UK GPs are least satisfied, most stressed

24th March 2023 by NASGP

UK GPs are least satisfied, most stressed

A new study finds that GPs in the UK experience the highest levels of stress and have the lowest job satisfaction compared to colleagues in other high-income countries, The Health Foundation reports.

Furthermore, things have been getting worse for UK GPs. GPs in the UK were reported to be among the most satisfied of any country back in 2012.

Now just 24% of UK GPs are ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with practising medicine – lower than all other countries surveyed.

Researchers analysed data from 9,526 GPs in 10 countries, including 1,010 in the UK, in a study undertaken by the Commonwealth Fund.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “It will come as no surprise to anyone that GPs are less happy in their jobs than they were pre-pandemic, and no doubt will be in line with other professions in the public sector.

“But what is truly quite shocking is that GPs have been bumped from being the happiest only 10 years ago to now being the unhappiest when compared to similar countries.

“Interestingly, The Health Foundation’s report does not mention GP locums, even once, so it’s possible that the survey was only directed at GPs in partnership or salaried positions. Many of the areas of unhappiness highlighted in the report seem to be around GP contractual issues, which GP locums may be much less affected by.

“I would urge The Health Foundation to repeat this survey and include GP locums to see what the differences are and then use the findings to establish best practice that can be introduced across the profession.

“If any of our colleagues are feeling the pressure we have some excellent resources here to help GPs experiencing stress and burnout.”

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Dr Ruth Snowball, GP, Birmingham

Dr Ruth Snowball, GP, Birmingham

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