Service Reconfiguration

05.12.18

Doctors could quit NHS in ‘unprecedented numbers’ as staff pressures puts patient safety at risk

Doctors driven to the “brink of breaking point” and forced into adopting “risky and unsustainable compromises” to maintain care are putting patient safety at risk, the GMC has warned.

The medical regulator found that more than half of UK doctors are considering quitting the NHS or cutting their hours, and warned there was a high risk of doctors leaving “in unprecedented numbers.”

The GMC polled 2,600 doctors and found that 56% were examining other career options, and a quarter had already cut their hours or gone part-time.

The research stated that, as patient numbers continued to rise and staff were forced to make “risky compromises,” ministers were running out of time to act and implement UK-wide workforce planning to fix the fragmented approach to recruitment and retention of doctors.

Doctors told the watchdog that time pressures meant they were increasingly taking short cuts in their jobs, with one in three reporting that they saw clinical protocols bypassed at least every week.

Sir Terence Stephenson, chair of the GMC, said: “Doctors are telling us clearly that the strain that the system is under is having a direct effect on them, and on their plans to continue working in that system.”

The GMC said it was particularly concerned that 21% of 45-54-year-olds and two-thirds of 55-64-year olds intend to take early retirement by 2021, and said the figures come against a backdrop of uncertainty around Brexit, which could hit the 9% of UK licensed doctors who are EEA qualified.

The ‘State of Medical Education and Practice in the UK’ report submitted a number of proposals to help mitigate the building NHS workforce crisis, including legislative change to give more flexibility for those joining the GP and specialist registers.

The GMC recommended building insight into the distribution of doctors through a national database of doctors, their skills and locations, as well as accommodating for the rise in international doctors wishing to sit the tests.

Stephenson added: “We’ve heard from doctors who are referring patients on to other parts of the system because they don’t have the time to deal with their issues, understandably moving the pressure on to other parts of the service.”

“There are different challenges in each of the four countries of the UK, but the NHS is at a critical juncture; without a long-term, UK-wide plan to ensure it has a workforce with the right skills in the right places and without the right support, doctors will come under even greater strain.”

Image credit - sturti

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

15/02/2019‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

NHS targets “have had their day” according to Lord Prior as the head of the health service launches an attack on 25 years of flawed h... more >
Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

15/02/2019Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

A major reorganisation of stroke services across Kent and Medway have been approved following a unanimous decision by the Joint Committee of CCGs... more >
A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

15/02/2019A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

A&E waiting time performances in NHS trusts in England have hit their lowest level since regards began, according to the latest NHS statistic... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated th... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

14/02/2019Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

Ahead EvoNorth we caught up with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership. Dr Tracy Vell MBE shares her thoughts on the Northern Powerhouse, what it means to her and why she thinks it’s important to attend EvoNorth.  What does your role as ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

14/02/2019Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

Sam Ward, director of commissioned services at the Royal Voluntary Service, argues that the right training can help harness the power of voluntee... more >
Leading and managing experts

14/02/2019Leading and managing experts

A coaching conversation is likely to yield the best results. Managing experts in the health industry can be a challenging and varying responsibil... more >
Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

14/02/2019Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

The health impacts of asbestos in the UK can cast a much wider net than those in the construction and building sector. Liz Darlison, head of serv... more >
ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

14/02/2019ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

Peter Brown, acting head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), explains the importance of good practice in data pr... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News