RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard responds to the publication of the GMC’s 2018 national training surveys, which asked doctors about burnout for the first time.
Discussing the survey, Professor Goddard said:
At a time when the medical workforce is experiencing ever-increasing pressures, we simply cannot risk more doctors experiencing burnout or feeling discontented with their roles because they haven’t been properly supported. We lose 20–25% of medical staff from medical school to taking up consultant posts and burnout is a large contributor to that failure of retention.
The NHS can’t afford to not take wellbeing of staff seriously. It is time to act upon these warning signs to protect the wellbeing of doctors, and also the patients on whose behalf they are working so hard.
The GMC survey collects the views of over 70,000 trainees and trainers on training posts, programmes and environments in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In this year's survey, the GMC found:
- Nearly a quarter of doctors in training and just over a fifth of trainers said they’re burnt out because of their work.
- Almost a third of trainees said that they are often or always exhausted at the thought of another shift. And well over a half of trainees, and just under a half of trainers, reported that they often or always feel worn out at the end of their working day.
- A fifth of doctors in training and trainers said they feel short of sleep when at work.
- Two in five trainees and two thirds of trainers rated the intensity of their work as very heavy or heavy, and nearly half of trainees reported that they work beyond their rostered hours on a daily or weekly basis.
- Around a third of doctors in training and trainers said that training opportunities are lost to rota gaps.