Video: More than half of sessional GPs report work-related sickness

Over half of salaried and locum GPs say they have been made unwell because of work-related stress in the past year, according to a BMA survey, with more than one in 10 forced to take time off sick.

Sessional GP leaders have said the poll of 2,000 locums and salaried GPs showed they were not the 'happy go lucky' workforce they are sometimes portrayed as.

The survey revealed that sessionals scored their morale, on average, six out of 10, with 10 being 'completely satisfied'. Over 11% said they had been forced to take time off sick with work-related stress  in the past year.

GPC sessional subcommittee chair Dr Zoe Norris told GPonline: 'It shows us that salaried and locum doctors are feeling the pressure in just the same way as partners and our colleagues working all across the NHS.'

Dr Norris said the government was 'trying to promote a split' in the GP workforce, between sessionals and partners to 'disincentivise and penalise'  doctors for not taking on partnership. But she said, the 'vast majority' of partners recognised the important role locums and salaried GPs played.

'It is not about the race to the bottom', Dr Norris said. All GPs should be pushing for the best conditions for all parts of the profession.

'As the BMA we need to be crystal clear that there isn't a division within general practice, that we support different ways of working, but the most fundamental thing is to support that independent contractor model,' she said.

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