The King's Fund responds to the General Medical Council's new report on the wellbeing of doctors

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Commenting on a new report on the wellbeing of doctors commissioned by the General Medical Council, Suzie Bailey, Director of Leadership and Organisational Development at The King’s Fund, said:

‘It is a sad irony that working for the health service can be bad for the health of its own employees. This welcome new report focuses on doctors, but so many of the conclusions could apply to any staff group working in the NHS.

‘Health and care services are facing a workforce crisis with 100,000 vacancies in English NHS trusts alone. As well as recruiting more staff, it is crucial that services hold on to and develop the staff they already employ. 

‘Improving staff health and wellbeing will require action at all levels, starting with the basics. It is clearly unacceptable for staff to be working shifts where they can’t access food or water, or go to the toilet. 

‘As well as managers and leaders of organisations creating more supportive cultures, NHS national bodies need to model the compassionate and inclusive behaviours needed to support the at least 1.5 million people working in the NHS across the UK. 

‘The NHS has quickly become a key election battleground. Whatever the outcome on 12 December, the new government’s plans for health and care will rely on having adequately staffed services with a workforce that feels supported to deliver high-quality care.’

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.