One in five Scottish GPs 'too stressed to cope', RCGP poll reveals

More than one in five (22%) Scottish GPs say they are so stressed they feel they cannot cope at least once a week, a survey commissioned by RCGP Scotland has found.

Stress (Photo:iStock)
Stress (Photo:iStock)

A shortage of GPs has forced many family doctors to work harder and longer to provide care within their communities. The RCGP has warned that Scotland needs an extra 856 full-time GPs by 2021 - an increase of more than 15%.

RCGP Scotland chair Dr Carey Lunan described the findings as ‘very worrying’. She said: ‘The GP shortage has been putting GPs under increasing pressure to provide a safe and sustainable 24-hour service to ensure that all patients receive care as and when they need it.

‘GPs working in daytime services have told me that they are now routinely working 12- to 13-hour days without taking time for breaks.

GPs under pressure

'It is clear from these findings that this pressure is taking its predictable toll on Scotland’s family doctors. That can only have negative knock-on effects for how able GPs are to provide for the health of our patients.’

Findings from the RCGP survey come just a month after official NHS statistics on the GP workforce revealed that one in every 18 shifts in Scottish general practice were unfilled. Official data show that one in four Scottish practices reported at least one unfilled session when surveyed in August 2017, compared with 9% four years earlier.

The college has launched a further survey to explore the link between GP workload and wellbeing.

Dr Lunan added: ‘For the sake of the profession, for our patients, and for the future of the NHS as a whole, we need to ensure that GPs are valued, supported and empowered. That will encourage GPs to enter and remain in the profession and help ensure the future of Scottish general practice.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP at Hand should only be allowed to provide NHS 111 services, says BMA

GP at Hand should only be allowed to provide NHS 111 services, says BMA

Babylon GP at Hand should no longer be allowed to register patients and instead be...

A financial guide for GP locums

A financial guide for GP locums

Medical accountant Jenny Stone provides a guide to pensions, setting your fees and...

Paying tax as a GP locum

Paying tax as a GP locum

Medical accountant Jenny Stone explains how you pay your tax as a GP locum.

DNA testing could be part of NHS health checks under government plans

DNA testing could be part of NHS health checks under government plans

The DHSC has launched a review of NHS health checks, with a view to introducing a...

Most GPs now see locum work as most attractive career option, poll reveals

Most GPs now see locum work as most attractive career option, poll reveals

More than half of GPs now believe locum work is the most attractive career option...

Patients in deprived areas find it harder to get GP appointments

Patients in deprived areas find it harder to get GP appointments

Three out of five people living in the most deprived areas in England find it difficult...