The number of GPs quitting their roles on clinical commissioning group boards has taken a sharp upward turn, an investigation by GP Magazine has revealed.

Fifty-one GPs left board positions at 186 CCGs across the country during the six-month period from April to August this year, compared to a total of 68 resignations in the whole 2012/13 financial year.

Surrey and Sussex LMC’s Jerry Luke, who resigned as clinical director of Crawley CCG in May, told the publication that his move was driven by increased bureaucracy, rationing and burgeoning practice workload.

"The primary duty is to come in financial balance and GPs are faced with a stark choice, either you cut services or break your terms of service,’ he said.

Fears over an uncertain future - particularly with the looming general election in 2015 - could also be playing a factor in some of the decisions to jump ship. 

According to Luke, "when CCGs are replaced by the next big idea the GPs will be without a job and there is no redundancy package for them".

However, commenting on the figures, an NHS England spokesperson reportedly told GP that it is normal for some turnover in developing organisations, and it was noted that the figures also include retirements and relocations.

Nevertheless, the data it obtained from freedom of information requests showed that only six GP resignations were recorded for 2010/11 and 35 the year after, showing that the number exiting their leadership commissioning roles is definitely on the rise.