Community hospitals face staffing crisis over GP pay

Community hospitals could be heading for a GP recruitment and retention crisis if pay levels do not rise, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

The hospitals, of which there are about 400 in England and which are predominately rural based, are staffed by local GPs whose pay does not reflect their workload, or the skills, commitment, responsibility and leadership they bring to the job, the BMA said.

In evidence given to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Pay Review Body, the BMA said this had resulted in “depressingly low morale that in turn is leading to a recruitment and a severe and very urgent retention crisis”.

A survey of 192 GPs working in community hospitals by the BMA found that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) provide 24-hour care for their unit, with the remainder providing 10 to 12-hour day cover.

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