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Less than a quarter of GP trainees to stay in full-time clinical work, survey finds

Less than a quarter of GP trainees plan to practise full-time one year after qualifying, a think tank survey has revealed.

The survey of 729 GP trainees, conducted by the King’s Fund, found that just 22% of respondents ‘planned to work in full-time clinical general practice one year after qualifying’.

This fell to 5% of trainees planning to practise full-time 10 years after qualifying, with the ‘intensity of the working day’ the most common reason for not doing so.

Half of respondents said they would undertake ‘other clinical NHS work’ alongside their general practice commitments. 

The survey follows on from a 2016 King’s Fund report, which said that 10% of trainees had planned to practise full-time 10 years after qualifying.

The survey also revealed that only 37% of GP trainees said they plan to take up partnerships.

This comes as the Government has launched a review of the partnership model to look at how to reduce premises liabilities and how GP partners can work more like sessionals.

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said the findings are ‘not a surprise’.

She said: ‘The intense resource and workforce pressures facing general practice at the moment, mean that full-time working as a GP is often regarded as untenable.

She added: ‘It would be misguided and unhelpful for people to criticise the decision of GP trainees not to work full time, and suggest that this is contributing to workforce pressures – it is actually the flexibility that a career in general practice offers that makes it a sustainable career choice.’

Health Education England chief executive Professor Ian Cumming previously said young GPs working fewer hours than their older counterparts has resulted in the equivalent of 10% fewer doctors in the workforce.

However, HEE has said record numbers of GP trainees have been recruited so far, with health bosses expecting to hit their target of 3,250 to start training this year.

Readers' comments (18)

  • The daily mail carried this story as well, I looked at the comments (bravery or foolhardiness?), I was quietly surprised, instead of the usual hang them high brigade of commentators, there were a surprising number of gp supporters as well who rubbished the article, it seems that a few of the great British public are beginning to not believe all that is written about us!
    We need to believe that our stance is correct and believe in ourselves and not let ourselves start believing the lies that are published about us, even some of the daily mail readers don’t believe the nonsense written about us!

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  • Just heard Radio 4 surmising the papers today. It sounded like click bait news. In effect saying “GPs increasingly working part time”......“public should get more of their money’s worth if it costs so much to train them”, then moving onto the next of the days news. These sound bites lodge into the mind of the critical masses and create a continuing negative overview of our profession. It’s soul destroying.

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  • "Working fewer hours" - based on what? no one asks me what hours I am actually doing GP work, the intensity and demand is incomparable to even 5 years ago let alone 15 or 20. If I do an 8 to 6 day I will not stop for even one minute from working flat out and that is not counting the 2200 finishes and occasional 0600 start to try and stay afloat with the reports, results, random demands placed on us. I accept our hospital consultant colleagues work long hours on paper but not one I am friends with admits to doing anywhere near the amount of work we have to do in a working day and are amazed at our unending workloads, and not mainly done by juniors either.
    My wife works "part time" as a GP 3.5 days per week and often hits 50 hours per week, her last 1/2 day began at 7:30 and she left the building after 4pm. Not sure the press keen on reality or facts regarding GP. Do many people consider 8.5 hours a half day?

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  • Best antidote to this news paper twaddle is- you can think what you like but just consider why no one wants the job.
    Personally ( notice how everyone today tends to say " me personally" ie. schools just as bad as NHS) I finished at 55 yrs,having done the last 4 in Aus.Much more honest and effective service, because money is exchanged,this focuses the minds of all.
    I would have cleaned the loos on a cruise ship with Norovirus(and keep my dignity)than work one More day as an NHS GP's.(hope the 1 day a week crowd at RCGP take note)

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  • Very tabloid approach noted: let's not have a discussion in the media about why GPs don't want to work full time. And no, the state hasn't really paid for their training: the latest cohort have massive student debts and give a lot of low wage work to the NHS as hospital Juniors...this easily repays any "moral debt". In this connected world, bright people go for bright opportunities. The famous saying goes something like "the beatings will continue until morale improves".. Nah!

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  • GP is a Ponzi scheme reliant upon new people to keep buying into it. Well they no longer are, hence the implosion. Who’d have thunk it, eh?

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  • Jones the Tie

    Scoottish GP- You star.. spot on and have made me giggle

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  • Jones the Tie

    that should say Scottish!! effing fat fingers

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