Five strategies to improve junior doctors’ dissatisfaction

A new blog post on The King’s Fund identifies five ways to improve the morale of junior doctors. Bilal Sahib writes that, “dissatisfaction among junior doctors has reached unprecedented levels: 80 per cent feel excessively stressed, and the number progressing directly to specialty training is declining.”

doctor-563428_1920While Sahib recognises some of these solutions can only be implemented at a national level, for instance boosting the number of medical school places. There are some  that could be implemented at a local level which could help to bolster the morale of this workforce. Their suggestions include:

  • Better rota planning
  • Induction
  • Rest facilities
  • Out-of- hours support
  • Debriefs

Full details about the suggestions and  further details can be found at The King’s Fund

Related: A retrospective analysis on  BMJ Open looks at the impact of industrial action by English junior doctors in 2016.  This is the first UK study that looked at the effects of striking junior doctors, as well as the first to evaluate the impact of withheld inhospital emergency services (the April 2016 strike was the first ever UK strike to include emergency care).

The full analysis can be downloaded from the BMJ here

In the media:  The Daily Mail  The 2016 junior doctors’ strike led to emergency care being withdrawn for patients – the first time this has ever happened in the history of the NHS


Developing People – Improving Care

One year on from the launch of the Developing People- Improving Care, this report  highlights how leaders across health and social care have implemented the framework | NHS Improvement

one year
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In 2016, thirteen organisations from health, social care and local government came together to create the Developing People Improving Care framework, based on national and international research, and conversations held with people across the health and care system.

One year on, this publication highlights some of the work taking place, demonstrating the steps people are already taking to ensure systems of compassion, inclusion and improvement, are at the core of the health and care system.  The report also sets out plans for the year ahead.

Full report: Developing People- Improving Care

Standards for general practice nurses

General Practice Nurse Standards: voluntary standards for education and practice | The Queen’s Nursing Institute 

The Queen’s Nursing Institute has launched General Practice Nurse Standards: voluntary standards for education and practice.  The standards have been designed to reflect the requirements of this role, working in new models of care and to reflect the rapid changes in the primary care environment.

Download: QNI/QNIS GPN Voluntary Standards Project Information


The future of the mental health workforce

 The future of the mental health workforce | The Centre for Mental Health

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This report is based on insights from service users, carers and professionals and outlines a list of recommendations for a sustainable mental health workforce.

It emphasises the importance of prevention, including the role of GPs in supporting people before they reach crisis point. It describes commissioning of mental health services as in “crisis” with a “shrinking workforce, growing expectations and exhausting demands” putting pressure on staff across the country.

The report makes 22 recommendations for policy, practice, education and training, highlighting 4 key calls to action:

  1. For mental health careers to be promoted in schools and colleges: to build on growing awareness and understanding about mental health to encourage young people to aspire to work in the sector when they’re considering their career choices
  2. For all mental health service providers to support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff: to become ‘compassionate organisations’ that care for the people who work in them
  3. For mental health workers to get training in the skills they will need in the future, including in coproduction, community engagement and psychological interventions
  4. For people to be able to build their careers more flexibly, working in a range of different settings and sectors, and taking on new roles as they get older

Download the full report: The future of the mental health workforce


Getting into shape: Delivering a workforce for integrated care

This paper focuses on the structural barriers to delivering integrated care. It studies issues such as the medical labour market, devolved workforce planning and pay, and professional boundaries | Reform

Image source: Reform

The Government is rightly committed to a radical reshaping of NHS delivery, based on a shift to new care models and treatment in the community. Its management of the NHS workforce, however, has not delivered with nearly three times more doctors, and four times more nurses in the acute sector than in the community. Since 2009, the number of consultants has risen by nearly a third, whilst the number of GPs has fallen.
Freedom of Information requests made for this report found that, across 61 acute trusts, only 6 per cent of consultants work in the community for at least one session per week.

As the Government and the NHS leadership have repeatedly said, the priority for the NHS is to increase its speed of innovation. To do this, the NHS is rightly seeking to devolve decision-making and to deregulate. For the workforce, however, policy remains highly centralised and tightly regulated. This paper shows how to bring the same reform ideas to the workforce as the NHS is applying to other areas.


Why an online community of practice (CoP) for alcohol harm reduction failed to generate interest amongst public health professionals

This paper explores the reasons why particular online CoP for alcohol harm reduction hosted by the UK Health Forum failed to generate sufficient interest from the group of public health professionals at which it was aimed | Implementation Science


Improving mechanisms for knowledge translation (KT) and connecting decision-makers to each other and the information and evidence they consider relevant to their work remains a priority for public health. Virtual communities of practices (CoPs) potentially offer an affordable and flexible means of encouraging connection and sharing of evidence, information and learning among the public health community in ways that transgress traditional geographical, professional, institutional and time boundaries. The suitability of online CoPs in public health, however, has rarely been tested.

Quantitative and qualitative data confirm that the target audience had an interest in the kind of information and evidence the CoP was set up to share and generate discussion about, but also that participants considered themselves to already have relatively good access to the information and evidence they needed to inform their work. Qualitative data revealed that the main barriers to using the CoP were a proliferation of information sources meaning that participants preferred to utilise trusted sources that were already established within their daily routines and a lack of time to engage with new online tools that required any significant commitment.

Full reference: Ponsford, R. et al. (2017) Competing for space in an already crowded market: a mixed methods study of why an online community of practice (CoP) for alcohol harm reduction failed to generate interest amongst the group of public health professionals at which it was aimed. Implementation Science. 12:91


New scheme launched to help NHS whistleblowers

A nationwide pilot to help NHS whistleblowers back into work is being launched | NHS England.

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The Whistleblowers Support Scheme will offer a range of services including career coaching, financial advice and mediation for primary care staff who have suffered as a result of raising concerns about NHS practice. Working Transitions has been appointed to run the pilot until March 2018.

The scheme has been designed with the help of former staff who have also had experience of whistleblowing and the impact it can have on staff.

Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of NHS England, said: “It is simply inexcusable that talented, experienced staff should be lost to the NHS as the result of raising the legitimate concerns that help the health service improve.

Read the full news story here