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  1. ITV Report

Why a record number of West GPs are leaving

Researchers found patient pressure and a 'tick box and blame culture have built up. Photo: ITV West Country

Researchers from the universities of Bath and Bristol are warning extreme workloads are leading to a GP crisis - where nearly 1/2 of those leaving the profession are under the age of 50.

In their study, commissioned by NHS England, the authors found patient pressure, as well as a 'tick box and blame culture', have built up, to a point where many GPs choose to finish their career early.

Credit: ITV West Country

GPs now carry out 40 million more consultations a year compared to 8 years go. But does this mean the profession itself needs a health check?

The study found 79% of doctors surveyed say unhappiness with life as a GP is a significant factor in their decision to leave. Credit: ITV West Country

Dr Chris Salisbury is a GP from Bristol who now divides his time between general practise and academia.

He says many aspects of the job are the same now as they were when he qualified 30 years ago - but the demands have changed dramatically.

On top of GPs leaving, each year there's a shortage of more than 500 people applying to become general practitioners, with the piles of paperwork and diminishing patient contact putting doctors off from the start.

Watch the full report from our Health Correspondent, Katie Rowlett: