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Found 158 results
  1. Community Post
    *Trigger warning. This post includes personal gynaecological experiences of a traumatic nature. What is your experience of having a hysteroscopy? We would like to hear - good or bad so that we can help campaign for safer, harm free care. You can read Patient Safety Learning's blog about improving hysteroscopy safety here. You'll need to be a hub member to comment below, it's quick and easy to do. You can sign up here.
  2. Content Article
    The healthcare workplace is a high-stress environment. All stakeholders, including patients and providers, display evidence of that stress. High stress has several effects. Even acutely, stress can negatively affect cognitive function, worsening diagnostic acumen, decision-making, and problem-solving. It decreases helpfulness. As stress increases, it can progress to burnout and more severe mental health consequences, including depression and suicide. One of the consequences (and causes) of stress is incivility. Both patients and staff can manifest these unkind behaviours, which in turn have been shown to cause medical errors. The human cost of errors is enormous, reflected in thousands of lives impacted every year. The economic cost is also enormous, costing at least several billion dollars annually. The warrant for promoting kindness, therefore, is enormous. Kindness creates positive interpersonal connections, which, in turn, buffers stress and fosters resilience. Kindness, therefore, is not just a nice thing to do: it is critically important in the workplace. Ways to promote kindness, including leadership modelling positive behaviours as well as the deterrence of negative behaviours, are essential. A new approach using kindness media is described. It uplifts patients and staff, decreases irritation and stress, and increases happiness, calmness, and feeling connected to others.
  3. News Article
    A trust chief executive has warned of a ‘really significant increase’ in patient anxiety and frustration created by the ongoing doctors’ strikes. Lance McCarthy, the chief executive officer of Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust, made the comments during the most recent four-day junior doctors’ strike, which also coincided with two days of consultant strike action. The trust leader told Hertfordshire and West Essex integrated care board on Friday: “We shouldn’t underestimate the impact industrial action is having.” Mr McCarthy said this impact was not just confined to strike days but also affected the run-up and aftermath of each bout of industrial action. He said every series of strike days caused service disruption for at least another 72 hours. He said: “We are seeing increasing frustration [from] our colleagues around it, because we are constantly duplicating work, cancelling patients, rebooking the same patients, etc. “We are [also] quite understandably starting to see in the last two months a really significant increase in anxiety and concern and frustration from our patients, who took it quite well the first couple of rounds but are understandably really frustrated. It is having a really significant impact.” In a further statement to HSJ, Mr McCarthy reiterated comments that trust staff had noticed an increase in anxiety, concern and frustration among both patients and colleagues in recent months. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 25 September 2023
  4. News Article
    There has been a rise in the number of young adults in England who report feelings of severe distress, according to a new survey. The study found one in five 18 to 24-year-olds said they experienced severe distress at the end of 2022, compared to around one in seven in 2021. The research suggested reports of severe distress rose across all age groups, except for those over 65. Experts have pointed to the pandemic, cost of living and healthcare crisis. Researchers used a point-based score during telephone interviews to assess severe distress for the survey. People had not necessarily sought clinical help or a diagnosis at this point. The research team, including academics from King's College London and University College London (UCL), say the rise in reports needs to be urgently addressed. Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 July 2023
  5. Content Article
    A study from Jackson et al. looked at how the prevalence of psychological distress in the adult population of England has changed since 2020. The study found that the proportion reporting any psychological distress was similar in December 2022 to that in April 2020 (an extremely difficult and uncertain moment of the COVID-19 pandemic), but the proportion reporting severe distress was 46% higher. These findings provide evidence of a growing mental health crisis in England and underscore an urgent need to address its cause and to adequately fund mental health services.
