GPs ‘in crisis’ as one in four fear surgery is in danger of closing

Posted: March 13th 2023


This article takes on the theme of the challenges facing GPs across the piece but particularly strongly in our experience in rural settings. It tells us:

GPs are facing “insurmountable pressures”, experts have said as they warned that the NHS “will not survive” without general practice.

A new report into GP pressures suggests one in four staff fear their practice is in danger of closing because of unmanageable workloads and rising demand.

The document, from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), says general practice is “in crisis”, and makes a series of calls to help ease pressures and stop the growing number of GPs from quitting.

Speaking to PA, RCGP chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne said the situation on the ground is so intense that GPs themselves are requiring care for stress.

“I’ve certainly heard of colleagues of mine becoming so stressed during their days of work that they’re developing chest pain and needing to be seen themselves,” she said.

“If you’re seeing 40 to 60 patients a day and making that number of clinical decisions, it is extremely stressful and worrying because each one of those clinical decisions is important.”

A previous RCGP poll of GPs found that 39% were seriously considering leaving the profession within the next five years. This could mean more than 22,000 GPs leaving the workforce, the college has previously estimated.

In the latest poll, 27% of 2,649 UK general practice staff surveyed by the RCGP between December and January said their practice was at risk of closing.

Nine in 10 of this group said the reasons were unmanageable workload and rising demand, while others expressed concerns about staff leaving the sector.