Responding to the GMC’s ‘State of medical education and practice 2019’ report, which shows an increasing number of doctors moving away from traditional career paths amid high levels of burnout, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said:

“Crucially, as this report notes, exhausted and burnt out doctors, overwhelmed by demand, are struggling to provide the level of care that patients deserve. This is affecting quality and safety of the care that’s being delivered. It’s clear that the impact of the state of the NHS is being felt across the whole profession – from juniors beginning their careers, to experienced hospital doctors and GPs.

“When we already have 10,000 medical vacancies in the NHS, the Government and employers need to do more to retain the existing workforce. This means recognising the flexible working patterns that doctors are increasingly opting for, and as the BMA has consistently called for, a learning rather than a blame culture in the health service.

“As the trade union for doctors and medical students, the BMA is central to this process, and in the last year we have made significant progress towards improving the working lives of doctors. We have guaranteed extra funding for hospitals to improve rest facilities for junior doctors, removed the significant cost of clinical negligence indemnity for GPs in England and Wales, and secured a government commitment to review perverse pension tax legislation.

“But there is much more to do. The new government must prioritise our valuable NHS workforce, giving it the resources it needs, legislating for safe staffing levels and scrap the damaging pension tax rules that mean doctors are too often penalised for going to work.”