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Increase appointment time to retain GPs, researchers state

7 January 2016

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The way to retain GPs aged under 50 is to increase face-to-face patient time in order to increase job satisfaction, a UK study has confirmed.

The study concluded: “To improve retention of young GPs, the pace of administrative change needs to be minimised and the time spent by GPs on work that is not face-to-face patient care reduced.”

The research, published in the British Journal of General Practice, was based on interviews and an online survey of 150 people aged under 50 who left the profession in the last five years.

An increase in admin and overall workload has “fundamentally changed the doctor-patient relationship” the researchers stated.  

Moreover, a lack of time with patients means doctors are unable to practise more patient-centred care, affecting the GPs’ sense of professional autonomy and values, and resulting in diminished job satisfaction, it found.

Dr Tim Ballard, vice chair of the Royal College of GPs, responded to the study, arguing that GPs “are drowning in red tape” and “this only serves to keep us away from delivering frontline patient care, which is why we become doctors in the first place”.

See the full research here.