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40% of GPs to quit within five years

Four out of five GPs in England are planning to cut back or stop practising in the next five years, with half of those intending to quit for good, according to a survey carried out in the West Midlands.

Out of nearly 1,200 GP respondents, four out of five – 82% – said they would be leaving general practice, reducing their clinical hours or taking a career break.

And around two out of five – 42% – said they intended to leave the job completely, while almost a quarter – 23% – said they planned to take a break.

Only 67 (5.6%) respondents said they planned to increase their hours of clinical work.

GPs intending to leave cited the volume and intensity of their workload, too much time spent on unimportant tasks and introduction of a seven-day working week as major contributors to their decision.

The study’s authors, from the University of Warwick Medical School, said their findings reflected ‘the breadth and magnitude of factors contributing to the workforce crisis facing general practice in England’ and suggest the ‘the scale of this crisis may be even greater than previously reported’.

They concluded: ‘New models of professionalism and organisational arrangements may be needed to address the issues described here. Without urgent action, the GP workforce crisis in England seems set to worsen.’

BMC Family Practice 2015; available online 16 October


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