MORE than 40 per cent of GPs intend to quit within the next five years, Warwick University research shows.
It is an increase of nearly a third since 2014.
The survey of 929 GPs has revealed recent national NHS initiatives are failing to address unmanageable workloads for GPs.
It claims many are unconvinced the NHS can respond to the increasing challenges facing general practice.
Published yesterday (February 28) in the journal BMJ Open, it reveals workload was identified as the most significant issue with 51 per cent of GPs reporting they were working longer hours than in 2014.
It suggests the GP workforce is not keeping pace with the growing healthcare needs of the population, with an increase in complex long-term conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and stroke.
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 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 measure and initiatives that had been put in place to address this over the last few years.
“Intensity of workload, and volume of workload were the two issues that were most closely linked to intentions to leave general practice, followed by too much time being spent on unimportant bureaucratic and administrative tasks.
“There’s a worsening crisis in general practice. The situation is bad, it is getting worse and GPs are feeling increasingly overworked and increasingly negative about the future.”
The NHS launched its Long Term Plan in January, with increased investment and support for primary care, a reduction in bureaucracy, and 22,000 proposed new allied health professionals and support staff working in general practice.
Professor Dale said: “Views from our survey would suggest that many of the changes in the Long Term Plan, such as greater funding for general practice, increasing the GP workforce, and increasing clinical and support staff in general practice, are desperately needed.”
The study found that 42.1 per cent of GPs intend to leave or retire from NHS general practice within the next five years compared to about a third of those surveyed in 2014.
An NHS England spokesperson said: “While this survey represents a tiny percentage of GPs in one local area – the NHS is offering financial and educational support to encourage GPs to stay, there are more GPs in training than ever before and – as set out in the Long Term Plan – the NHS is funding an army of 20,000 more staff to help GP practices building on the 5,000 extra practice staff working with GPs over the past four years.”