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Two thirds of Welsh GPs “plan to retire before 65”

14 January 2008

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Two out of three GPs in Wales plan to retire before the age of 65, a new survey shows.

Most of the family doctors questioned said their decision to leave the NHS is down to their workload and administrative duties.

The poll of 571 GPs found most want to quit at the age of 61, and only 6% of those surveyed by occupational psychologist Dr Roxane Gervais said they plan to carry on after the age of 65.

But Dr Gervais said some GPs could be encouraged to continue working if their levels of paperwork are reduced, although others said money worries such as paying for their children’s university places prevents them from leaving.

Many GPs who operate alone also complain they do not have enough time take part in groups, such as local medical committees.

Dr Gervais, from the Health and Safety Laboratory, said: “As the population grows and ages, more GPs will be required.

“Serious consideration needs to be given on how we can encourage older GPs to stay on and also how we appeal to the newly qualified generation.

“As a significant number state that the lack of work-life balance was a major factor in their desire to retire early, there is a need to address this with new policies that allow older workers to benefit from work-life initiatives.”

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Health and Safety Laboratory