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'Undervalued' GPs fuelling a 'crisis'

From BBC - February 2, 2018

GPs are leaving the profession at an increasing rate because they feel "undervalued", fuelling what the British Medical Association (BMA) has described as a "crisis".

Research by the University of Exeter Medical School has found GPs are "fed up" with "unlimited demands" on them.

Doctors spoke of concerns about the risk of litigation and problems with their own health due to work pressures.

The government says it has committed to an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020.

Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the BMA GPs committee, said: "This is a crisis which we have been pointing out for a number of years."

He said the BMA was regularly contacted by GPs from across the country who are concerned about workload pressures.

"They feel they are not able to provide safe patient care," he added.

The number of full-time equivalent GPs fell by 1,193 in the year up to October 2017, compared to a drop of 97 the year before, according to NHS Digital.

In October 2017, there were 33,302 in England, compared to 34,495 the year before.

'Not valued'

Dr Charlotte Ferriday quit her GP partnership in Devon in 2015. She said the job left her burnt out.

"I woke up one Monday morning and I could not get out of bed," she said. "For six weeks it was difficult to leave the house and it was catastrophic.

"I found it was increasingly difficult to do the job because I did not have the resources and services that supported my patients.

"It felt like we were ignored and GPs were not valued by the government."

'Physically shaking'

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