still get personal satisfaction from my job but not enough to keep me in it. I will leave as soon as I financially can or via a box- witness or coffin.

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  • I am not burnt out by work ....I am burnt out by not being able to work, because of the lack of support (at least in our region) in finding new work, after the recommisioning of the drug and alcohol service in our area.

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  • Frankly I am surprised that the subject of burnout amongst GP's has only just come to the forefront. I have just resigned from my position as an NHS GP and I will NEVER be going back. Years and years of a government who has squeezed us right left and centre and has pandered to the every wim of a wholly unrealistic patient population has bought the entire system to near collapse. While a shameful English media feed the level of expectation, the resources that we have to be able to meet them are constantly diminished. The NHS has not moved with the times and the general public are going to have to accept that change is inevitable if they want to keep alive this "private" public service. I could go on forever but all I can say is that I love my job but until the powers that be allow myself and all of my colleagues to be able to do this safely and in a vaguely human way then I do not see any future for NHS Primary Care...RIP somewhere between 2014-2016

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  • I am v saddened by what has happened to our NHS.The demands of the patients are so ludicrous at times,i could weep(sometimes i cant help bursting into laughter)

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  • The biggest source of my stress is the "control freak" of a partner that I have!

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  • To all of you who have posted comments, please do read the helpful articles that have followed since the survey. Also, please be aware that the Maslach Inventory was developed to assess populations of people and is but one indicator in terms of your own personal state. Of course, how you are feeling about work and life and your general levels of energy and emotional state are extremely important co-validators of this - a bit like the accuracy of GPS increasing with the number of available satellite signals. Please don't keep on taking it - seek help.

    There is life beyond medicine and life within it through changing aspects of work-life balance and practice. Career counselling and life coaching can be very helpful in this regard. You ARE worth it!!
    There is much advice, support and help available and it's important that you you place your own health and wellbeing not just "top of the list", but "first on the list".

    With my very best wishes to you all,
    Chris Manning

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  • Well said Dr Manning.
    If everyone is struggling there is no shame in seeking help.

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  • The biggest source of my stress is the "control freak" of a partner that I have!

    Then do something about it ! Stand up for yourself!

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