Feeling Burnt Out? You’re Not Alone

Feeling ‘burnt out’ is a growing sentiment among GPs, who are dealing with stress and anxiety caused by the pressures of the role. More than 100 GPs were referred to the GP Health Service last month alone, seeking treatment for feeling burnt out, anxiety and addiction problems. There are now 1,363 GPs currently registered with the service, so if you feel like you’re burnt out or suffering mental health issues as a result of the profession, you’re not alone.

Why are more GPs feeling burnt out?

Since the beginning of the financial year in April, the GP Health Service has seen over 500 new registrations. GPs are being treated for a range of conditions, from feeling burnt out to mental health issues, as well as the concerning level of addiction issues facing doctors. It’s difficult to know whether the rise is because of the increased pressures faced by GPs, or if a greater awareness of the service is behind the growing numbers.

A conference held last month featured more than 400 people singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, reinforcing the message that GPs facing problems are not alone – there is help available.

The GP Health Service was established to help GPs who are facing mental health concerns and other issues. It provides support to doctors with conditions that are not only caused by their roles, but that affect their capabilities too. It’s a service to support GPs who are struggling, but should not be used for emergency health issues.

GPs ‘more vulnerable to burn out than other doctors’

It was recently revealed that GPs are more vulnerable to burn out than other doctors, attributed to the growing pressure placed on primary care and the demands they face which are the result of financial and staffing constraints.

The rising number of GPs seeking help for mental health, stress and other issues could be a reflection on the growing number of doctors who are feeling burnt out. As a result, many are are turning to part-time or locum work in order to create a better work/life balance.

Switching to out of hours could be a solution to GPs who are feeling burnt out

GPs concerned about feeling burnt out should consider out of hours work as a way of experiencing a change of pace and a different side to general practice. As more and more trainee doctors say they’re not going to be working full-time once training is over, out of hours could be a solution that eases the pressure, while still providing efficient services to patients.

The working patterns associated with out of hours working can be more attractive to some GPs, allowing them to spend more time during the day with family. There also tends to be less paperwork. The nature of out of hours work is different to that of the average GP, and involves dealing with more urgent and triage cases rather than ongoing patient care. Working out of hours can be less stressful and is also a great option for doctors who have been in the profession a while and are seeking change.

Out of hours services are important to patients seeking medical advice and treatment during the evenings and weekends, providing more flexible options for patient care. Take a look at our current out of hours vacancies in East Berkshire to find out more about making the switch to out of hours.