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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Practice survey reveals just one fifth of GPs expect their practice to survive

Only a fifth of GPs expect their practice to still exist in 10 years, according to devastating results of a wide-ranging survey of practice staff on the future of general practice.

The poll was initiated locally by a practice manager in Oxford and ended up being cascaded right across England, receiving over 2,700 responses, three-quarters of which were from GPs.

The final results showed only 20% of respondents were confident their practice would exist in 10 years, while a third said the exact opposite.

Almost all the respondents – 97% – agreed their practice was ‘experiencing an ever increasing and unsustainable pressure of work’, while 68% said their referral rate was likely to increase in order to cope with increased demands on general practice.

Worryingly, four-fifths of respondents said they believed one or more GPs in their practice was suffering from ‘burnout’.

Andrew McHugh, medical practice director at the Horsefair Surgery in Banbury, Oxfordshire, said he initially sent out the survey to local practices in April but received such a strong response he then circulated a more extensive list of questions more widely.

Mr McHugh has also analysed some 26,000 words of free text contributed as part of survey responses, with the most common themes ‘unsustainability’, ‘workload’ and ‘gp bashing in the media’.

Mr McHugh told Pulse he hoped the survey would help get politicians to take more notice of the unfolding crisis in general practice.

He said: ‘The whole purpose of producing this was try to get something out there. There is a crisis developing but at the moment I feel that I’m shouting “iceberg” and what I’m hearing from behind is “full steam ahead”.’

Pulse has launched its campaign aimed at preventing practices from closing after an investigation revealed that more than 100 practices were in danger of imminent closure.

Readers' comments (4)

  • 20% survival in 10 years seems way optimistic

    they are holding back till after the election then we are all (including locums and salaried) going to be targeted.

    within 5 years independent GP practice will be over.

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  • I am a FTE gp in a rural dispensing practice,we are a 2.5 FTE practice my half time partner I has been off sick for 6 months and my other partner is going to half time from next April due to burn out or will go off sick,I cannot get locums and when I do they earn twice my monthly drawings,I can sell my surgery knock it down and build new houses and I am 57,NHSE don't give a monkeys of course the surgery will close like thousands of others across England in the greatest act of social vandalism by the Tories in a century

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  • 7.13
    I can't believe you are earning less than your locums
    Nonsense
    If you are telling the truth then close your surgery down and make it into flats
    That's definitely what I would do
    Especially at age of 57

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  • But if stick to this old list size Contract, we will all go down because consultation rates have doubled in the last 12 years for the same money ie a 50% pay cut. These consultation rates are so high that we GPs are finding it close to impossible to cope.
    This is also why that A+Es feel they are being dumped on, only with a 20 % rise and a near doubling of Consultants in the same time frame compared to our 100% increase.
    Because we have no Contract that defines numbers seen so workload will just increase year on year and even the stalwarts who stay now will find the pressure rising.
    We have to move to an appointment based Contract. Then, our workload becomes defined and there will no burnout as we only do so much.

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