The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has backed calls for immediate action to be taken to support dissatisfied and burned-out doctors, following the publication of a report from the General Medical Council (GMC).
The state of medical education and practice report found more doctors than ever are thinking of leaving the workforce and have taken hard steps to do so. In addition, nearly three quarters of doctors (70%) reported working beyond their rostered hours on a weekly basis and just half said they were satisfied in their work, down from 70% in 2021.
The findings were particularly stark for GPs with over half (55%) struggling with their workload. Worryingly, 45% of GPs had experienced compromised patient safety or care and 62% found it difficult to provide sufficient patient care each week.
Dr Caroline Fryar, MDU director of medical services said:
"The NHS is facing enormous challenges including the increasing complex care demands of an ageing population and growing waiting lists for treatment post-pandemic. It can only overcome these with a properly resourced workforce that is well supported. The GMC's latest report shows that this is far from the case. This is extremely concerning from the perspective of staff and patient safety.
"We hope this report is a wakeup call to employers, the government and regulators. We know from our own survey that wellbeing among doctors is very low and that our members are really struggling. We need the actions identified in the report, such as flexible rotas, providing rest and refreshment facilities and addressing the pressures in primary care, to be taken without delay.
"We agree with the GMC that better inductions for staff need to be a priority. This is particularly important with nearly half (47%) of junior doctors joining the NHS being non-UK nationals. Doctors need a thorough onboarding process when starting a new role, so they properly understand the specific systems they are working in."
This page was correct at publication on 23/06/2023. 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.