‘It’s like juggling fire daily’: Well-being, workload and burnout in the British NHS – A survey of 721 physicians

Source avec lien : Work, 70(2). 10.3233/WOR-205337

L’étude visait à comprendre les causes de l’épuisement professionnel, à identifier les ressources de soutien que les médecins utilisent et à proposer des solutions.

BACKGROUND: Physicians are at higher risk for burnout than workers in other fields. Burnout negatively impacts physician health, care delivery and healthcare cost. Existing studies quantify the workforce affected by burnout whilst qualitative studies use specific specialty groups limiting generalisability of solutions. This is important given increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to understand the causes of work-related burnout, identify what supportive resources physicians utilise, and to propose solutions. METHODS: A questionnaire was circulated between March and May 2019 via the ‘Doctors’ Association UK’ website and social media. RESULTS: 721 responses were received. 94%of respondents worked in the NHS, with over half being either general practitioners (GPs) or consultants. One in two (53%) respondents felt unable to raise workplace concerns regarding wellbeing, stress or workload. Almost all respondents (97%) felt the NHS has a culture of viewing excessive stress and workload as the norm. Three themes emerged from qualitative analysis: negative workplace culture; high workload and lack of resources; and generational change. CONCLUSIONS: Respondents described system-level factors which negatively impacted their wellbeing whilst organisations focused on physician-level factors. The research literature supports multi-level change beyond the individual tackling work unit and organisational factors. These include providing infrastructure to allow delegation of administrative work and physical space for relaxation and flexible work with time for leave. At a national level, there is greater urgency for an increase in healthcare funding and resourcing especially during increased clinician workloads during a pandemic where burnout rates will increase.

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