A major survey of doctors has discovered that nearly 50% would be willing to work privately if the situation in general practice fails to improve.
This will be considered extremely worrying by NHS bosses considering the existing crisis in general practice, which is generally considered to be understaffed.
Indeed, the government has already announced plans for 5,000 new GPs to be recruited.
The same survey also found that rank and file doctors were increasingly disillusioned with LMC leaders and the BMA.
Over 60% believe that these organisations are doing a poor job of representing doctors in general.
Numerous doctors commenting on the survey indicated their belief that general practice is in a parlous state at present, and that serious action must be taken in order to address the situation.
Some LMCs are already considering an alternative approach to general practice, which could see GPs ditching their contracts and working privately.
It certainly seems as if a new approach to this critical aspect of the health service must be adopted considering the underlying demographics.
Already general practice is been placed under serious pressure, and this is set to intensify in the coming years owing to the growing population.
According to the survey:
– 45% of 628 GP partners would support giving up their NHS contracts and carry on working privately if the current situation in general practice does not improve;
– only 18% of 1,141 GPs across the UK think that the GPC/BMA is doing a good job representing GPs’ interests, compared with 63% who say they are not.
– other LMCs have told Pulse that they will be looking at the plans themselves due to discontent with the NHS.
A spokesperson for the GPC noted that mechanisms are already being put in place to address the dissatisfaction of doctors working within the NHS system.
“The 2016 LMCs Conference quite rightly expressed anger and asked GPC to ensure the Government accepted the recommendations of our Urgent Prescription, including calls for more funding and an expanded workforce. After pressure from the GPC, this was accepted explicitly by NHS England alongside the commitments in the GP Forward View. The GPC therefore delivered on its mandate, making the call for taking further action not relevant.”
And the spokesperson also outlined the fact that the healthcare authorities have entered into a dialogue with the GPC.
“The BMA is now in direct dialogue with NHS England to ensure delivery of the promises on funding, workforce and workload, and is working in partnership with LMCs to enable local implementation in the quickest possible time frame.”