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Two thirds of PMs consider quitting because of stress

8 April 2014

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More than two thirds of practice managers are considering quitting their jobs because of stress, a survey has revealed. 

The survey found that many felt the complexity and intensity of the work has increased together with the hours and stress. 

More than 210 practice managers in the UK completed the survey. Most (96%) reported increased workload. A similar amount said the work was more intense (95%) and more stressful (90%). 

Recent workload changes had prompted 67% to contemplate quitting their job, the Medeconomics survey showed. And 64% had thought about moving away from working in general practice, 42% about leaving the NHS and 35.3% had contemplated either retiring or reducing their hours.

British Medical Association deputy chairman Dr Kailash Chand : “Practice managers are working harder than ever before to meet the needs of the practice. We are seeing a morale dip to a level that I cannot remember in my 35 years as a GP.

“This could lead to a serious workforce crisis. The cause is that practice managers along with GPs are facing an unprecedented combination of rising patient demand, unnecessary targets and duplication of paper work for various quangos like the CQC. The government is also asking practices to provide more services, including many involving the transfer of hospital care into the community, without the resources required to successfully deliver them.

“We need politicians to realise that in order to meet the challenges facing general practice, we need to value the hard work managers are undertaking by supporting them properly. Most importantly, the government needs to work with all healthcare professionals and patients to find practical solutions to a crisis that is threatening to overwhelm general practice. The recruitment and retention crisis in general practice is getting worse by the day.”

Tom Brownlie, chief executive officer of AMSPAR (Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists) said: “Sadly this reflects what we are hearing throughout the country. Much of the focus has been on the GPs but the practice cannot function without the administration staff. There is little prospect of improvement in the near future as resources are likely to be reduced at a time when greater access is being expected.

“We are receiving ever greater numbers of enquiries for our qualifications as staff seek to develop their skills to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.”