Polling by the Royal College of General Practice (RCGP) as part of a campaign to make NHS GP services sustainable for the future found that 42% of 1,262 GPs and trainees who took part said they were likely to quit the profession in the next five years.
A workforce exodus on this scale would strip the health service of nearly 19,000 of the roughly 45,000 headcount GPs and GP trainees currently working in general practice.
RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall warned that general practice was a profession in crisis - with the intensity and complexity of GP workload rising as the workforce continued to shrink.
He warned that 'alarming' findings from the RCGP poll must serve as a stark warning to politicians and NHS leaders over the urgent need for solutions to begin to tackle the crisis facing general practice.
Four in five respondents told the RCGP they expect working in general practice to get worse over the next few years - while only 6% expected things to improve.
Nearly two in five respondents said GP practice premises are not fit for purpose, and one in three said IT for booking systems is not good enough.
Professor Marshall said: 'What our members are telling us about working on the frontline of general practice is alarming. General practice is significantly understaffed, underfunded, and overworked and this is impacting on the care and services we’re able to deliver to patients.
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Source: GP, 22 June 2022