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Found 65 results
  1. News Article
    MPs have launched an inquiry examining workforce burnout across the NHS and social care, and the system’s ability to manage staff stress amid increased pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The House of Commons health and social care committee said it aims to produce a report showing the levels of staff needed in health and social care to tackle exhaustion and meet future challenges. The committee is calling for evidence on how workforce shortages impacted staff well-being and patient care during the pandemic and the areas that need to see recruitment most urgently. Read full story Source: Pulse, 3 August 2020
  2. Content Article
    Key findings These findings are from a survey to UK doctors which closed on 18 June 2020. Over 45% of hospital doctors and just over half of GPs say they are not very or not at all confident of their ability to manage a second peak of COVID-19. 80% of hospital doctors have seen some increase in the levels of demand with a fifth experiencing levels back a pre-March level. Over a quarter of GPs and 33% of hospital doctors who consider themselves to be suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, emotional distress or another mental health condition, say it is worse during the pandemic than before. 81% of GPs have been asked to carry out new investigations and manage ongoing care that would normally have been done in hospitals.
  3. Content Article
    The full case studies document is free to download. Request a copy by completing the request form, after which you will receive a link to the document on screen and by email.
  4. Content Article
    It has now been over 70 days since lockdown. Yes, the restrictions are easing – and this is great news for people who have been isolated for so long, it is great for the economy – but we are waiting for the second wave. My last blog spoke about how we are going to get back to ‘normal work’ and my anxieties about how we were going to do this. Slowly, we have been trying to get back to some kind of normal, but it feels confusing, slow and uncertain. None of us can see the ‘end’. None of us knows what the ‘end’ will look like, when it will happen or will even know when it happens. Remembering the early days of lockdown, the streets were empty, the roads were quiet, there were huge queues for food, and everyone seemed scared. It was a little like the post-apocalyptic film '28 Days Later'. We have all had our highs and lows: the NHS clap every Thursday, rainbows in windows, connecting with family, being furloughed, has meant some people have enjoyed lockdown. The flip side is that for some it has been a living nightmare: money worries, domestic violence, child abuse, operations cancelled and bereavements. Unlike the film that lasts 113 minutes, has a set plot that it follows and ends up with them being rescued, we are still stuck 70 days plus in and there seems no hope of a rescue. Real life does not offer us closure, does not always have a happy ending and, unlike dramas on the BBC, life is not always fair. I’m not even sure we are in the middle, which makes me feel even more helpless. I have been nursing for over 20 years. I have loved working with patients; I have even loved working in the institution that is the NHS. The politics, the hierarchy, the culture, yes, it's difficult work trying to negotiate around obstacles and blockers, but we do it and, weirdly enough, enjoy it. But this pandemic is different. In all honesty, I can’t do this anymore. Work was hard enough, but now it’s even harder. Knowing how to care for patients safely in the right area, wearing PPE all day, not being able to communicate properly through the masks, and having procedure and policy changing weekly, sometimes daily, is wearing. I feel like a new starter every day, especially after days off. I’m tired of it and can’t see an end. Due to this lack of enthusiasm, I feel I am failing at giving the care I want to, failing to give patients the care they deserve. This feeling is horrible. What kind of a nurse are you if you have ‘run out of care’? I know this is burnout. I didn’t want it to be. But it is. In January, I didn’t feel like this. This burnout has been because of the pandemic. I am interested to find out why now? I can’t be burnt out from a few months of difficult working conditions, can I? While looking into this and trying to make sense of my feeling, I came across Kanter’s Law. Rosabeth Kanter is a Harvard Business School Professor and according to her “in the middle, everything looks like a failure". Everyone feels motivated by the beginnings and obviously we love happy endings, but it is in the middle where the hard work happens. She states that in the middle, we all have doubts. This feeling is principally produced because important changes are not developed the way we would like it to, lineal and smooth. The changes that remain usually involve two steps forward and one step back. This is evident when we are trying to get back to ‘business as usual’ but new cases of the virus are detected and we can’t proceed as we thought. In addition, it’s easy to feel that when we are in the middle we are very far away from the expectations we had made. Unexpected events take place as well as deviations. What it had been estimated in regard to the need of resources appear to not be enough. It is then when despondency appears. We can’t plan, we can’t mitigate risks effectively, which often leads us into failure. This is why it’s important to fully understand that failure is a necessary part of change, because there will be periods of confusion in which the temptation to abandon will be great. I’m at the abandon bit! This work is difficult. I am not in the position where I can make big changes in my Trust. I must trust that others are making good decisions and they will support us if things don’t go as expected. Call to action I can’t be the only person feeling this now. What are Trusts doing to guide staff through uncertainty, prevent burnout and inform staff of plans for the future?
