It’s not just junior doctors who are at risk of burn out – it’s the whole NHS

Please send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk 

Monday 13 February 2017 16:12
Comments
Two thirds of young doctors complain of stress and fatigue
Two thirds of young doctors complain of stress and fatigue

Six out of seven junior doctors at risk of burnout (NHS ‘wake-up call’: Six out of seven young doctors at risk of burning out, survey finds, 12 February)? Now I was not at all surprised. I happen to know a 53-year-old Senior Consultant Anaesthetist, in a medium sized general hospital still working in similar circumstances. Working 48-hour weekends, often actually in theatre until 11pm. No end in sight till retirement at 67. My wife – I despair!

Andy Wilson, Winscombe

In reference to six out of seven young doctors being “at risk of burnout”, the same views and concerns are shared across other sectors of the NHS, not all of which have Royal Colleges supporting them through surveys and published findings.

Paramedics face equally challenging conditions such as lack of meal breaks coupled with a mentally and physically demanding role. Their shifts flip flop between day and night duties, leading to disrupted sleep and exhaustion. They respond and attend call outs as their shifts are ending with no option to hand over to a fresh crew. A 14-hour day is not unusual. Rapid response cars tick the box for meeting targets but leave paramedics alone to manage complex situations that require an ambulance and full crew.

Diagnosing, stabilising and handing over patients to hospital care is their core purpose however warming soup or making sandwiches for the elderly and frail is now the norm as they fill the gaps in social care.

Your article highlights the risk of burnout in doctors who are at the start of their careers. This is the reality for paramedics, they are undervalued and overworked and, as a result, attrition is high. Their voices and opinions are unheard.

What is the chance of an in depth, independent scrutiny of the ambulance service across the UK to shine a light on this vital but forgotten service?

Denise Day, Brockham

The Tories have been in power for nearly 7 years and will likely remain for another 3. We cannot wait for “cross-party action on the NHS”, as advocated by your correspondent MT Harris (letters 13 February). We need action now by this government.

Carol Wilcox, Christchurch

An opportunity tweets

Why just Birmingham as an alternative for Trump's state visit (Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK could be moved from London to the Midlands, 12 February)? Let's turn it into a competition between all the major cities and find out which can attract the greatest number of protesters, all of them deliberately peaceful in order to press a point home? Think of all that extra income for the hotels, B&Bs and food outlets.

Patrick Cosgrove, Chapel Lawn

I pondered where in the Midlands would be suitable for President Trump to be received for a state visit. There are few locations which would suitable. However, Norfolk might offer a solution.

He could fly into RAF Lakenheath and stay Holkham Hall (if the Earl of Leicester would have no objection) and have meetings with HMG. Being located in Norfolk it might be possible for him to meet the Queen at Sandringham for lunch and some shooting.

For those who have never been to Norfolk, it should be noted that it has poor connections with the rest of the UK. This should reduce the risk of demonstrations.

Finally, perhaps President Trump may have heard about the magnificent Norfolk Broads.

Harold Smith, Leeds

Filling in the gaps

In response to the many accusations that the aging population is creating all of today’s social problems for Jeremy Hunt, I would remind him of the hidden hole in the economy that we ageing members of the population fill. Child care.

Most grandparents spend hours of their time involved in family child care; a subject that successive governments say that they are going to sort. I have four grandchildren – the oldest now 24 and when he was a babe in arms the then government were going to sort out child care. But have they? No and they never will whilst us oldies do it for them. Oh so we do have some uses!

My wife and I also undertook the care her mother – without us she just might just have been lucky enough to have found a place in a decent care home.

I am sickened by the continued statements that we are to blame for the state of the National Health and social services.

Brian Brooks, Bishop Sutton

A continuing conversation

JH Moffat (Letters, 12 February) needs to understand that democracy is a continuing debate and not just a one-off referendum. Had the Remain voters won the day, would the Leave campaigners have just given up? Would Ukip have folded and its candidates gone back to their day jobs?

As for "Clegg and Farron" spitting on democracy, the Brexit Secretary opened the Article 50 debate by asking MPs "I suppose the question is, do we trust the people?" Tim Farron is asking for the Government to indeed trust the people by putting the negotiated Brexit terms to the people in a referendum at the end of the process.

Of course, our current dictatorial Government doesn't want to do that. Instead, the "will of the people" will not be tested if it has its way.

My prediction is that public opinion will change as we go through negotiations and the Government will be forced to think again.

We shall see.

Joe Hennessy​, Faversham

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in