Simple changes could help prevent junior doctor burnout
07 November 2017
A set of simple, but high impact actions have been developed to improve the working environment for junior doctors, which could reduce burnout.
The actions, which reflect concerns that junior doctors have raised through their royal colleges and in reports from Health Education England, the General Medical Council and British Medical Association, includes eight practical and straightforward actions that we believe all trusts should be working towards, including:
- Tackling work pressures
- Promoting rest breaks and safe travel home
- Improved access to food and drink 24/7
- Better engagement between trainees and the board
- Clearer communication between trainees and managers
- Rotas that promote work-life balance
- Rewarding excellence
- Wellbeing, support and mentoring
These actions are the result of work with a range of trusts, NHS Providers and the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.
The documents builds on solutions that trusts have developed and offers a concise framework that senior leadership teams and junior doctors can work together to implement.
This work was led by Sumeet Hindocha, a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow at NHS Improvement.
The executive medical director for NHS Improvement, Dr Kathy McLean, said:
Junior doctors are part of the backbone of our NHS, now and for the future.
“Junior doctors are part of the backbone of our NHS, now and for the future, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for the hard work they do, day-in-day out.
“These eight practical actions, developed by junior doctors, will help ensure they have the support they need to continue providing high quality care.
“We all need to do our part to make sure junior doctors get adequate breaks, and can have a better work-life balance, as well as proper time for training. In addition we also need to give our junior doctors more opportunity to improve the NHS, by better engaging with their boards and leadership."
The chair of NHS Providers, Dame Gill Morgan said:
There remains much to do to show them that the NHS is a great place to work and that their contribution is valued.
“It’s encouraging that there is now a national focus on improving the working lives of doctors as they train. There remains much to do to show them that the NHS is a great place to work and that their contribution is valued. Tackling this needs effort from Trusts, senior doctors and central organisations.
“These eight high impact actions are a blueprint to help trusts improve working lives, and thus improve the quality of care for patients. Many are also important for other staff groups. All are practical and have been tested at frontline organisations. They have been developed in partnership and much of the work has been driven by doctors themselves.”