A survey of almost two-thirds of Scotland's 3,570 GPs reveals a demoralised profession which believes that bureaucracy and red tape are causing organisational chaos within the NHS.

The survey, by the Scottish GPs' committee of the British Medical Association, shows that more than four out of five think stress has increased, with more than 70 per cent reporting a decline in morale and 60 per cent stating they would opt for early retirement or a change of career.

The report says that GPs want to spend more time with their patients and a 'reduction in the increasing levels of bureaucracy that is tying up doctors' time'.

Three-quarters reported they have no sense of involvement in the changes being made to the NHS. Committee chair Dr Kenneth Harden said: 'The Scottish Executive has had its head in the sand for years while distress in primary care in Scotland has been getting steadily worse. '

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive claimed that GPs would see a difference over the next three years with the additional funding coming through, the changes already being implemented to the NHS and plans to strengthen the primary care team. '