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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

A third of GPs have reduced their hours over the past year, says GMC

Around 30% of GPs have reduced their hours in the past 12 months, according to a new report by the GMC.

A survey of 3,500 doctors across the UK showed that in the year leading up to summer 2019 a third of GP respondents and a fifth of doctors overall had reduced their hours.

In the report, called The state of medical education and practice in the UK: The workforce report, the GMC warned the trend among GPs is 'especially concerning' in light of workforce plans focusing on primary care.

Half of all GPs taking part in the survey also said they work beyond their rostered hours at least weekly and feel they cannot cope on a weekly basis.

The report also revealed a third of all doctors intend to reduce their hours in clinical practice within the next year, and 10% intend to take a break from practising medicine over the next year. 

The report said: ‘Declining hours among GPs is especially concerning, given the emphasis on primary care in all workforce strategies.’

The report also showed that the number of GPs has grown by 6%, which is less than half the growth in specialists (14%).

Charlie Massey, GMC chief executive, said: ‘Doctors are in short supply and so demand is high worldwide.

‘Compassionate leadership and improved workplace cultures can contribute to improved retention of doctors. That also helps doctors’ wellbeing, which in turn benefits patients. It will help make sure we have the workforce we need now and in the years ahead.’

Responding to the report, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘As highlighted in the report, GPs and hospital doctors continue to face immense pressures on a day-to-day basis due to demand exceeding capacity and is likely to worsen as a result of other factors such as punitive pension taxation rules, which means doctors are being forced to leave the profession early or cut their hours.

‘The Government must address these constraints in order to improve both recruitment and retention.’

Readers' comments (22)

  • Only a few years of this Kafkaesque triplicate box ticking nightmare to endure - roll on early retirement ...
    The NHS used to function on good will, but that is a distant memory.

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  • I am 39 - I have reduced my clinical sessions and also reduced the number of patients I see

    The workload is too intense - so many reports, safeguarding info, etc management things - the safest thing is to take a pay cut see less patients and be able to last longer

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  • They have wrung the neck of the golden goose.The country will pay for their actions.

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  • Vinci Ho

    ‘Compassionate leadership and improved workplace cultures can contribute to improved retention of doctors. That also helps doctors’ wellbeing, which in turn benefits patients. It will help make sure we have the workforce we need now and in the years ahead.’

    Seriously ?Is that really all you can come up with as answer , Mr Massey ?👿

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  • ItSaDoGsLiFe

    Not surprised in the slightest by this headline & I expect this percentage to continue to rise significantly.
    I think most Drs are starting to resent working for a system that treats them so badly.
    All good will has gone & I'm out next year at the earliest opportunity to retire.

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  • Why would anybody with any sense of self respect work beyond what current pension limits allow???
    It is unbelievable in this time of “worldwide shortage of doctors” that HMG financially make it punitive for doctors here to work full time, and at the same time try to grow the workforce
    It is bonkers!!!!

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  • NI GO, worse than bonkers, it is intentional.
    We keep forgetting where it’s all clearly headed.

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  • It all went (necessarily) wrong when we gave up OOH. Up to that point we were a Professional body. We have since slowly rotted into "Skilled Workforce" status. As such we are treated as salaried staff to be herded around without any of the advantages of salaried status.
    The only ways out of this quagmire is to become fully independent again or to be fully salaried. It's our very own interminable Brexit.

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  • IT can only get worse. The younger so-called 'snowflake' generation don't have the grit and resilience of their older peers. It's not the case that they won't work longer, they can't. Medicine in the UK has been deliberately reduced to just another sector of the service economy to be exploited for corporate greed. We only have ourselves to blame.

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  • DrRubbishBin

    When you reduce your hours as a result of unacceptable work load and work intensity there are those who view this as a sign you are lazy with too much time on your hands. This position is wide spread and even recently expressed to me by the editor of this very publication.

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