A city GP has warned of a looming health “crisis” amid claims that heavy workloads and plummeting morale were forcing doctors to quit.
Dr Bob Morley spoke after new research from the British Medical Association suggested work pressures had caused more than half of GPs to consider retiring early.
The BMA representative, who is also executive secretary of the Birmingham Local Medical Committee, said its work advising GPs with stress had tripled in the last two years.
“I am helping more GPs than ever before with stress-related issues,” Dr Morley said.
“I have witnessed cases where the increasing pressure, workload and demand on general practice have left GPs suffering with both physical and mental health issues.
“In Birmingham, it is particularly worrying that the number of GP partners in their fifties, either seeking early retirement or reducing their working hours, has increased significantly.
“Now both younger and older doctors are looking to get out, with many doctors in their thirties and forties choosing to work abroad.
“GPs are facing an unprecedented combination of rising patient demand and declining resources.
“We want to provide the best possible care for our patients but, for us to do so, politicians must acknowledge our hard work and work with us to find practical solutions to a workload crisis.”
Dr Morley, who is currently a locum, said GPs now typically worked up to 14 hours a day. He said: “If this situation continues and general practice loses even more experienced and dedicated doctors, it will lead to a serious workforce crisis where we don’t have enough GPs to treat our patients.”
The BMA found 54 per cent of GPs believed their current workload was “unsustainable”.