Doctor shortage: Too many patients and too much paperwork is driving GPs away, says industry expert Nigel Praities

Doctor shortage: Too many patients and too much paperwork is driving GPs away, says industry expert Nigel Praities

Overworked: One in eight GP posts are vacant

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Too many patients and too much paperwork are driving doctors away from general practice, claims the editor of an influential industry magazine. 

Research released this week shows that one in eight GP posts are currently empty, with the drop in numbers put down to doctors moving overseas, working part-time or taking early retirement. 

But according to Nigel Praities, the editor of medical news specialist Pulse which commissioned the study on GPs' working practices, the shortage is down to one simple reason: burnout.

"I speak to a lot of GPs, and what they say to me is that the pressure of the job is so great that they can’t work full-time, or they struggle to have a long-term career in general practice," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. 

"The conditions are such that they are … burning out and don’t want to work in the current system. 

"They're struggling to meet the demand, and also the paperwork that comes from NHS managers."

Concerns over their ability to provide an adequate level of care are also a concern for doctors, Praities explained. 

"[GPs] want to give patients timely appointments and make sure they can spend the right amount of time with them and treat them properly," he said. 

"But they’re not able to do that in the current system."