  6. News Article
    Nearly 170,000 workers left their jobs in the NHS in England last year, in a record exodus of staff struggling to cope with some of the worst pressures ever seen in the country’s health system, the Observer can reveal. More than 41,000 nurses were among those who left their jobs in NHS hospitals and community health services, with the highest leaving rate for at least a decade. The number of staff leaving overall rose by more than a quarter in 2022, compared to 2019. The figures in NHS workforce statistics of those leaving active service since 2010 analysed by the Observer show the scale of the challenge facing prime minister Rishi Sunak. He launched a new workforce plan on Friday to train and keep more staff. Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “Staff did brilliant work during the pandemic, but there has been no respite. The data on people leaving is worrying and we need to see it reversed. “We need to focus on staff wellbeing and continued professional development, showing the employers really do care about their frontline teams.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 1 July 2023
  7. Content Article
    This is the 15th annual clinical radiology census report by The Royal College of Radiologists. The census received a 100% response rate, meaning this report presents a comprehensive picture of the clinical radiology workforce in the UK as it stood in October 2022. Key findings The workforce is not keeping pace with demand for services. In 2022, the clinical radiology workforce grew by just 3%. In comparison, demand for diagnostic activity is rising by over 5% annually, and by around 4% for interventional radiology services.  The UK now has a 29% shortfall of clinical radiologists, which will rise to 40% in five years without action. By 2027, an additional 3,365 clinical radiologists will be needed to keep up with demand for services.   This will have an inevitable impact on the quality-of-care consultants are able to provide. Only 24% of clinical directors believe they had sufficient radiologists to deliver safe and effective patient care.   Interventional radiologists are still limited with the care they can provide. Nearly half (48%) of trusts and health boards have inadequate IR services, and only 1/3 (34%) of clinical directors felt they had enough interventional radiologists to deliver safe and effective patient care.   Stress and burnout are increasingly common among healthcare professionals, risking an exodus of experienced staff. 100% of clinical directors (CDs) are concerned about staff morale and burnout in their department. 76% of consultants (WTE) who left in 2022 were under 60.  We are seeing increasing trends that the workforce is simply not able to manage the increase in demand for services. 99% of departments were unable to manage their reporting demand without incurring additional costs.   Across the UK, health systems spent £223 million on managing excess reporting demand in 2022, equivalent to 2,309 full-time consultant positions.
  8. Content Article
    The tragic and preventable death of Ruth Perry, headteacher at a school downgraded by an Ofsted inspection, has sparked calls for a review of regulatory oversight. While safety and quality must be assured, it’s crucial to consider the impact of regulatory inspections on the well-being of passionate workforces facing complex and challenging environments. In this blog, healthcare entrepreneur Vanessa Webb makes the case that as a potential cause of harm to staff, regulatory inspections in public services including healthcare should be subject to Health and Safety Risk Assessments. There should be a systematic process to identify hazards, evaluate the likelihood and severity of harm, and determine appropriate controls to prevent or mitigate those risks.
  9. News Article
    Work pressures are driving thousands of nurses and midwives a year away from the profession, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) says. The NMC said retention was becoming a major concern despite an overall growth in the register. Its annual report found 27,000 professionals had left the register in the UK in the year to the end of March. While retirement appeared to be the most common reason for leaving, health and exhaustion were cited as the next. NMC Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: "There are clear warnings workforce pressures are driving people away. "Many are leaving earlier than planned, because of burnout and exhaustion, lack of support from colleagues, concerns about quality of care and workload and staffing levels." Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 May 2023
  10. Content Article
    Work stress is one of the leading causes of physical and mental problems among nurses and can affect patient safety. Nurses experiencing stress are more prone to make errors, which has consequences for the safety culture. This study, published in BMC Nursing, aimed to describe the findings of studies that examined the relationship between job stress and patient safety culture among nurses.
  11. Content Article
    This article for Forbes looks at new data suggesting that for almost 70% of people, their manager has more impact on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor—and it’s equal to the impact of their partner. It outlines leadership approaches to improve employees' mental health, including self-management, impact recognition, fostering connection, offering choice and providing challenge.
  12. Content Article
    The occupational therapy (OT) workforce is under huge pressure. Increased demand coupled with workforce shortages is challenging OTs’ capacity to provide essential support to people whose lives are impacted by long term health conditions and disability. In November 2022, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists surveyed OT practitioners across the UK about the workplace issues they’re facing now, and how these affect the services they deliver to the public. They also asked how practitioners are impacted personally, including whether they intend to continue working as OTs. The challenges shared by over 2,600 respondents have significant implications for the resilience of the current and future OT workforce, and the people who use OT services.
