More than 40 per cent of respondents said morale was low or very low, with legal pressures among the factors blamed.

Seventy per cent of respondents were concerned or very concerned about litigation and 28 per cent were involved in litigation - mostly about allegedly missed cancers.

Ninety-four per cent reported a severe or very severe increase in work and 83 per cent were concerned that this could affect standards.

Fifty per cent said they had insufficient funds to meet all current standards.