  5. Content Article
    The ME Association has produced a leaflet which includes guidance on the following: what is PVF and PVFS? what are the symptoms of PVF and PVFS? PVFS and possible progression to ME/CFS management of PVF and PVFS convalescence activity management mental wellbeing nutrition sleep work and education finances drug treatments when to check with your GP research into PVF and PVFS further information.
  6. Content Article
    These resources prompts the reader(s) to consider: tips for approaching self-care how to manage personal wellbeing what we can do to improve our workplace when to ask for help. How to use these posters Ideally the posters should not be used in isolation, but alongside other initiatives. You could set up a staff wellbeing board, where all the posters are available together for staff to view, or you could place copies of the posters around the unit in staff areas, where staff can read them freely.
  7. Content Article
    The US observance of ’Groundhog Day‘ is more than just the annual emergence of Punxsutawney Phil – the rodent soothsayer who ceremoniously predicts the timing of the arrival of Spring. It is the name of a popular film that represents how the repetition of unwanted experiences can contribute to scepticism, callousness and burnout for the primary character – weatherman Phil. However, he emerges from the darkness by applying what he learns over time to arrive at a new brighter day. Patient safety leaders are apt to feel like weatherman Phil. Repetitiveness – the feeling that something been done over and over again without change – can decrease engagement but it can also lead to experiential knowledge that can be applied to future efforts. Community engagement is paramount to patient safety success but it can be challenging if people feel like they wake to the same problem every day despite efforts to make a difference. The Boston-based Betsy Lehman Center has developed Including the Patient Voice: A Guide to Engaging the Public in Programmes and Policy Development. The Guide shares a six-element approach to involving members of the public as partners to reduce reoccurrence of poor care. Strategies focus on enabling community members to succeed as partners and contribute as experts to designing health services that are evidence based and accessible to all. This includes leadership-led mini-workshops for staff to inform their engagement programmes and patient correspondence reviews to identify the right consumers to invite as participants. Similarly lessons have been shared by MedStar Health, a large regional healthcare system that sought to engage patients and design strategies that engage patients and families in safety improvement. Organisational structures such as Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFAC) served as the focal point of the shared learning effort. The system developed a network of courses that shared best practices to foster innovation and sustain realised improvements in event reporting, disclosure (the CANDOR Toolkit), after-incident support and sepsis reduction. The tactics used include board and leadership activation activities, a mentorship programme for new community leaders and public awareness campaigns. For example, the system launched a collaborative to share information to improve early detection of sepsis. Patients who had contracted sepsis along with PFAC members and in-house quality experts were brought together to design an educational video to reduce sepsis that highlighted symptom identification and response. The programme contributed to marked sepsis treatment improvement. The City of Philadelphia recently launched a prescription monitoring strategy to curtail the overprescribing of opioids in their region. Because this programme identifies by name the 10% of physician that overprescribe, these individuals can be offered targeted training and, if necessary, legal interventions to address their behaviour. Home-grown programmes can also be proactive to prevent overprescribing. One Boston-based family medicine clinic described their five-year change management effort to reduce opioid overuse. The authors reported their focus on developing “shared general principles”; communication mechanisms to connect clinicians with in-house addiction experts, patient registries, targeted training, certification opportunities and centralised leadership were all instrumental in embedding improved prescribing practices throughout the organisation. Consistent unremitting workload pressure perpetuates stress and fatigue. Its presence degrades staff relations, performance and the safety of care delivery. It’s a common problem that medical residents are burnt out: no news there. What conveys great promise are programmes like what the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Kirkland Washington has done to address burnout by implementing workflow changes and fostering a culture of “collegiality, respect and innovation”. The Center changed workflow by standardising clinical tasks, defining staff roles and carving out protected time for staff to recharge, self-educate and participate in improvement efforts. The Center has enhanced its culture and improved staff morale through leadership efforts to lower hierarchy, welcome and respond to feedback, and address inefficiencies that can discourage staff and derail efforts. Ninety percent of staff at Kirkland reported in a 2018 internal survey feeling content and engaged about their work. Medical residents can also find support through programmes like the ACGME Aware initiative. This set of tools targets strategies that junior doctors can use to build resilience and embrace their professional community through a mobile phone app to find support as they need it. Personal tactics to protect against burnout for more experienced healthcare professionals are also in demand. A news story in Medical Economics highlights what doctors and hospital administrators can do to minimise burnout, such as making time to socialise with peers and using the opportunity to share stories, rethinking their roles to bring joy back to medicine, and to listen. For 2020, Phil has told us that Spring is due to arrive early. Will the application of the successes reviewed in this month’s Letter reduce the recurrence of opioid overprescribing and staff burntout? We need more than a rodent to speculate on that for us. But given efforts by patient safety champions in the US and UK, improvements optimism is in the air.
  8. Content Article
    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.
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