Why GPs say they are increasingly opting for locum roles

GPs are increasingly choosing to work as locums, the findings of a poll by GPonline's sister website Medeconomics reveal today. Find out below why GPs who took part in the poll no longer want to remain in partnership and salaried roles.

Under pressure: GPs are opting for locum roles over partnerships
Under pressure: GPs are opting for locum roles over partnerships

A total of 701 locum GPs responded to the Medeconomics poll, with nearly a third saying that 12 months earlier they were in partner or salaried posts.

Below is a selection of comments that lift the lid on the reasons behind the change. GPs were responding to the question: Why did you decide to become a locum?

GP burnout

'I was very close to burnout and knew I had to do something drastic to save myself. I needed more control over my work.'

'I've been a full-time partner for 32 years and wanted to experience different aspects of general practice. Also I wanted to remember the good times as a GP. The job as a committed GP is no longer safe either for patients or the doctor.'

'Fed up with increasing unsafe and unsustainable workload, appalling work/life balance and consequent impact on family life and decreasing partnership income as an inner city GP in a very deprived part of London.'

'Because being a partner was driving me nuts.'

'I used to be a locum GP and now in a partnership for four years. I am looking to go back to doing locum work due to increased stresses of being a partner and no recognition by the CCG or government and decreased funding. I can't see future general practice surviving this way as young doctors like me are constantly being discouraged by the non-productive bureaucratic changes and no say over patient care.'

Income

'Little financial incentive to be a partner or even salaried GP.'

'Control over workload, and ability to pass on increasing indemnity costs via locum rates.'

'Maternity leave poor in partnership; stress and poor financial return of partnership.'

'Better working conditions, decent pay and holidays when you want.'

Flexibility

'More flexibility in working hours. I did not want to join a practice which then might have trouble with recruitment, which might mean I would be forced to increase sessions.'

'More flexibility and getting paid for all the hours I work, and much less admin.'

'Flexibility - not wanting to commit to a practice and freedom to take leave whenever I want.'

'I returned from Australia and want flexibility and less responsibility and paperwork. Not sure of the direction GP work is going and don't want to be tied down to a practice at present.'

Bureaucracy

'Completely fed up of being a partner and all the mind-numbing box-ticking.'

'I have had enough of all the constant extra demands and admin work, extra work, care planning etc without additional community support.'

'Pressures of administration and meetings for GP federation, CCG, consortium, compulsory learning, personal development, etc meant not enough time to see patients.'

Click here to read the full story on GPs switching to locum roles

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