The Doctors, Nurses and Receptionists know the truth. It’s unsustainable. (I’ve worked as a GP receptionist under a year and I’m already burnt out) (Sad goodbyes as Brighton doctors’ surgery closes today). The i500 per annum new recruits to medicine will not be enough, and there wont be enough Midwives, Nurses and Physiotherapists either… Its going to get worse.
Half of GPs plan to retire in the next 10 years in Suffolk, a new survey fuelling fresh concerns over recruitment has revealed.
Seven in 10 doctors also described their workload as ‘heavy most of the time’ or ‘unmanageable’ in the independent survey released to this newspaper.
A total of 93 GPs filled out the online questionnaire put together by a group of senior doctors taking part in leadership training with the Suffolk GP Federation.
The results showed that 51% of respondents intend to retire in the next six to 10 years. A third of these said they plan to leave the workforce in the next five years.
None of the salaried or locum doctors who responded stated an intention to move into partnership.
It was warned earlier this year that it will become increasingly difficult to book GP appointments due to a long-running recruitment crisis posing “toxic” dangers to the county’s health service.
Last night, Dr Neil Macey, partner at Stowhealth in Stowmarket, said: “There are some very serious concerns facing practices in Suffolk, with half our GP workforce intending to retire by 2026.
“As GPs retire they are not being replaced and we are already experiencing difficulties. This can only get worse.
“Attempts to attract new GPs to the county should continue to focus on the areas that GPs value most – the lifestyle benefits of living in Suffolk and quality of existing primary care provision. Ways of encouraging doctors to become partners must also be found.”
The survey also found that 70% described their workload as ‘heavy most of the time’ or ‘unmanageable’.
A total of 86% said general practice had to change in order to meet current and future demands. Ideas put forward included recruiting pharmacists, physiotherapists, geriatricians and mental health workers to replace GPs and for practices to come together and work collaboratively.
Of those that completed the survey, 77% were GP partners, 15% salaried GPs and 8% GP locums. In total, 64% were from the Ipswich and East Suffolk area and 36% were from West Suffolk.
Dr Ed Garratt, chief officer of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “We know that in Suffolk and across the country GP practices are facing an increased demand on services, caused by factors including an increasing and ageing population and on-going recruitment issues of GPs and nurse practitioners.”
Dr Paul Driscoll, chair and medical director of the Suffolk GP Federation, added: “We are working hard to address the challenges faced by the county in the most effective way, while ensuring patients continue to use their local GP practices and receive the high quality care they need.”
&E meltdown. Psychiatry has been treated this way for 40 years. It’s too late for strategies that will change the next 5 -10 years.