You’ve no doubt heard in the press about GP partners resigning from their partnerships mid-career to become locums, and more GPs applying for licenses to practice overseas in countries like Australia and Canada.
The reasons given seem to centre around rising workload, caused both by increased demands across the NHS, and also increased bureaucracy through devices like QOF and enhanced services, with more and more hoops to jump through to chase ever-decreasing rewards. Then, on top of this, an economic decline, with reducing income and a pension scheme that seems to be slowly fading in value. Add to this the pressure of patient complaints and litigation cases and the stress of revalidation, we begin to have in this country a toxic mix of circumstances which are leaving many GPs exhausted, unhappy and even hopeless about their career.
For many, early retirement seems the only escape from the hamster-wheel of endless effort. And now the Government threatens not only to add out of hours back to the workload of individual practices, but also longer hours and night-time responsibility too.