Neil Reynolds, Director of Research for Doctors.net.uk, said: "This research shows that none of the parties has yet established support from doctors based on their plans for the NHS. Given the prominence of the NHS in the run up to the General Election, this should be of significant concern to the UK electorate."
Furthermore, doctors have significant concerns about the medical workforce, Only 4.3% of UK doctors agreed that the GP workforce is sufficient for the current activities for which it is responsible. Dr James Quekett, a GP and medical adviser to Doctors.net.uk said:
"All the parties are making promises about better access to GPs and emergency care services, but comments by many doctors in the Doctors.net.uk forum show a substantial concern that there are simply not enough GPs and many are planning to leave due to their frustration with the unrealistic expectations set by politicians".
Some 20% of doctors enquired were considering emigrating and practicing overseas and a quarter were planning to decrease their hours in practise. Perceived role changes, increased bureaucracy, longer working hours, less time with patients make working life harder less time for GPs, according to the survey.
Only 32% GPs were not planning to make any changes to their working patterns. This data confirms a recent BMA survey revealing that one third of family doctors are considering retirement and one fifth of trainee GPs are considering emigrating.
The survey also asked physicians about their views on the plan created by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England. The "NHS Five Year Forward View" outlines a shared vision of NHS England and other NHS bodies, of service change and future models of care.
Its recommendations focus on prevention and public health, integrated care, breaking down barriers in the system and giving more control to patients over their care plans.
Most doctors agree with integrated care models and investing in prevention, but are wary of change for the sake of change.
"Doctors when asked about some of the models of care proposed in the Five Year Review were in general quite positive. However, only around 9% had a positive view on the document itself, which reflects a general cynicism about further NHS change rather than the ideas within the document," concluded Dr James Quekett.