Royal College chair: NHS will fail if GPs carry on crumbling

The warning comes as GPs continue to quit (Picture: PA)

One in four staff at GP surgeries fears their practice will shut down due to stressed doctors quitting, a poll shows.

Unmanageable workloads will drive medics out of the profession, worried workers told the Royal College of GPs.

Nearly 850 doctors have already quit general practice since 2019.

And demand from patients is so high that the remaining GPs are becoming ill themselves, warned royal college chair Prof Kamila Hawthorne.

‘I’ve heard of colleagues of mine becoming so stressed during their days of work that they’re developing chest pain and needing to be seen,’ 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.’

More: News

A previous poll by the college found four in ten GPs were seriously considering leaving the profession in five years. And following the latest findings, it warned: ‘General practice is in crisis. We cannot rely on short-term emergency funding pots.

‘Without a functioning primary care service, the NHS will fail.’

Prof Hawthorne called the situation ‘extremely worrying’, adding: ‘We are seeing more patients than we’ve ever seen. And yet GP numbers are going down and down.’

The Department of Health said there were 400 more GPs than a year ago, more appointments and record numbers of trainees. It added it was working to encourage doctors to return.

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