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Former GP warns of risk to doctors’ health amid finance cuts

24 September 2010

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Financial cuts, increasing workloads and a complaints culture are leading to large numbers of early retirements among doctors, according to a former GP.

Dr John Wynn-Jones, 59, who worked at Montgomery surgery in Powys, took early retirement after suffering from depression. He told the Western Mail that the problem was becoming widespread.

At a Rural Doctors Conference at Gregynog Hall, near Newtown, Wales, he said: “Doctors are notorious for putting the health of their patients first and for not looking after their own health.

“Doctors always want to do what is best for their patients and that could be a struggle and become incredibly difficult with waiting lists and the disparity between cross-border healthcare in Wales and England.”

Dr Sue Elliston is a former GP and director of the Primary Care Support Service, which promotes the health and wellbeing of GPs, dentists and community pharmacists in Wales.

She told the Western Mail: “I know of GPs who love their job but the stress surrounding it makes life difficult for them. They feel that they have no control over what is happening to the NHS.

“If GPs are suffering from stress or a mental health problem, there are currently barriers stopping them from admitting that they have a problem and accessing help.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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“The response to our senior GPs to the latest tranche of changes? To check how early they will be able to retire – supposing they do not have a coronary first brought on by overwork and stress. Whatever they do it will be the GPs’ fault if this does not work and the gutter press will have a go either way” – Name and address withheld