Worcestershire GPs under increasing pressure

Worcester News: Worcestershire GPs under increasing pressure Worcestershire GPs under increasing pressure

GPS in Worcestershire are under so much pressure many are choosing to retire early, medical experts have said.

Research from the British Medical Association (BMA) has shown heavy workloads and falling resources have led six out of ten GPs to consider retiring early and three out of ten to contemplate leaving general practice.

In a letter to your Worcester News, BMA representative for GPs in the West Midlands Dr Bob Morley said many older, experienced doctors had chosen to leave the profession early in recent years.

“Just a few years ago it was unusual for a GP to retire early, but unmanageable workloads and plummeting morale have led to both younger and older doctors across the West Midlands leaving the profession,” he said.

“I am helping more GPs than ever with stress related issues and have witnessed cases where the increasing pressure, workload, and demand on doctors have left them suffering with both physical and mental health problems.”

Dr Morley said it was particularly worrying to see the amount of GPs in their fifties seeking early retirement or reducing their working hours had increased dramatically while many younger doctors were choosing to work abroad, which he warned could create a “serious workforce crisis”.

“We cannot ignore this problem any longer,” he said. “We need politicians to help meet the challenges facing general practice and value the hard work done by GPs and their practice staff by supporting them appropriately.”

Secretary of Worcestershire Local Medical Committee – an organisation representing the interests of GPs throughout the county – Dr Simon Parkinson said the problem had reached crisis levels.

“A few years ago the average consultation per person per year was four, now it’s between seven and eight,” he said. “In that time there hasn’t been a doubling of GP resources – there’s been a reduction.

“It’s awful if you can’t get an appointment to see your doctor but there’s only so much jam in the jar and we’ve had to spread it so thin.

“It’s not good for our job satisfaction and it’s not good for patients.”

He added many posts being vacated by retirees were remaining vacant, or only being filled with part-timers.

“There has been a large number of very experienced doctors making the decision to leave early in the past 18 months,” he said. “They’re a real loss.

“Not long ago we had a massive row with the government because they wanted to fix the retirement age at 70 while so many wanted to stay on.

“Now we can’t keep them until 70.”

Although the total number of GPs across Worcestershire has increased in recent years, the amount of these who are part-time has also increased, meaning the amount of overall hours worked has decreased.

Comments (1)

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12:52pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

All GP's are self-employed, and when the previous New Labour government re-negotiated their contracts it was very much in favour of the Doctors, who were able to opt out of being on call for extremely long hours including week-ends, while still considerably increasing their incomes. With some Doctors chosing to do overtime at very lucrative earnings.
When my doctor retired last September while still in their 50's I was told that they were the last GP aged over 50 to be practising in Worcester City.
As a patient I would appreciate a look at the appointments system whereby at our practice you have to telephone at 8am to get a same day appointment, (you cannot get an appointment for days ahead) and even when I had visited the surgery with a letter from a senior doctor telling me to make an appointment to see him, the receptionist refused, and told me to telephone the surgery at 8am, or use the online appointments system, which seems to have been transfered to an outside company. However this online site wouldn't recognise my previous online details. When I telephoned the surgery I was told to call into the surgery and re register, which was complicated. So for perhaps several months I just use my surgery for repeat perscriptions, and after 77 years with this practise I am looking around for a new doctors and perhaps should use the Walk-in-centre. But of Course the new doctors in charge of the South Worcestershire NHS are moving this to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital site which will be difficult for me to access.
Perhaps I am already on the Worcestershire End Of Life Pathway?
All GP's are self-employed, and when the previous New Labour government re-negotiated their contracts it was very much in favour of the Doctors, who were able to opt out of being on call for extremely long hours including week-ends, while still considerably increasing their incomes. With some Doctors chosing to do overtime at very lucrative earnings. When my doctor retired last September while still in their 50's I was told that they were the last GP aged over 50 to be practising in Worcester City. As a patient I would appreciate a look at the appointments system whereby at our practice you have to telephone at 8am to get a same day appointment, (you cannot get an appointment for days ahead) and even when I had visited the surgery with a letter from a senior doctor telling me to make an appointment to see him, the receptionist refused, and told me to telephone the surgery at 8am, or use the online appointments system, which seems to have been transfered to an outside company. However this online site wouldn't recognise my previous online details. When I telephoned the surgery I was told to call into the surgery and re register, which was complicated. So for perhaps several months I just use my surgery for repeat perscriptions, and after 77 years with this practise I am looking around for a new doctors and perhaps should use the Walk-in-centre. But of Course the new doctors in charge of the South Worcestershire NHS are moving this to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital site which will be difficult for me to access. Perhaps I am already on the Worcestershire End Of Life Pathway? Jabbadad
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