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Two thirds of doctors consider quitting NHS, says Wesleyan survey

Two thirds of doctors consider quitting NHS, says Wesleyan survey

Almost two thirds of doctors (62 per cent) have considered leaving or have left the NHS in order to ease the pressure of their job, according to new research by Wesleyan, the financial mutual for doctors.

On 'Black Wednesday', the day when the new intake of junior doctors start their first shift, research reveals that 82 per cent of doctors feel under pressure because of recent changes to their profession, and many have considered quitting the NHS.

Over the past year, nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of doctors said they have worked more than 70 hours in a single week. Four out of five (81 per cent) have worked more than seven days in a row and 84 per cent have worked more than six hours in a shift without taking a break.

The research found that doctors are also making personal sacrifices with half (50 per cent) relocating for their jobs and 78 per cent unable to book a holiday because of work commitments.

Doctors said their biggest professional worries over the next five years is the privatisation of the NHS (49 per cent), staff shortages (30 per cent) and cuts to public health spending (29 per cent).

Vicki Wentworth, Wesleyan's Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, said: "As the new intake of doctors prepare for their first shifts on the wards, their experienced colleagues have told us they are feeling the pressure and re-evaluating their careers.

"Long hours coupled with an increasing workload and uncertainty about the future of the NHS is taking a personal and professional toll - but there's a financial burden too.

"Our research shows doctors are spending, on average, more than �31,000 of their own money on training and development so it's important they seek financial advice from a specialist adviser who can help look after their finances while they look after their patients."

It isn't all bad news for the profession however; despite more than half of doctors (58 per cent) feeling unappreciated by central government, an overwhelming 95 per cent said they feel appreciated by their patients and if given a choice, 90 per cent would choose the same career again (up from 82 per cent in 2016).

Vicki Wentworth added: "It's encouraging for the new intake of doctors and those of us who rely on the NHS to see that so many already in the profession would choose their career again, proving that doctors continue to love what they do, which is looking after their patients."

* This is the fourth year Wesleyan has carried a survey into doctors' opinions on the medical profession.
Research based on a survey of 200 hospital doctors and GPs by Censuswide on behalf of Wesleyan, June 2017.
2016 results from a survey of 203 doctors by Censuswide for Wesleyan, June 2016.

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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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