Four out of 10 GPs do not expect to be working to an NHS contract in 10 years' time, strengthening fears of a ‘recruitment and retention crisis'.
The Healthcare Index published by Lloyds TSB Commercial, which talked to 208 GPs as well as dentists and pharmacists, found confidence in the future of the healthcare sector is very low with only 59% of GPs expect to still be working to an NHS contract in ten years time.
A spokeswoman for the researchers said that overall confidence in the future of the GP sector reflects widespread concern around finances and growing competition with 94% of GPs are expecting further financial pressures over the next five years and 92% anticipate increased competition in the market place over the same period.
Consolidation is expected in the GP profession, with 82% expecting a rise in the number of larger practices, potentially as a response to the formation of commissioning groups.
GPC deputy chair and Leeds GP Dr Richard Vautrey told Pulse: ‘These figures suggest a series level of anxiety within the profession about the future of NHS general practice which is being created by the Government in England's Health and Social Care Bill.'
‘This anxiety is also reflected in the drop in the number of young doctors who are considering general practice as a career and the increased number of older GPs who are looking to retire early.'
'There is a real risk that we are going to return to the recruitment and retention crisis that we saw prior to the introduction of the new GMS contract.'