The majority of family doctors plan on retiring before they reach the age of 60 exacerbating the GP crisis, a survey has found.
Heavy workloads, growing paperwork and staff shortages have been blamed for the rising number of senior doctors leaving the profession early.
The survey of 759 doctors showed 51 per cent of doctors intend to retire before they hit 60, with the average leaving at 59.
It comes after the results of the NHS’s 2018 GP patient survey of more than 760,000 patients in England showed one in four people are now waiting a week or more for an appointment.
Record shortages are leaving patients with ever-longer waiting times, and make it far more difficult to see the same GP each time.
The results revealed that the country’s GPs are struggling to cope with an ageing population, a recruitment crisis and immigration levels.
Today’s poll by GP magazine Pulse showed the crisis looks set to deepen as the number of trainees fails to keep pace with those leaving.
It revealed 38 per cent of GPs are now planning to retire between 56 and 60 while almost one in seven will retire before the age of 56.
Dr Patricia Rowlands, a GP partner in the Greater Manchester area, told the magazine that she will retire this year on her 60th birthday.