Most future GPs fear lack of jobs

Almost all of the UK's next draft of GPs fear there may not be a job for them in the NHS when they complete their training.

A GP straw poll of doctors in training at last week's 'A New Horizon: national conference  for GPs-to-be', jointly organised by the BMA and RCGP, found  that most wanted a partnership but few thought they would be able to acquire one.

Only one of the 28 SHOs, foundation year one and foundation year two doctors and registrars surveyed said they were confident about finding NHS work.

All but three said they thought a practice partnership would be hard to come by.

Only three registrars said they had been given sufficient information about their MRCGP exams by deaneries, with confusion over the work placement-based assessment component causing considerable anxiety.

SHO Dr Tim Harris said: 'Everyone is worried and we're all going to have to consider our futures. Maybe the old partner-run practice is a dying beast.

'It is a shame, but at the end of the day, we are all passionate about this and if we have to adapt then so be it. It would be nice if a few more practices had the foresight to make a bit less profit and give younger GPs a chance.'

Speaking at the conference, BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum warned senior GPs to take on more partners or risk the demise of general practice.

'They do not value younger GPs at their peril because general practice will be  in the hands of fewer people and the private companies will move in and that will be the beginning of the end of general practice,' he said.

The idea of working in polyclinics alongside other medical staff, which was suggested in an NHS London review published last week, received a tepid reception from trainees at the conference in Solihull, in the West Midlands, last week.

Almost two thirds of attendees said they did not want to work in the new superclinics, with nearly half saying they would be prepared to do so only if their hand was forced.

But 50 per cent of trainees said they would consider working for private companies commissioned to provide NHS services.

Six women and four men said they intended to work only part-time in surgeries, citing family commitments or a desire to become involved in academic work or tutoring.

But few said they were put off by GP pay freezes.

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