This project is led by the Department of Anaesthesia at Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Northumbria University Newcastle. The aim is to co-design a fatigue risk management strategy at the Trust to help teams effectively manage night shift fatigue.
This project will involve an action research, whole team approach to effective management of fatigue in theatre and labour ward teams during the night shift. The interventions will involve educating night shift workers about the impact of fatigue on work performance, and holding focus groups to explore experiences of fatigue, and suggested ways of mitigating night shift tiredness. Ideas will then be tested out, before the strategy is finalised and implemented.
During the testing, staff will use wearable activity monitors and an app, which will help demonstrate the impact of new processes.
This participatory approach and the interventions should improve team working at night, with breaks and powernaps built into the work schedule. This may improve decision-making, the management of emergencies, patient and staff safety, and staff morale.
This project is currently underway and will be completed in March 2020.