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‘Unmanageable’ workload leads to poorer care for patients, say GPs

Almost nine in 10 GPs find that heavy workload is compromising the quality of the care they can provide to patients, a survey has found.

Primary care medical education provider Red Whale surveyed over a thousand GPs, finding that 85% found their workloads unmanageable and that this compromised the quality and consistency of the care that they are able to provide.

More than 90% of the GPs surveyed have considered leaving due to increasing workloads, or have reduced their working hours to cope with this increase.

Less than 30% of GPs questioned would choose to train as GPs if they were given the option now.

Selected comments made by GPs included:

‘My job makes me feel utterly, totally stressed, depressed and suicidal. I realise I have to change something soon to save my sanity.’

‘Not being able to deliver safe or quality care is both demotivating and frightening – how long before I make a major mistake, because I am just too drained and shattered to pick up on an important cue?’

‘I am shocked to see how many GPs in early or mid-career are solving this problem on an individual basis by cutting down their sessions or moving out of general practice altogether.’

Caroline Greene, GP and business development director at Red Whale said: ‘We know that GPs want to provide high-quality, consistent care to their patients, but in many cases the vast and unmanageable workloads that they face prevent them from being able to do so.

‘This report shows that the impact of those workloads has reached a critical point, leaving many GPs feeling unable to safely and effectively do their jobs, and forcing others out of general practice altogether.’