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Eight in 10 doctors under increased pressure

Eight in 10 doctors under increased pressure

Recent changes to the medical profession have put additional pressure on the sector, causing almost one in ten (9%) doctors to consider leaving their jobs for another career, according to new research by Wesleyan, the specialist financial services provider for doctors.

On 'Black Wednesday', the day when the next round of junior doctors start their first day on the job, research reveals the vast majority of doctors (78%) say they are feeling pressured, although this is down from 95% in 2015.

For some, leaving the profession entirely is the only way to ease the pressure, with the research revealing that almost one in ten (9%) doctors do not plan to stay in medicine until they retire. A further quarter (27%) say they plan to retire early. Experts have already warned soaring numbers of GPs are retiring in their 50s because pension changes have made it unprofitable for them to carry on working.

Working abroad is also a temptation as more than half (57%) of doctors admitted they have considered leaving, or in some cases already left, the UK to ease the pressure of work. The same number have considered leaving, or have already left, the NHS entirely to work in private healthcare. Meanwhile, 63% have considered or started locum work to ease some of the pressures on their current job.

More than three quarters of doctors (78%) are worried about the future of the profession, with concerns that future generations will be put off starting a career in medicine due to reduced financial incentives and the increasing cost of education.

When asked about their biggest concerns for the profession over the next five years, half (50%) said it was the privatisation of the NHS - up from a third (34%) last year.

Changes to the NHS pension scheme remain a concern for both GPs and hospital doctors, with 37% of them citing it as a worry, similar levels to 2015, and the seven-day-a-week service was a worry for one in three (32%). The second largest issue for GPs this year is lack of investment in GP practices, with almost half of GPs (45%) singling it out as an issue.

50% of doctors say that privatisation of NHS services is one of their biggest concerns over the next 5 years

Prof Parveen Kumar, a former president of the BMA who sits on Wesleyan's Members Advisory Board, said: "Our profession is under pressure. Make no mistake, this year has been tough for many doctors, and the research demonstrates the impact this has had on the longevity of a career in this profession.

"As we see a new line of doctors start work this week it's important to recognise the concerns of those who have been practising medicine for years - some of which can be eased with additional support."

Vicki Wentworth, Wesleyan's Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, added: "This is the third year we have run this survey and found that the majority of the profession is under pressure.

"Above all else, giving the best possible care to patients is every doctor's priority, but increasingly there are pressures outside of work hours that can add to day-to-day stresses.

"Speaking to experts to help provide support for financial queries or other concerns could help alleviate some external pressure and allow doctors to concentrate on caring for their patients."

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'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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