RCSEd supports national campaign to raise awareness of fatigue among healthcare staff

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16 Apr 2019

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) has announced official endorsement of the national Fight Fatigue campaign, a joint initiative of the Association of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of fatigue and shift work on our NHS workforce. 

The Fight Fatigue campaign was launched last year in response to the tragic death of a trainee anaesthetist who died whilst driving home tired after a night shift. In addition, a national survey of over 2,000 anaesthetic trainees published in the scientific journal Anaesthesia[1]  found: 

  • Nearly three quarters of respondents reported fatigue had a negative effect on their physical health or psychological wellbeing.
  • 84% had felt too tired to drive home safely after a night shift.
  • Less than a third had access to a suitable rest facility.
  • 57% had experienced an accident or near miss when driving home after a night shift.

Professor Mike Griffin, president of the RCSEd, said: 

“The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is delighted to support the Fight Fatigue campaign. We have been deeply saddened and concerned by the deaths of a number of doctors in circumstances associated with work-based stress or tiredness, so the campaign will clearly benefit workforce morale, reduce stress and improve patient care. The reintroduction of communal and mess areas, more training in daylight hours, better rota and job planning and the retention of the European Working Time Regulations post-Brexit also have a part to play.”

Association of Anaesthetists president and consultant anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Kathleen Ferguson, said:

“I’m delighted that the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is officially supporting our Fight Fatigue campaign and we look forward to working with members of the Royal College to help raise awareness of the issues related to fatigue. We want to change attitudes across the NHS to ensure everyone understands the risks of fatigue and how to mitigate against them.  We hope that by taking responsibility collectively  for making changes to working practice, we can improve working conditions for all staff which will in turn benefit patient care. 

“As momentum for our campaign grows, we now have increasing support from organisations representing a wide range of specialties across the NHS. We also have support from MPs across the political spectrum at Westminster and the devolved bodies. We urge all our colleagues in the NHS to back our campaign and ensure everyone understands the risks of fatigue and how to mitigate them.”

[1] Anaesthesia: A national survey of the effects of fatigue on trainees in anaesthesia in the UK (Representing 59% of all trainee anaesthetists and 100% of all NHS Trusts) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/anae.13965/full



About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

RCSEd was first incorporated as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505, and is the oldest surgical corporation in the world with memberships approaching 25,000 professionals in over 100 countries worldwide. The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through its interest in education, training and examinations, its liaison with external medical bodies and representation of the modern surgical and dental workforce. It is also home to the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. Find RCSEd on Twitter www.twitter.com/RCSEd and on Facebook www.facebook.com/rcsed

The College is based at Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW and can be reached on (0)131 527 1600 or mail@rcsed.ac.uk. In March 2014, a new base opened in Birmingham, catering to the 80% of the College’s UK membership who are based in England and Wales.

For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Team on +447467 485145 or email comms@rcsed.ac.uk 


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