Almost nine out of 10 (86%) GPs say their morale has decreased over the last 12 months, according to the largest survey of opinion since changes to the GP contract took effect in April 2013.
The BMA survey found GPs need to be freed from increased bureaucracy, box ticking and administration so they can spend more time meeting the needs of their patients. In total, 3,629 GPs completed the survey, just over 10% of all GPs in England.
The key findings included:
- 97% said that bureaucracy and box ticking had increased in the past year while 94% said their workload has increased.
- 82% felt that some of the new targets were actually reducing the number of appointments available to the majority of patients.
- 89% said that more targets will not improve patient care.
- 90% said their practice’s resources are likely to fall in the next year.
- 45% of GPs said they are less engaged with the new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) because of increased workload.
- 86% of GPs reported a reduction in their morale in the past year.
- Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the BMA’s GP committee said:
“The results of this survey demonstrate that an increase in bureaucracy, box ticking and administration has damaged GP services and patient care, mirroring a government funded report into GP’s working lives that made similar findings.”
“Recently introduced targets included encouraging GPs to carry out a large number of lengthy and clinically dubious questionnaires that ask how many hours patients spend on gardening, cooking and DIY. They are also offering appointments to all healthy 35-40 year olds simply to check their blood pressure. GPs are very worried that the time taken for this programme and questionnaires is resulting in fewer appointments for other patients who are in need of care.”