Stressed doc­tors pushed to edge

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

A “wor­ry­ing” num­ber of GPs are so stressed they feel they can­not cope, a new sur­vey has found.

The Com­Res sur­vey of 208 Scot­tish GPs com­mis­sioned by the Royal Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers (RCGP) Scotland found 22% said they strug­gled to cope due to stress at least once a week.

One in 10 said they felt like that ei­ther ev­ery day or most days.

The sur­vey was car­ried out on­line be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber last year, but the find­ings have been re­leased to co­in­cide with Men­tal Health Awareness Week.

RCGP Scotland said GP shortages and ris­ing de­mand had left fam­ily doc­tors hav­ing to work harder and for longer hours.

The body has said

“Work­ing 12 to 13-hour days with­out tak­ing time for breaks”

Scotland needs 856 ex­tra full-time GPs by 2021.

Chair­man Dr Carey Lu­nan said: “These find­ings are very wor­ry­ing.

“The GP short­age has been putting GPs un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure to pro­vide a safe and sus­tain­able 24-hour ser­vice to en­sure that all pa­tients re­ceive care as and when they need it.

“GPs work­ing in day­time ser­vices have told me that they are now rou­tinely work­ing 12 to 13-hour days with­out tak­ing time for breaks.

“That can only have neg­a­tive knock-on ef­fects for how able GPs are to pro­vide for the health of our pa­tients.”

She added: “How­ever, for GPs to con­tinue pro­vid­ing high-qual­ity care, we need to en­sure that they are also able to look af­ter their own well­be­ing.”

RCGP Scotland hopes by speak­ing out about their own health, GPs will en­cour­age oth­ers to do the same.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has launched a fur­ther in­depth sur­vey to ex­plore how work­load is af­fect­ing GPs across the coun­try.

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