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NHS reforms are among the reasons that more than 50% of GPs are planning to retire over the next two years, a survey has revealed.
The preliminary findings from the British Medical Association (BMA) study were published before the start of the London-based annual GP conference of Local Medical Committees today (9 June 2011).
GPs were questioned about current government health policy alongside their common working practices in the survey.
In April every GP in the UK was sent a copy of the BMA survey, it was revealed.
More than 18,000 GPs responded, a response rate of 39%, making it the most significant survey of GPs in recent years and indicating the strength of feeling among them about the issues in question.
After age, NHS reform was the second most common reason for GPs planning to retire in the next two years – 71% and 56% respectively.
If the results were extrapolated the survey suggests that in the next two years, approximately 6,700 GPs across the UK plan to retire, of whom approximately 3,700 would say that NHS reforms were a factor in their decision.
Approximately 1,345 family doctors plan to leave general practice, not because of age but at least in part because of NHS reforms.
Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA's GPs' Committee, said: "I'm not surprised, for example, to find that two thirds of GPs are worried about how the new consortia will operate when you consider the laissez-faire approach that the government has taken to planning the new arrangements so far."
Copyright Press Association 2011