  13. Content Article
    Technologies to assist with diabetes treatment and care have evolved rapidly over the past two decades. With each new innovation coming to the market, there are hopes that technologies will solve the numerous, complex issues related to diabetes. However, although it has been demonstrated that overall, these technologies—when available—bring major benefits to people living with diabetes, they do not make the condition disappear. This article in Diabetes Epidemiology and Management discusses the interconnections between technologies and diabetes distress, an often under-acknowledged consequence of the continuous demands of diabetes.
  14. News Article
    Patients in the US are able to order “don’t weigh me” cards to take to the doctors in a move aimed at reducing anxiety and stress on a visit. The US group behind the initiative said being weighed and talking about weight “causes feelings of stress and shame for many people”. The cards say: “Please don’t weigh me unless it is (really) medically necessary.” It adds: “If you really need my weight, please tell me why so that I can give you my informed consent”. On the other side, it explains why the patient may not want to be weighed, including “when you focus on my weight I get stressed” and “weighing me every time I come in for an appointment and talking about my weight like it’s a problem perpetuates weight stigma”. It also says most health conditions can be addressed without knowing the patient’s weight. Public Health England guidance to health and care professionals says they are in a “unique position to talk to patients about weight management to prevent ill-health” and recommends brief interventions. It says the first step in a brief intervention over a patient’s weight is to weigh and measure them. “You should view this as a normal part of a routine consultation,” it says. Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 December 2021
  15. News Article
    The vast majority of HSE staff in the Republic of Ireland felt supported during the COVID-19 pandemic but more than half felt there has been a negative change in their working environment, a new survey has found. Staff across the health service were asked about their work, and responses from almost 13,000 staff showed a mixed impact since the pandemic with staff saying they were more enthusiastic about their job than in 2018 but were less optimistic about their future in the health service. Three in 10 said they had been subject to assault from the public in the past two years. One in three felt more positively towards the HSE since before the pandemic began. The survey found there had been an increase in the satisfaction with the level of care delivered since 2018 but almost 4 in 10 felt the service delivered was deteriorating. There was a strong sense of job security among staff, but satisfaction levels have fallen back on the previous survey three years ago. A third said they were dissatisfied at present. Despite the fact that an anti-bullying taskforce was set up after the previous survey, the same number of staff reported experiences of being bullied by a colleague as in 2018. Three in 10 said they had experienced bullying or harassment at work from a manager, team leader or other colleagues. Read full story Source: The Irish Times, 6 December 2021
  16. News Article
    The vast majority of front-line clinical support staff are reporting moderate to extreme burnout, and nearly two-thirds have considered quitting, a new US survey found. "While much has been reported on doctor and nurse burnout, less attention has been paid to the front-line clinical support staff who have been working tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure high-quality patient care was maintained," Meg Aranow, senior vice president and platform evangelist for patient experience vendor Well Health, told Fierce Healthcare. "We recognize the critical role clinical support staff play in provider organizations—this study further validates the cascading impact clinical support staff have on the patient experience and so many facets of our healthcare system," Aranow said. Well Health surveyed 320 clinical support staff who are primarily responsible for communicating and coordinating with patients, mostly through phone calls, which can be time-consuming. According to the survey results, the patient-communication coordination process is overwhelming staff to the point of wanting to quit, with 82% saying that contacting and coordinating with patients about their appointments, follow-ups and health issues via phone, email, text or live chat is a direct cause of their burnout. The survey found that 58% of clinical support staff believe their burnout has negatively affected a patient’s quality of care, and 60% report poor or ineffective patient communication has negatively affected a patient’s health outcomes. Read full story Source: Fierce Healthcare, 20 October 2021
  17. News Article
