Blackburn GP, Dr. Neil Smith, features in a regional recruitment drive to encourage more junior doctors to become GPs locally.
The recruitment drive is one of the ways that the NHS is working hard to bring more GPs into the North West to improve GP access. Health Education North West has recently filmed Dr. Smith not only at work but also winning the senior veteran’s race in the NHS triathlon. The aim is to use the footage and his career to act as a positive role model for future generations of GPs.
A report by Manchester Medical School has highlighted the crisis in GP retention and recruitment. It found that two out of five, current GPs intend to quit in the next five years. The main reason for this is due to an increase in workload and work related stress. Many GPs described increasing demand from patients and having too little time to do justice to the jobs.
Dr. Smith said: “I know these are challenging times for GPs but I have always felt privileged to do my job and be part of this wonderful community. I hope I can encourage more doctors to commit to being our local GPs in the future.
“The North West is a great place to live with warm people, excellent schools, affordable housing and beautiful countryside. It is important to find a good work-life balance.
“I am particularly interested in the positive health effects of exercising both for health professionals and patients. Being a GP can be the best job in the world.”
GP leaders called the findings ‘incredibly worrying’, and warned that general practice was struggling under intense pressure.
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard Chair of the Royal College of GP said:
“Pressures in general practice have reached an all-time high. Our workload has escalated by at least 16% over the last seven years, but the share of the NHS budget general practice receives is less than it was a decade ago. GP numbers are actually falling, and many hard-working GPs are simply burnt-out and exhausted.”