One in four GPs would consider quitting their jobs to work for a health diagnosis app

One in four GPs would consider quitting their jobs to work for a health diagnosis app, new research suggests.

Improved pay is a key driver behind doctors considering working for controversial online private providers such as Babylon Health, a survey found.

Earlier this month, an NHS consultant claimed he tested Babylon by pretending to have a nosebleed with reduced sexual desire. The app concluded he was likely suffering from erectile dysfunction, which he called a ‘risk to patient safety’.

Although Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, from the British Medical Association, claims most doctors prefer face-to-face consultations within the NHS, she adds many medics are increasingly frustrated by ‘unmanageable workloads’ and ‘chronic underfunding’.

Babylon, which offers both a private and an NHS service, reportedly pays its 200 GPs a full-time salary of around £90,000 to work from home or £108,000 if office based.

Although an attractive option for some, other GPs dismiss such services as ‘McDonald’s medicine’. 

One in four GPs would consider quitting their jobs to work for a health diagnosis app (stock)


Three GPs a day are seeking help for ‘meltdowns’ as they struggle to take on the workloads of growing doctor vacancies, research suggested in January 2018.

Some 981 GPs referred themselves to the GP Health Service, which was set up to help doctors suffering from stress or burnout, between the end of November and the service’s launch on January 30 2017.

‘Practice meltdown’ is the most common reason for self-referral, according to the service’s chief executive Lucy Warner.

GPs are making themselves ill by being too eager to take on the workloads of unfilled positions, causing them to buckle under the pressure, General Practitioners Committee chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said, describing the situation as a ‘baptism of fire’.

According to Dr Vautrey, newly-qualified GPs are being put in situations experienced doctors would struggle to cope with.

He added the use of the GP Health Service highlights the need to address workload pressures so doctors can practice safely without putting themselves or their patients at risk.

Ms Warner told GP Online: ‘Ultimately, our advice to doctors would be to look after themselves in order to be able to look after their patients.

‘If doctors cared for themselves and their colleagues and followed the same advice they would give to their patients they would seek help sooner.

‘Doctors make excellent patients and excellent recoveries with the right support.’

Other reasons GPs are seeking help include them receiving official complaints or discovering they have made a mistake as result of their own mental-health problems.

Younger GPs are also requiring assistance as they generally struggle to cope with the workloads and pressures of the job.

App accuracy is ‘shockingly poor’ 

Yet 63.16 per cent of the 760 GPs surveyed by Pulse said they would not consider working for such apps due to them being ‘high risk’ for patient safety and ‘unethical’.  

Part-time GPs are more likely to be tempted, with 39 per cent saying they would consider such a position compared to just 20 per cent of GP partners. 

The remaining medics surveyed were unsure if they would take up such a position. 

Some 1.6 per cent of those questioned already hold part or full-time positions at online private practitioners. 

Speaking of the results, Dr Charlotte Ferriday, a GP in Devon, who would not work for a private online GP service, said: ‘I think the results so far are shockingly poor in terms of the quality of prescribing, follow up and consideration of co-morbidities and it will do nothing to reduce the strain on the NHS.’   

A GP partner in Hampshire called the services ‘McDonald’s medicine for convenience for young people who do not need continuity’.

Yet, Dr Zishan Syed, a GP partner in Maidstone and Local Medical Committees representative for West Kent, said the General Medical Services contract is unfit for purpose, with private solutions allowing doctors greater control of their workloads, as well as been proven to be effective in dentistry.

A Babylon spokesperson claims the company supports doctors to provide high-quality care efficiently in a way that is ‘simply not possible for GPs working in a traditional general practice’.

NHS is ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses as one in 10 quit in a year

This comes after the head of the Royal College of Nursing said the NHS is ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses as 33,000 quit in one year.

One in 10 nurses are leaving their position in England every 12 months, which is enough to staff more than 20 hospitals and means quitters outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, figures revealed last January. 

Nurses leaving the profession are up by 20 per cent since 2012-to-2013, which adds extra pressure to already strained hospitals and requires staff be pulled off special research projects to help out.

Of those quitting, more than half are under 40, with many citing stress and rising workloads for being behind their decisions to leave.

Although the Government is increasing the number of nurse training places by 25 per cent this year, it will be three years before they graduate, with one in nine nursing positions currently being vacant.