Four in five Welsh GPs fear for future of their practice

More than 80% of GPs in Wales are worried about the sustainability of their practice, according to a BMA Wales poll.

BMA Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones

Findings published as part of a BMA campaign to highlight underfunding and growing pressure on general practice show that three quarters of respondents said the health of staff in their GP practice had been adversely affected by heavy workload.

A total of 61% of respondents to the poll said their work-life balance was not good, and 58% said it had deteriorated in the past 12 months.

Half of respondents said they would not recommend a career in general practice, 27% said they were considering a career change, and 14% were considering moving abroad.

GP workload

A plan to tackle the growing problem published by GPC Wales calls for increased capacity in general practice to allow GPs to spend more time with patients. It also calls for increased practice funding, more staff to support GPs and a reduction in bureaucracy.

GPC Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones said: 'I have grave concerns for the future of general practice if the significant and worsening challenges are not urgently and meaningfully addressed at a national level. The Welsh government must recognise this and take action.

'There is a significant gap between the demand placed upon general practice and its capacity. The profession is forced to try and cope with inadequate resources, an unsustainable workload and a workforce under considerable strain, across the whole of Wales.

'The survey findings have identified clear trends in GPs’ areas of concern and highlights just how immediately action needs to be taken. GPs continue to remain committed to the profession but for it to turn around, they need the tools, resources and support of Welsh government.'

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