A new study by the University of Warwick has found that only two-thirds of trainee GPs are planning to go on to work in general practice in the National Health Service (NHS).
The study involved an online survey completed by 178 GP trainees employed in the West Midlands who were within 3 months of achieving their certificate of completion of training (CCT). It found that GP workload; low morale during training and the perceptions of work-life balance was leading many prospective GPs away from the NHS.
Doctors leaders have described the outcomes as “extremely concerning” and proof of the serious problems being faced in general practice which are putting off the next generation of GPs from joining.
Nearly two thirds (62.8%) of respondents stated that they expected to be working in general practice within 6 months either as a locum, salaried or other non-principal NHS GP, dropping to a third (33.9%) at five years. The proportion expecting to become a GP principal increased from less than 5% at six months to just over a third (33.9%) at five years.
The chair of British Medical Council GP committee, Dr Richard Vautrey said that it is surprising that the next generation of GPs are having doubts about their career in the NHS after a decade of underinvestment that has left many local GP services cash strapped and operating from inadequate facilities.
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said the study confirms issues raised by the organisation in the past, and that it was “incredibly concerning” for patients and the future of general practice.
The chair of RCGP, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said the latest findings are a clear sign that trainees are being put off from a career in general practice because they are seeing first-hand the intense resource and workload pressures GPs and our teams are facing across the country.
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