The government is set to press ahead with plans for a 7 day working week for the NHS – on the surface this makes sense; diseases don’t respect weekday working hours. However, in an environment where doctors are already feeling stressed and burned out, what impact will this have on them?
If you couple this new plan with £22bn of efficiency savings planned by 2020, the BMJ rightly points out in it’s article that you are on a collision course for staff burnout.
Dissatisfaction with the NHS is rising – more and more doctors are feeling trapped and looking for a way to jump ship; whether this is changing career or going overseas in search of a better quality of life. We also need to factor in those that are suffering from depression. The NHS Practitioner Health Programme states that:
when compared to the general population and other professional groups, doctors have higher rates of mental illness. In the UK between 10 and 20% of doctors become depressed at some point in their career. This figure is likely to be an under-representation
The NHS, like any other employer needs to help their employees to feel valued and appreciated – this means showing concern and initiating programs that cater to their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Without this reconnection, the loss of talent from the NHS is only likely to accelerate.
After all, don’t we all deserve to feel happy and be valued?