Half of Existing GP Workforce Intends to Retire At Or Before 60

Very disturbing article from Pulse, which surveyed doctors and discovered that half of the existing GP UK workforce intends to retire at 60 or before. As we already have a national shortage of GPs, this is disastrous.  

GPs are unhappy about an overwhelming workload, feeling burnt out, only seeing patients for 10 minutes, changes to their pensions and many more issues about working for the NHS. Some are going into private practice and others take early retirement. It’s a loss of medical skills that as a country we cannot afford to lose. 

Apparently punitive pension taxation rules leave senior doctors having eye-watering and unexpected charges if they stay working longer, according to Dr Samira Anane, GPC workforce policy lead at the BMA (British Medical Association). Financially punishing dedicated GPs for continuing to look after their patients is madness. 

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) says “The number of highly trained experienced GPs planning to leave the profession early is concerning but not altogether unsurprising given the intense workload and workforce pressures GPs are working under on a daily basis.” 

While many junior doctors are successfully encouraged to choose general practice, if many more experienced GPs are leaving the profession there is still a national shortage. Chronic shortages across the NHS are seriously undermining efforts to recover from the pandemic and we still don’t know what winter has in store. 

At MCG Healthcare we’re at the coalface of finding candidates for GP practices and it’s becoming more difficult to fill vacancies. What we urgently need is an immediate government review of surveys like this and for them to make practical changes so that older GPs are encouraged to stay working beyond 60 for as long as they want, even if they choose to work part time. 

About the author
Ash Higgs Managing Director

Ash Higgs is the Managing Director of MCG Healthcare. He has a long-demonstrated history working in recruitment and has now been involved in the medical industry for over 5 years. During this time, he has gained a strong understanding of the issues that both Primary & Secondary Care are facing regarding the recruitment of healthcare professionals.

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