A survey has found that two in five GPs in the South West of England are planning to quit, exposing a potential threat for doctors in the NHS.

Survey figures published last month showed that there had been a drop in the number of GPs working, despite the Government’s aim of recruiting 5,000 more by 2020. It also found that seven in ten GPs intended to change working patterns, which would result in them having less contact with patients.

Professor John Campbell, who led the research for the University of Exeter, said “With 30% of GPs being over 50 years old, previous research has found that GP morale is low because of workload pressures and many younger GPs do not want the financial risk and responsibilities of tasking on a practice.”

He also added “If the GP’s we surveyed fulfil their intentions […] the south-west of England will experience a severe shortfall of GP’s in the next five years.”

Many GP’s believe that in order for this issue to be resolved the government needs to work with the Royal College of General Practitioners, The British Medical Association and universities to obtain causes of the problem to develop and implement a more successful strategy.

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