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Stress spurs GP resignations, finds report

Psychological support

Workplace stress is leading significant numbers of healthcare staff in general practice to quit or consider resigning from their posts, a survey has found.

A poll of GPs, along with practice nurses and managers, found that 88 per cent reported having a stressful work life, with 43 per cent admitting they had resigned or thought of resigning as a result.

The figure was even more pronounced among doctors, with 50 per cent of GPs responding to the survey saying that stress was the main factor driving them towards leaving their posts.

The findings, which come from a survey of 1,004 NHS primary care staff, including 111 GPs, by the mental health charity MIND, highlights the extent to which work-related stress is affecting those working in general practice.

 

Suspicions confirmed

BMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul said the poll findings confirmed the association’s concerns with stress levels among frontline staff in general practice.

He said: ‘This poll reinforces the BMA findings that GPs and their staff are under unsustainable pressure because they are having to work long, intense hours on dwindling resources against a backdrop of rocketing patient demand.’

MIND’s survey, which was conducted over a two-week period in June by Dods Research, also uncovered the extent to which stress had affected staff’s mental and physical health.

Twenty-one per cent of those polled said stress had led them to develop a mental health problem, while 17 per cent have taken prescription medication as a result.

Alarmingly, the survey found that many individuals experiencing stress felt unable to seek support, with 31 per cent fearing that reporting stress would result in them being seen as ‘less capable’ than other colleagues.

Find out more about the survey

Find out how the BMA is helping doctors with well-being

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