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Female GPs far more likely to work beyond scheduled hours than male GPs

Exclusive Women are as likely to provide more than ten hours of clinical care a day as men, despite being scheduled for shorter hours, Pulse’s GP workload survey has found.

A total of 13.9% female GPs were expecting to complete ten or more clinical hours of clinical work on the day of Pulse’s major snapshot survey of almost 1,700 UK GPs – compared with 24.6% of their male counterparts.

However, the same proportion of women actually provided at least ten hours of clinical work (28.6%), as men (28.1%), on the survey day, Monday 11 February.

GP leaders warned female GPs’ family commitments may suffer if they are routinely working far longer than their contracted hours.

They also suggested the difference in pay between male and female GPs may be made worse if women work far longer than their scheduled hours.

BMA GP Committee workload lead Dr Farah Jameel said: ‘We know women may be more likely to actively seek out reduced contractual hours due to family and other commitments, so if female GPs are routinely working beyond their structured hours, it can have a real damaging effect on doctors’ wellbeing and home life.

‘And most importantly it will continue to increase the unacceptable gender pay gap, which must be addressed immediately.’

She added: ‘This workload burden will also do nothing to improve the longstanding under-representation of women among GP partners.’

Earlier this year, interim findings from a Government-commissioned report found male GPs earn 33% more than their female counterparts.

It found the gender pay gap in general practice was ‘far higher than the average in medicine’.

Pulse’s survey findings are based on responses from 1,681 GPs about their day spent in practice on Monday 11 February.

The results showed more than half of GPs say they are working above safe limits, on average completing 11-hour days and dealing with a third more patients than they believe they should be seeing.

Editor’s note: We have slightly changed this story to reflect some of the comments. To clarify the issue, male GPs and female GPs are as likely to provide 10 or more hours of clinical care as one another. However, the survey found that half as many women were scheduled to work these hours as men – meaning it is far more likely that women will work beyond their scheduled hours than men