A quarter of trainee GPs are intending to shun a full-time job in the NHS by becoming locums, research has found.
Many have been put off taking permanent posts by the long hours and intense workload and will instead seek the flexibility of working as stand-in doctors.
The study by Warwick University found that only two-thirds planned to work as GPs six months after they finished training. The remainder were intending to take a career break, move abroad or quit working for the NHS altogether.
A quarter of trainee GPs are intending to shun a full-time job in the NHS by becoming locums, research bY Warwick University has found
The research questioned 178 doctors in the West Midlands who were nearing the end of their three-year GP vocational training and found that 23 per cent were intending to be locums. Such GPs are self-employed and often earn more money per hour than their permanent colleagues.
But there is some evidence they are less safe than other doctors as they do not know the patients sitting in front of them.
Each GP costs the taxpayer about £500,000 to train, including tuition fees and living expenses. The training usually lasts ten years, covering five years of medical school, two years on wards and three years of specialist learning.
GP surgeries are already in the grip of a severe recruitment crisis and the findings