A new survey of GPs has revealed that over 40 per cent intend to leave general practice within the next five years.
In the survey of 929 GPs, conducted in the Wessex region by the University of Warwick, 59.4 per cent said morale had dropped over the past two years, and 48.5 per cent said they had brought forward their plans to leave general practice.
The proportion of GPs planning to leave NHS general practice within the next two years increased from 13 per cent in 2014 to 18 per cent in 2017 (P=.02). Intention to continue working for at least five years dropped from 63.9 to 48.5 per cent (P<.0001>
Participants suggested increased funding, more GPs, better public education, and expanding non-clinical and support staff interventions, would improve GP retention. National initiatives that did not align with these priorities, such as video consulting, were viewed negatively.
Lead author Professor Jeremy Dale, from Warwick Medical School, said: "GP morale and job satisfaction has been deteriorating for many years, and we have known that this is leading to earlier burnout, with GPs retiring or leaving the profession early.
“What this survey indicates is that this is continuing and growing despite a number of NHS measures and initiatives that had been put in place to address this over the last few years. Many GPs clearly feel that this is too little, too late and have failed to experience any benefit from these initiatives and are unable to sustain working in NHS general practice,” he said.
Writing in the BMJ Open, the authors said more urgent action appears to be needed to stem the workforce crisis.