Relentless workload taking its toll on GP health and wellbeing and must be addressed, urges College
Publication date: 15 December 2021
Responding to the GMC’s annual State of Medical Education and Practice report, published today.
Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “General practice was under intense workload and workforce pressures before the pandemic, but the crisis has only exacerbated these, as the figures in this report make clear. GPs and our teams have been at the forefront of delivering safe and appropriate care throughout the pandemic, ensuring patients receive the care and services they have needed whilst leading two complex mass vaccination programmes in line with Covid restrictions. The relentless and escalating workload is taking its toll on the health and wellbeing of GPs and this must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“The underlying factor is the size of the workforce. We were promised 6,000 more GPs on the first day the current Government came to power – a target that the Secretary of State for Health has said he is unlikely to meet. But we must pull out all the stops to meet it. Excellent work is ongoing to recruit more GPs – and more GPs are in training than ever before – but when more are leaving the profession than entering it, we are fighting a losing battle. We need to see clear, robust plans to keep highly-trained, experienced GPs in the workforce for longer, delivering patient care – and key to this is addressing ‘undoable’ workload in general practice, which is leading to GPs burning out and leaving the profession earlier than planned.”
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Notes to editor
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.