GPs most stressed of all UK doctors, survey reveals

GPs are reporting the highest levels of pressure of all UK doctors, a BMA survey has revealed.

Dr Mark Porter: doctors are stressed
Dr Mark Porter: doctors are stressed

Overall 80.6% of doctors felt their current level of pressure at work was high or very high. But for GPs the figure was 89% - higher than for any other type of doctor, the survey of 996 UK doctors found.

GPs were most likely to cite meeting patient demand and lack of time as the reasons for pressure.

Overall 69.5% of doctors said their current experiences at work were much worse or worse than those a year ago. Just six respondents said their experience was better now than a year ago.

Better integration between health and social care, ‘better demand management’ and less emphasis on competition were cited as the top three solutions to ensuring the ‘NHS survives the next 65 years’.

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter said: ‘It is particularly worrying that the pressures so many doctors are experiencing on a daily basis appear to be getting worse.

‘The government wants to give doctors more control so they can work effectively for their patients, yet they often find this impossible in the face of an unprecedented funding squeeze, inadequate staffing levels and rising patient demand.

‘Instead of directing the blame towards individual parts of the health service when the NHS comes under pressure, we need the government to work with staff, who see the pressures first hand, to help solve the problems. Doctors should be encouraged and supported, not burnt out and drowning in red tape.’

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said: 'The staff working for our NHS are our health service's most precious resource. Doctors are working extremely hard and continue to provide a high quality of care in the face of rising healthcare demands. It is thanks to this hard work that the NHS is performing well in dealing with the challenge presented by an ageing population with complex healthcare needs.

'It is because we want to deliver more care in the community that we have invested in 6,000 more doctors, many of whom will become GPs and why we are investing £140 million in new technology and training to cut bureaucracy and paperwork, as well as meeting our promise to deliver a real terms increase in health spending.'

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