Three GPs a day quit as burnout and long Covid test tired workforce, NHS stats reveal

19th February 2021 by NASGP

Three GPs a day quit as burnout and long Covid test tired workforce, NHS stats reveal

New figures show GPs are quitting at an average rate of three a day, the Mirror reports. 

NHS statistics revealed that GP surgeries in England lost nearly 300 full-time doctors in the three months before Christmas. 

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the RCGP, told the paper: “GPs and our teams want to provide safe, high-quality care to our patients and we can only do this with an adequate workforce. We desperately need more GPs.”

In a related story, Pulse reported yesterday that GPs with long Covid are losing partnerships due to ongoing ill health and post-viral fatigue. 

Two former partners who had Covid last spring and developed long Covid, said that they had been removed from partnerships months later.

One of the GPs who spoke to Pulse left her partnership in October. She had been unable to work due to experiencing lingering symptoms such as breathlessness, tachycardia, extreme fatigue and brain fog but has now recovered sufficiently to do locum work.

“Clinical work may be off the table for a while with long Covid, however much non-clinical work potentially could be done that could take the paperwork burden away from others,” she told Pulse. “We need to think laterally about how to support each other. This is after all, a blip in a 40-year career, and for some, a blip in a 35-year partnership.”

Dr Richard Fieldhouse says, “These disturbing figures illustrate the historical problems around NHS GP workforce planning, where we’ve traditionally focused on the idealistic ‘high road’ of partnerships and salaried positions whilst neglecting to nurture an agile, flexible GP workforce.

“This pandemic has highlighted a problem that has always been there. Going forward, we need to work towards a more adaptable flexible, agile solutions to the NHS GP workforce.”

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