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Worrying stress levels affecting GPs and their staff

By Rob Muddiman on 18 Aug 2016

Over a 1000 GPs, Practice Managers, Practice Nurses and other primary care staff have taken a survey by Mind, which revealed that almost nine out of ten (88%) respondents find their work life stressful. One in five (21%) said it has resulted in the development of a mental health problem, while one in six (17%) said it has led them to take medication for a mental health problem. Almost one in ten (8%) said work stress has led to suicidal thoughts. The poll also revealed that work is currently the most stressful area of their lives ahead of ahead of their finances, health, family life and relationships.

The psychological impact of workplace stress is also taking its toll on workers; two in five (43%) have resigned or are considering resigning from their roles. The survey also revealed the physical effects of work stress; eight in 10 (83%) saying it affects their sleep and one in six (17%) calling in sick to avoid work.
The survey also pointed out that respondents feel there is a lack of support at work, and individuals feel apprehensive about discussing their feelings about stress levels with colleagues. One in three thought disclosing this would lead to being perceived as unable to cope with work compared to others, and could possibly affect them when being considered for promotion.

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the RCGP, said: “The current state of general practice is pushing GPs to their limit, and these results show it is having a serious impact on their physical and mental health. It goes without saying that a service that relies on sick and fatigued GPs is not good for patient safety.
“NHS England’s GP Forward View is a lifeline for general practice, and the pledges - including £16m to support GPs suffering from burnout and stress - will go a long way to alleviating the current pressures facing GPs, and in turn improve patient care.

“General practice is a fantastic and rewarding career, and we look to the Government to implement the pledges made in the GP Forward View as a matter of urgency, so that we can keep our profession strong, now and in the future, for the benefit of the wider NHS and our patients.”

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Source: Mind