    Frontline staff are being ‘triggered’ by ministers playing down the ‘overwhelming’ pressures facing the health service with “a ‘move along, no story here’-type attitude”, a royal college president has warned. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s Katherine Henderson said the intentions of those making such comments may be “well meaning” but that it was important ministers and NHSE leaders were “humble and transparent about the scale of the problem [facing the NHS] at the moment”. Katherine Henderson said: “The scale of the problem feels quite overwhelming, and the kind of ‘move along, no story here’-type attitude I think is not great for the people working in healthcare. They need to feel heard.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 24 November 2021
  18. News Article
    A major London trust’s critical care staff have urged leaders to review elective work targets amid serious concerns over workload, safe staffing and burnout, HSJ has learned. In a letter to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust’s board, staff represented by trade union Unite said they had “repeatedly” raised concerns about the provider’s approach to elective work, as well as winter pressures and second wave planning, and the implications this has had for “the health, safety and wellbeing of both staff and patients”. The letter — which was also addressed to the trust’s health and safety committee and has been seen by HSJ — said: “Our primary concern is that the trust’s endeavours, and understandable need to square these circles, may be unrealistic given the current pressures on staffing and the high rates of sickness and burnout the trust is continuing to experience. “This is especially in critical care, where we are concerned this may compromise patient safety and is already damaging staff wellbeing and morale.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 December 2020
  19. News Article
    Over a third (35%) of healthcare professionals say they have suffered verbal or physical abuse from patients, or patients’ relatives during COVID-19, according to a survey by Medical Protection. The Medical Protection survey of 1250 doctors in the UK, also showed that a further 7% have experienced verbal or physical abuse from a member of the public outside of a medical setting, with some saying they have been sworn at for using the NHS queue at the supermarket. This follows reports that GP’s are facing abuse and complaints from patient’s who believe they aren’t offering enough face-to-face appointments, despite face-to-face appointments increasing in recent months. Medical Protection said the abuse presents yet another source of anxiety for doctors at the worst possible time. In the same survey, 2 in 5 doctors say their mental wellbeing is worse compared to the start of the pandemic. “I have been sworn at for using the NHS queue at the supermarket.” “I have had more unpleasantness from patients in the last 6 months than in all my previous 50 years in healthcare.I am almost at the point of stopping all clinical practice.” “There is too much verbal abuse to mention but the most upsetting is patients believing that we haven`t been open – we are all on our knees.” Read full story Source: Medical Protection, 31 October 2020
  20. News Article
    More than 200 GPs a month are seeking mental health support as COVID-19 drives up pressure on the NHS - and demand for help is rising fastest among doctors in primary care, figures from a confidential support service suggest. NHS Practitioner Health medical director and former RCGP chair Professor Dame Clare Gerada warns that the pandemic 'must surely be contributing to the increase in numbers of doctors presenting for help compared to pre-pandemic levels'. Before the pandemic, around 60 doctors per week were coming forward for support from NHS Practitioner Health, a free, confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists in England with mental illness and addiction problems. After an initial dip during the first wave of the pandemic, numbers of doctors coming forward each week spiked to 90 per week by June and now 'regularly over 100' per week, Professor Gerada said. Junior doctors and international medical graduates now make up 25% of referrals to the service, and younger women have been particularly affected. Data from NHS Practitioner Health show that up to 69% of all referrals to the service are for women, and nearly a third of all referrals it receives are for female doctors aged 30-39 - for issues 'ranging from anxiety, depression, burnout, PTSD and suicidal thoughts'. Read full story Source: GP Online, 28 October 2020
  21. News Article
    NHS workers are at breaking point after months of upheaval and high pressure during the coronavirus outbreak with hospital leaders warning the health service is facing a “perfect storm” of workforce shortages and a second wave of COVID-19. In a survey of 140 NHS trust leaders almost all of them said they were worried about their staff suffering burnout ahead of winter. They also sounded the alarm over concerns there had not been enough investment into social care before this winter. NHS Providers, which carried out the survey ahead of its annual conference of hospital leaders, warned the first wave of COVID-19 had made a lasting impact on the health service which had yet to fully recover. Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said there had been “no let-up in the pressure” during the pandemic, which followed a difficult winter for staff. “And while the response to the spring surge in COVID-19 cases showed the NHS at its best, the pressures took their toll on staff who gave so much,” he said. “The worry is that the sustained physical, psychological and emotional pressure on health staff is threatening to push them beyond their limits of endurance.” Almost all those who responded to the survey, 99 per cent, said they were either extremely or moderately concerned about the current level of burnout across the workforce. Read full story Source: The Independent, 6 October 2020
