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GPs reveal how to retain workforce

26 October 2015

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Family doctors have revealed the five most important requirements to address the workforce crisis and retain employees, in a survey from Warwick Medical school.

More than four out of five GPs (82%) stated that they intend to leave general practice, take a career break and/or reduce clinical hours of work within the next five years, according to the survey of 1,192 GPs.

However, they identified the most important requirements to address the workforce crisis, which included: reducing workload intensity, volume, and administrative activities; increased time for patient care; no out-of-hour commitments; more flexible working conditions; and greater clinical autonomy.

In addition, incentive payments, increased pay and protected time for education and training were also rated as important.

Overall, the most important factor was workload and the second was working conditions (the importance given to flexibility and job satisfaction relative to volume and intensity of work).

Work-life flexibility was seen as important, however grew less important with age, an increased length of time in practice, and for GPs in larger practices. It was rated most important for female GPs, and GPs with portfolio careers.

While the government is planning a seven-day service, only 67 GPs of those surveyed (5.6 %) planned to increase their hours of clinical work.

For participants planning to leave practice, the issues that most fuelled this included the introduction of seven-day working, lack of job satisfaction, workload and the time spent on “unimportant tasks”.

The report concluded that “the British Government’s commitment to seven-day access to GPs by 2020 risks exacerbating the workforce issues”.

See the full report here.