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BMA quarterly tracker survey, April 2015

Morale

Workload

Burnout

Future intentions

Read the survey (PDF)

 

Key findings from the survey

Morale and workload

  • 43% of respondents describe their levels of morale as being low or very low, meaning on average morale is slightly lower compared with last quarter. Over 17% of respondents reported their morale as high or very high. 
  • On average, satisfaction with work-life balance has increased this quarter, though GPs again reported being least satisfied with their work-life balance.
  • GPs were much more likely than other groups to report their workload as being unmanageable or unsustainable, with the percentage increasing from 65.2% to 73.5%. 
  • Junior doctors reporting their workload as unmanageable or unsustainable has also increased this quarter from 12.5% to 29.6 % of respondents.

Burnout

  • 11.5% of doctors admit they are presently suffering from burnout, and 18.5% admit to previously suffering burnout. 
  • 41% of doctors however, say they are at high risk of suffering burnout in the near future. 
  • Over 39% of survey respondents admitted to frequently feeling drained, exhausted, overloaded, tired, low and lacking energy.

Future intentions

  • Almost on quarter of respondents were satisfied with their current career.
  • However, 44.8% have considered working less than full-time; 41.8% have considering retiring early and 26.1% have considered working overseas.
  • Over a quarter (25.5%) have considered leaving the profession entirely.
  • As in the last quarter, over 60% of respondents cited working conditions and hours of work as the top two factors that influenced considerations about their career.
  • Over 50% (56.3%) cited changes to the NHS.

Observed NHS changes in the past three months

Morale is slightly lower than last quarter, with 43% of respondents reporting morale as being low or very low; GPs continue to report the lowest morale. 

Junior doctors have reported their workload as being unmanageable or unsustainable - an increase this quarter from 12.5% to 29.6%. The number of GPs making this claim has also increased since last quarter, from 65.2% to 73.5%.

Respondents continue to report seeing high levels of waiting times and breaches of A&E targets at their place of work.

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Morale and workload

Consultants, SAS doctors and GPs' morale is below moderate. The exception is junior doctors which is, at best, moderate. 

GPs continue to report the lowest morale. Additionally, GPs were much more likely than other groups to report their workload as being unmanageable or unsustainable and the percentage has increased since last quarter.

Consistent with all previous editions of the Omnibus tracker survey, this quarter confirms that GPs are most likely to report 'always' working outside their regular hours. 

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Burnout

71% of doctors across the UK are suffering or feel at risk of burnout.

Almost nine in 10 consultants (88%) reported being on an on-call rota, with just under half being called to attend hospital during the week, rising two thirds at weekends. With the average call out time at three hours during the week and doubling to six hours at weekends, not having proper rest time compromises patient safety and puts consultants at risk of fatigue and burnout.

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Future intentions

Almost one quarter of respondents were satisfied with their current career. 

Around half the respondents have made or are in the process of making changes to their work-life balance. 

GPs are most likely to have taken action to change their work-life balance. 

Over 60% of respondents cited work conditions and hours of work as the top two factors that influenced considerations about their career.

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Help us make this survey better

'Where does the BMA get the evidence it needs to challenge the government and campaign for a better NHS? From you, mostly.'

The BMA's Raj Jethwa explains how you can help us make a difference to healthcare in the UK.

Read Raj Jethwa's blog on why you should take part in our surveys

Register today to take part in next quarter's tracker survey

 

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The BMA believes the medical workforce is at the heart of the NHS.

We work continuously to monitor the concerns and opinions of doctors and doctors in training to help inform BMA policy.

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