Of 1,192 GPs who participated, 978 (82.0 %) stated that they intend to leave general practice, take a career break and/or reduce clinical hours of work within the next 5 years. This included 488 (41.9 %) who intend to leave practice, and almost a quarter (279; 23.2 %) intending to take a career break. Only 67 (5.6 %) planned to increase their hours of clinical work. For participants planning to leave practice, the issues that most influenced intentions were volume and intensity of workload, time spent on “unimportant tasks”, introduction of 7-day working and lack of job satisfaction.|
Four hundred fifty-five participants provided free-text responses (39128 words in total). The main themes were the cumulative impact of work-related pressures, the changing and growing nature of the workload, and the consequent stress. Sub-themes included the impact on GP workload of the following: growth in patient expectations and demand; GP recruitment and retention difficulties; burgeoning administration and bureaucracy; growth in additional roles, responsibilities and time involved in meetings; transfer of work from secondary care; increasing complexity and chronic ill health; revalidation and regulatory assessment; and the introduction of 7-day working in general practice.
Reducing workload intensity, workload volume, administrative activities, with increased time for patient care, no out-of-hour commitments, more flexible working conditions and greater clinical autonomy were identified as the most important requirements to address the workforce crisis. In addition, incentive payments, increased pay and protected time for education and training were also rated as important.