21st June 2017

Half of Salaried and Locum GPs are Stressed, BMA Poll Warns

Half of Salaried and Locum GPs are Stressed, BMA Poll Warns

According to a new survey by the British Medical Association (BMA), half of sessional GPs suffer from work-related stress and the proportion is closer to two thirds among those who are in salaried or full-time roles.

The BMA reported that work-related stress has led more than one in ten sessional GPs to take time off work in the past year. About 62 per cent sessional GPs say they have no interest in becoming a partner because they would not have control over their workload.

The survey also found that 70 per cent of locums would consider leaving the profession if a locum cap was introduced in general practice. It warned that this could lead to an exodus of locum and salaried doctors, who play a key role in solving the NHS’s current problems.

From 1st March to 6th April 2017, BMA’s sessional GP subcommittee, which represents salaried and locum GPs in the UK carried out a UK-wide survey to understand the issues that sessional GPs face. It received responses from 2,079 sessional GPs. Its key findings include:

  • About 52 per cent of the respondents reported having felt unwell due to work related stress in the previous 12 months. The percentage increase to 62 per cent among those working full time or in a salaried role.
  • More than 11 per cent reported taking time off because of work related stress in the last year, with salaried GPs the most likely to report needing a break from work (14 per cent).
  • Most respondents reported an increase in workload, with three quarters (76 per cent) of salaried GPs noting a rise.

Commenting on the latest findings, the chair of BMA GP Sessional subcommittee, Dr Zoe Norris said that more than half of sessional GPs suffering from the impact of work related stress is not healthy. Locum and salaried doctors must be seen as a key part of the solution to problems that are threatening to overwhelm the National Health Service.

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