Doctors call for occupational health service for all NHS staff

The British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual representative meeting in June warned of “stress, fatigue, burnout, substance abuse and low morale” among doctors, and has called for “a fully functional and resourced occupational health service for all NHS staff”.

Occupational health for NHS employees has been an area of focus for NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, including ensuring a proportion of payments to healthcare providers are linked to achievement of their staff health and wellbeing goals, the development of an OH service for GPs and a drive to improve NHS staff health.

BMA representatives called for an extension of the BMA’s DocHealth pilot with the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund; for a new comprehensive workplace policy and code of conduct to include a framework of health and wellbeing; for a fully functional and resourced occupational health service for all NHS staff; and for the Government to raise morale among NHS staff.

Separately, a BMA survey has concluded that more than half of salaried and locum GPs suffer from stress as a result of their work.

The poll of about 2,000 GPs also found that one in 10 had taken time off work because of work-related stress in the past year.

BMA General Practitioners’ Committee sessional GPs subcommittee chairman Zoe Norris said the survey laid bare “a workload crisis”.

She said: “It cannot be healthy that more than half [of GPs] are suffering from the impact of work-related stress that is clearly being caused by a working environment starved of resources despite rising patient demand.”

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