  22. News Article
    Thousands of UK doctors are planning to quit the NHS after the Covid pandemic because they are exhausted by their workloads and worried about their mental health, a survey has revealed. Almost one in three may retire early while a quarter are considering taking a career break and a fifth are weighing up quitting the health service to do something else. Long hours, high demand for care, the impact of the pandemic and unpleasant working environments are taking their toll on medics, the British Medical Association findings show. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the leader of the BMA, said the high numbers of disillusioned doctors could worsen the NHS’s staffing problems and leave patients waiting longer for treatment. “It’s deeply worrying that more and more doctors are considering leaving the NHS because of the pressures of the pandemic – talented, experienced professionals who the NHS needs more than ever to pull this country out of a once-in-a-generation health crisis,” Nagpaul said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 May 2021
  23. News Article
    Doctors, nurses and NHS bosses have pleaded with Boris Johnson to spend billions of pounds to finally end the chronic lack of staff across the health service. The strain of working in a perpetually understaffed service is so great that it risks creating an exodus of frontline personnel, they warn the prime minister in a letter published on Wednesday. They have demanded that the government devise an urgent plan that will significantly increase the size of the workforce of the NHS in England by the time of the next general election in 2024. Their intervention comes after the latest NHS staff survey found that growing numbers of them feel their work is making them sick and that almost two-thirds believe they cannot do their jobs properly because their organisation has too few people. NHS poll shows rising toll of work stress on staff health The letter has been signed by unions and other groups representing most of the NHS’s 1.4 million-strong workforce, including the Royal College of Nursing, British Medical Association and Unison. NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation, which both represent hospital trusts, have also endorsed it, as has the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, a professional body for the UK’s 240,000 doctors. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 April 2021
  24. News Article
    With the latest UK government figures showing that there have been nearly 150,000 deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, it’s understandable why some people compare the pandemic with a war. Indeed, daily life in the NHS is now peppered with military language: the frontline, gold command calls, redeployment, buddy systems and 'moral injury' Moral injury can be defined as the distress that arises in response to actions or inactions that violate our moral code, our set of individual beliefs about what is right or wrong. In the medical literature, moral injury has historically been associated with the mental health needs of military personnel, arising from their traumatic experiences during active service. Moral injury is generally thought to arise in high-stakes situations so it’s no surprise that the term has gained traction in healthcare settings over the course of the pandemic, given that healthcare staff have been faced with extreme and sustained pressure at work. In many ways, working in the NHS over the past year has felt like being some sort of circus acrobat, contorting ourselves to balance various competing realities: the desire to provide high-quality care for all our patients in the context of limited resources, looking after our own health needs alongside those of our patients, trying to make peace with the responsibility we feel towards our loved ones while still upholding our duty of care to patients. If we fail to deliver, particularly in high-stakes situations where we think things should have been done differently, it can shake us to our core. Our moral code transcends the relatively superficial responsibilities of our professional role: it gets to the heart of who we are as human beings. If we feel like our core values have been attacked, it can leave us feeling devastated and disillusioned. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 April 2021
  25. News Article
    Maternity services are at risk because demoralised midwives are planning to quit the NHS, healthcare leaders have warned. A new report, carried out by the Institute for Public Policy Research, suggests 8,000 midwives may depart due to the “unprecedented pressure” of the coronavirus pandemic. Researchers, who surveyed about 1,000 healthcare professionals from around the country in mid-February, discovered that two-thirds reported being mentally exhausted once a week or more. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Independent, 31 March 2021
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