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GP morale continues to plummet, BMA survey reveals

GP morale has declined from last year, with three quarters of GPs reporting ‘unmanageable or unsustainable’ workloads, said a quarterly BMA survey.

The survey of 140 GPs also found that as many as seven out of ten GPs are considering retiring early, and 61% report that they ‘always’ work outside of hours compared with 45% for consultants.

The 74% of GPs reporting unmanageable or unsustainable workloads is the highest rate when compared to other doctors, with 53% of consultants reporting their workload was unmanageable.

The morale of GPs has also seen the biggest decline over the last year, with average morale decling to 2.2 out of five, from last year’s figure of 2.6.

Around a quarter of GPc rated their morale as very low with a further four out of ten saying it was low. Less than one in ten said they felt their morale was high and not a single GP said it was very high

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chair, said: ‘It is clear that this is being caused by a working environment characterised by rising patient demand, falling resources, staff shortages and more unfunded care being moved from hospitals into the community.

‘With the state of GP morale as it is, we cannot afford for another set of broken promises from ministers or a prolonged period of murky fudge over this promised funding injection.’

Readers' comments (12)

  • Vinci Ho

    Come on.Since when did you not see ministers breaking promises?

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    A BMA survey to state the obvious? How about a BMA ballot of all GPs on strike action or some form of pressing industrial action as leverage to negotiate a change to save general practice by transitioning to semiprivate practice like dentists and NOT salaried assembly line workers for private HMOs, APMS, etc.

    How many socialist Labour supporters or Labour candidates on the BMA Council and GPC? Surely it is obvious that £1.39 trillion state deficit means free at point of access healthcare for 64 million Brits is NOT sustainable in 2014/15? Not our fault that Labour borrowed beyond their means and bankrupted some NHS trusts with PFI loans they could not afford to repay.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    The Govt love headlines like this: all the time morale is in a downward spiral, GPs will continue to eat buckets of faeces rather than DO anything, and make Hunt et al do the coprophagia.

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  • I can't see how the promised extra funding will do anything to improve morale and ease workloads. The DOH just wants us to work harder while we are pegged down by public pay restraint.

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  • Harry Longman

    It's a small survey but indicative of a downward move in morale. GPs are Britain's best loved and best paid profession so it shouldn't really be like this. Morale is tied to a sense of control of one's work, so I suspect this has a lot to do with the burden of bureaucracy, QOF, the CQC train crash, played out with patient demand pressure and loss of continuity, the relationships which make GP intrinsically motivating.

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  • Sorry Harry (10:11)

    Best loved and best paid profession….

    You are talking about being a GP in Britain aren't you?!!
    I just don't recognise your 2 points, sorry.

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  • hunt must be full of pompous glee, , he is hell bent of destroying primary care, low morale means people just do what he wants

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  • @ 1.59

    Sorry, I disagree. People vote with their feet and retire, emigrate or do something else.
    The recruitment and retention crisis is only just starting.
    Wonderful practice in west London recently got THREE applicants for a salaried job. Last time there were well over 100.

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  • 3 applications.
    If its the best paid profession and everyone loves us loads of doctors would want the job.
    Reality is no one wants the job as it is. Lots of us want to be GPs again.

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  • Harry,

    You normally make a good contribution to the forum but you are misinformed here.

    I was recently at a meeting which included local secondary care trust representitive. When I suggested £90-100/hour for a locum GP is too expensive and perhaps we should consider a Geriatrician instead, I was laughed at by the managers - I was told consultant will easily cost £200/hr in real terms...... (of course, their NHS take home pay is not x3 GP partner's but that's due to difference in working hours. Most full time consultants work 37.5hrs (which includes PDP time), we do 50+hrs and PDP in our personal time on top.)

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