NHS jobs crisis hits headlines as one GP turns to Uber-driving

22nd March 2024 by NASGP

NHS jobs crisis hits headlines as one GP turns to Uber-driving

The Daily Mail and the i paper have been the latest titles to cover the GP funding crisis after picking up on a report about a doctor who now drives an Uber.

One anonymous GP with two years’ experience told GP Online that they chose Uber-driving over their SHO role to avoid the risks and stress of their hospital job.

“When we went into GP training, stability was the main selling point,” the GP told a reporter. “I have colleagues who work in hospitals and they have often moved around the country – but they signed up for that. GPs were told that where you train, generally you will end up working there. It seems like the rug has been swept from under us.”

In another article, GP Dr Hannah Barnham-Brown told the i paper that she had only found one GP role on NHS Jobs within a 10-mile radius of her home in Leeds.

“Lots of doctors end up going to Canada, Australia or New Zealand, and honestly I’d leave the UK tomorrow if my family wasn’t here,” she says. “I’d love to stay in Yorkshire, but I just don’t know if it’s going to be feasible.”

The author of the piece discovered a lack of vacancies in Manchester (zero vacancies advertised), Birmingham (zero), Southampton (one) and Bristol (zero), and just 17 for the whole of London.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said “Headlines like these in the Daily Mail and i paper do little to improve recruitment and retention in the NHS. On the one hand, they put an ‘x’ against reasons for junior doctors to consider general practice as a career choice. And on the other, they serve as another excuse to devalue doctors, and consider cheaper, less qualified replacements.

“Whilst we’ve seen the number of adverts placed by practices plummet, we’ve been seeing the number of locums they’re instead booking through LocumDeck increase. Where attention-grabbing headlines paint one picture, the data suggests that these experiences are not ubiquitous across the profession.”

"We have used LocumDeck for a number of months now and find it really useful when booking locums. You can see the availability of GPs, their documents are all loaded on the site and you can book instantly – it takes minutes to do. There are also no expensive locum agency fees to pay – just the GP’s actual payment. It's quick and hassle-free."

Lesley Munro-Faure, Managing Partner, Unity Health, Buckinghamshire

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