Doctors in a practice should look after each other, and tailor working arrangements that suit individual needs.
"Doctors who work in a flexible practice where consideration is given to their individual needs appear to fare better than those that have a rigid attitude to patient lists and equitable workload.
"An example of this is the older partner with adult children, who is happy to work early extended hours in the practice but finds that after 4pm his concentration goes, complements the younger doctor with primary school-aged children who needs to do the morning school run, but is happy to work later," says the report, prepared by the NHS England team for the South-West.
Dr Peter Swinyard of the Family Doctor Association agrees. "I don't know any GPs who have the luxury of a lunch break. We are working flat out from around 8am and by the time you get to the afternoon, your concentration lags."
Stopping work at 4pm would be a good strategy for doctors over the age of 55, he says, but admits that "we all age differently."
(Source: Daily Telegraph, March 16, 2015)