Intended for healthcare professionals


A third of GPs are considering retirement, BMA survey finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 15 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2037
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. 1BMJ Careers

A third of GPs in the United Kingdom are considering retiring from general practice in the next five years, a survey of the profession has found.

The survey of GPs, carried out by ICM Unlimited on behalf of the BMA, received 15 560 responses from across the UK. It found that just over a third of GPs (34%) were considering retiring from general practice in the next five years.

The survey also found that nearly a third (28%) of GPs who were currently working full time were thinking about working part time. Around 9% of all GPs would consider moving abroad, and 7% would consider quitting medicine altogether, the survey found. It also found that around a fifth (19%) of GP trainees were considering moving abroad to work before 2020.

Over two thirds (68%) of GPs said that they experienced a significant amount of manageable, work related stress, but 16% said that they thought that their stress was significant and unmanageable.

The survey also found that GPs thought various factors had a negative effect on their commitment to their work, including excessive workload (71%), unresourced work being moved into general practice (54%), and not having enough time with their patients (43%). Despite the pressures, however, just under half (47%) of the respondents said that they would recommend general practice as a career, while a third (35%) would not recommend it.

Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee, said that the poll highlighted the “stark reality of the crisis facing the GP workforce.”

He said, “It is clear that incredible pressures on GP services are at the heart of this problem, with escalating demand having far outstripped capacity.” Nagpaul said that GPs were overworked and frustrated that they did not have enough time to spend with their patients.1 “Instead GPs are being taken away from treating patients by pointless paperwork or other work that has often been moved without proper resourcing into the community. Many GPs are facing burnout from increased stress,” he said.


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2037


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