Following the traumatic death of an anaesthetic trainee who was returning home after a night shift, the Fatigue Group supported by the Association of Anaesthetists and RCoA have surveyed UK trainees about shift working and fatigue. With a 60% response rate, the survey highlights a wide variation in access to rest facilities, commuting distances and concerning effects of fatigue on trainees.
Fatigue self-assessment and fatigue risk management are not familiar steps in routine daily practice. This is due in part to a lack of awareness about the causes and effects of fatigue and limited education opportunities. It is also due to working culture where openness about fatigue and tiredness is not encouraged and collective responsibility for staff wellbeing is poorly developed.
Using the results from the survey, the Fatigue Group have developed resources designed to enhance individuals’ knowledge and understanding and to support the culture change required within departments and organisations.
To reduce variation in practice and to better manage expectations, standards have been defined for rest facilities and rest culture at work and individual responsibilities both within and outside of the workplace. These provide a platform to support local audit and quality improvement activity.
This webpage has posters, guidelines and standards for you to download and use in your Trust.