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What do GPs really feel, asks major new survey

18 June 2007

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An indepth survey designed to take the temperature of feelings among the UK’s GPs has been issued by the British Medical Association’s (BMA) General Practitioners’ Committee (GPC).

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC Chairman, commented: “It will provide a unique insight into GP morale and experiences, and will help the committee’s work on the profession’s behalf. We last carried out a survey on this scale in 2001 before the new General Medical Services (GMS) contract negotiations.

“With this survey we can find out what family doctors really think and every GP in the UK will be able to have their say. The results will leave no room for government assumptions or misinterpretations. What doctors say is what the new prime minister and his health team will hear, loud and clear.”

Paper copies of the 65 question survey have been sent to all NHS GPs in the UK (more than 42,000). The survey is also available on the BMA website, so recipients have an option to complete it by hand or online. Completed questionnaires must be received by Friday 6 July 2007.

All replies are in absolute confidence and no attempt will be made to trace responses to individuals. Completing all sections of the survey should take approximately 30 minutes. Although the bulk of the survey is the same for all the UK’s four nations, additional country-specific questions are included for doctors working in England, Scotland and Wales.

Question topics range from GP morale, income, career and retirement intentions and premises, through to more controversial questions about what actions GPs might be prepared to consider if there is no improvement on certain issues. Doctors in England are also asked about practice-based commissioning, Choose and Book and the Summary Care Record.

The survey is available on the BMA website at: