Majority of independent practitioners feel increasingly stressed and anxious compared to before the pandemic

Over half (55%) of individuals working in independent practice feel their stress and anxiety levels are now worse compared to before the pandemic, according to a new survey published today by the MDU.

The survey of 261 independent practitioners, conducted by leading medical defence organisation the MDU and Independent Practitioner Today journal, also revealed that 45% of respondents reported feeling stressed and anxious on a weekly basis, with 31% also stating they often go to work when they don’t feel fit or well.

62% also said they took on additional services to support the NHS during the pandemic. Despite these pressures, 52% said they were less likely to retire because of the pandemic.

However, 81% of respondents believe they are making a positive difference to their patients, while 65% and 62% respectively feel supported by colleagues and are able to do their jobs effectively.

Dr Udvitha Nandasoma, MDU head of advisory services, said:

"It is worrying that so many respondents feel stressed or anxious on a weekly basis and nearly a third are going to work when they do not feel fit to do so.

"Consequently, it’s important for independent practitioners to be provided with the necessary support when dealing with the additional pressures. As well as providing a 24-hour adviceline for medico-legal queries, the MDU has a peer support network for its members who are facing medico-legal challenges, such as complaints, inquests, GMC investigations and claims. This enables them to speak with a fellow member who has ‘been in their shoes’ and who can offer both practical and emotional support and guidance."

The MDU and Independent Practitioner Today surveyed 261 independent practitioners in July 2022.

This page was correct at publication on 08/09/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.