The morale of the medical workforce in the UK is at a low ebb and has continued to fall for much of the past decade.

The breakdown in the relationship between the government and junior doctors, which began in 2013 and has resulted in the first doctors’ strike in 40 years, is merely a symptom of the underlying malaise that affects the whole medical workforce. Unless action is taken, this discontent will harden and continue to deepen.

We believe that medicine is a brilliant career, but also recognise that tangible action is required by policymakers, employers and doctors themselves to ensure that it continues to be brilliant. Eight ‘domains’ of a doctor’s working life that need to be assessed and supported have been identified by the RCP. We believe that it is essential that all eight domains are addressed in a holistic way to improve the morale and wellbeing of doctors:

  • Work
  • Physical environment needed for work
  • Interpersonal relations in the workplace
  • Hospital administration and policies
  • Personal characteristics
  • Career, education and training
  • External/home circumstances
  • Patient safety

This report will serve as an evidence base to allow us to develop practical solutions to the issues highlighted throughout. In particular, it will be used as the source material for a series of practical resources and tools that the RCP will produce over the coming months under the Keeping medicine brilliant banner.

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