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12th April 2013

Pressure of reform and increased workload making GPs rethink retirement plans

Surveys reveal disquiet among doctors

The current reforms to primary healthcare may have consequences which could create shortages of doctors in some areas. The findings of a number of surveys show that there is a significant amount of disquiet among GPs. This week research findings published by Pulse have revealed that 43% of those surveyed have brought retirement planning forward compared to what they intended 5 years ago.

Little in the way of work could be more pressurised than taking direct responsibility for peoples’ lives; however longer hours, intensity and complexity seem to be creating what amounts to an intolerable situation for many. In January, a survey by six LMCs (Local Medical Committees) in the South-West of 2,700 GPs reported that 84% of respondents said their current practice workload is not sustainable, and 48% said it was ‘dangerously unsustainable’.

A survey by the BMA found 67% of respondents said their practice would struggle to remain viable due to the contract changes and that 48% of GPs said they would be considering alternative options for earning a living or taking some form of retirement.

Conflict of interest and bow wave of privatisation

Responsibility for clinical commissioning and changes to NHS contracts and pensions are key areas of reform that are impacting GPs. There is evidence from an investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that up to one third of GPs that sit on clinical commissioning groups have interests in organisations that provide for-profit healthcare services.

Besides creating a clear conflict of interest, such activity shows that there is a significant potential for a migration of doctors from the NHS to the private sector. If such a phenomena becomes established it could be a bow wave for wholesale privatisation.

QCS compliance management lightens the load for GPs

With all GPs now needing to be registered and inspected by the health and social care sector watchdog, one of the other key changes that have increased workload, complexity and costs is CQC compliance. Although questions of clinical commissioning and early retirement or decisions to focus on the private sector remain complex, meeting CQC compliance is far simpler and need not be a tiresome burden.

QCS compliance management enables GPs practices to take control of their regulatory obligations. The system relieves registered managers and GP leads of one of the main headaches of compliance - researching and writing policies and compliance procedures. QCS compliance management is updated in step with changes to the regulations, so you are always sure it is the latest information.

To find out how QCS compliance management lightens the workload, click here to register for a FREE trial of the system.

Information from a number of source articles was used to create this blog:

GPs bring forward their retirement plans in looming crisis for profession at

‘Half of GPs may quit profession over contract changes, LMCs warn’ at

‘More doctors considering early retirement over workloads and pensions’ at

‘GPs' links to private healthcare firms spark fears of conflict of interest’ at

Topics: GPs

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