GMC acting chair Professor Dame Carrie MacEwen shares The state of medical education and practice in the UK 2021 findings

We have just published our annual The state of medical education and practice in the UK report. Its findings make plain the things you already know - that workloads are worsening, burnout is up and more doctors are taking hard steps towards leaving the profession.

Across the UK, doctors are making extraordinary efforts to provide first-class care to those who need it. But in the face of ongoing COVID cases, significant care backlogs and continuous high demand, there's a real risk that patient needs are not being met.

Working in this way exacts a physical and mental toll. All of us in the system recognise that the recovery of services cannot come at the expense of the recovery of healthcare workers. Not only because of the damage that it will do to practitioners, but also to the standard of care they're able to deliver.

We are acutely aware of the immense strain everyone in medicine is working under. I want to reiterate, as I said a few weeks ago, that the exceptional circumstances we're living through will always be taken into account should any concerns be raised about any doctor or their practice over this challenging time.

Resources are finite and being stretched further by the day. But, against the odds, we've seen new, innovative ways of working come to the fore, testament to the ingenuity and leadership shown by the profession under difficult circumstances. Building on these benefits and supporting all doctors to thrive will be crucial in the coming months. We're committed to playing our part in that.

To every doctor in every part of the UK, I extend my heartfelt thanks - for your fortitude, your kindness and for going that extra mile.

With my warmest regards,

Professor Dame Carrie MacEwen
Acting Chair of the General Medical Council