Up to HALF of NHS doctors plan to work fewer hours, poll reveals

The NHS faces a mass exodus of doctors after the coronavirus pandemic, a survey warned today.

Half said they plan to work fewer hours, almost one in three said they plan to retire early and a quarter are weighing up taking a career break.

The British Medical Association survey of more than 5,500 medics also found a fifth are considering quitting the NHS entirely to pursue a different career.

Many complained they were not able to take proper breaks at work because they were so busy, either treating Covid patients directly or dealing with the huge waiting lists triggered by the crisis. 

While workload was the biggest reason for wanting to leave, others included long hours, unpleasant working environments and lack of pay.

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The BMA's chairman, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, warned the results were 'deeply worrying' at a time when the NHS needs all hands on deck. 

Hospitals were the busiest they've ever been over winter when the second wave of the pandemic resulted in more than 30,000 Covid patients being hospitalised at once, which led to routine operations being put on hold.

Now that the crisis has all but subsided - with just 1,600 virus inpatients currently - the health service is now tackling record waiting lists.

Up to half of NHS doctors are planning to work fewer hours once the Covid pandemic is over, a poll by the British Medical Association has revealed. (Stock)

Up to half of NHS doctors are planning to work fewer hours once the Covid pandemic is over, a poll by the British Medical Association has revealed. (Stock)

The BMA's survey found 31.9 per cent said they were considering retiring – more than double the 14 per cent who said the same in June 2020.

Another 25 per cent said they are 'more likely' to take a career break, with a further 21 per cent considering leaving the NHS altogether for another career. Half said they were more likely to reduce their hours.

NHS WAITING LIST HITS A RECORD HIGH AT 4.7MILLION 

The number of patients waiting for appointments has hit another record high in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

NHS England statistics showed more than 4.7million patients were waiting for treatment in February, the latest period available.

And there were more than 400,000 people waiting for surgery.

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The proportion of cancer patients who hadn't been treated within the two month target also jumped to a record 30.3 per cent. 

Medics said the numbers laid bare the true toll of the pandemic on hospitals, which were forced to turf out patients with other illnesses during the national lockdowns.

And cancer

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