Of 368 GPs surveyed by the BMA who qualified in 2006 (from a cohort of 435), 40% said their morale had deteriorated in the last 12 months.
The respondents identified the current NHS structural reforms – claimed by the Government to be ‘empowering’ GPs – as a major reason for this decline in the professional experience of primary care.
However, 92% said that interactions with patients improved their morale – showing that patients being more unwell or more demanding was not a major issue.
The 2012 survey found that 44% of respondents said their stress levels had worsened over 2012, 20% reported ‘unacceptable’ levels of stress at work, and 28% said they did not have time to deliver the care that patients needed.
In addition, more than half (54%) identified understaffing as a major problem in their practices, while more than three quarters (79%) said work-related administration duties negatively affected their time outside work.
The BMA said the survey’s evidence of declining patient access to NHS primary care of adequate quality was “troubling”.