Labour Party officially endorses our fatigue campaign | Association of Anaesthetists

Labour Party officially endorses our fatigue campaign

Labour party officially endorses the Fight Fatigue campaign

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, has today announced Labour’s 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.

Mr Ashworth announced Labour’s support for the campaign at this morning’s Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank as part of Labour’s commitment to investing in staff and training across the NHS.

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* 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.

Speaking about Labour’s official endorsement of the campaign, Association of Anaesthetists president and consultant anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Kathleen Ferguson, said: “The Association of Anaesthetists is pleased to have Labour’s official endorsement of its Fight Fatigue campaign. 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 MPs across the political spectrum at Westminster and the devolved bodies. We also have support from organisations representing a wide range of specialties across the NHS. 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.”

*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)