Professor Namita Kumar supports national campaign to raise awareness of fatigue amongst healthcare staff
Monday 17 June 2019
Professor Namita Kumar, Postgraduate Dean at Health Education England, North East, is supporting 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 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 Namita Kumar said: “Tiredness and fatigue are so important to deal with in our healthcare systems. We can’t look after our patients properly if we are tired, and that is a significant patient safety concern. The NHS is beginning to understand that it must look after its staff better, and this campaign to my mind is a very basic way of making sure we do that.”
Association of Anaesthetists president and consultant anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Kathleen Ferguson, said: “I’m delighted that Professor Kumar is officially supporting our Fight Fatigue campaign and we look forward to working with her 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.”
Notes for editors:
For media enquiries, case studies, and interview opportunities, please contact:
Amelia Lyons, press officer, Association of Anaesthetists, on: 07989 748 477 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, Stephanie Addington, marketing and communications manager, Association of Anaesthetists, on: +44 (0) 20 7631 8854 or email email@example.com.
About the Fight Fatigue campaign
The #FightFatigue campaign is a joint initiative of the Association of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM). Since its launch in 2018, Numerous organisations and MPs have pledged their support. More information about the campaign be found at: www.anaesthetists.org/FightFatigue
About the Association of Anaesthetists
As the professional membership organisation for over 11,000 anaesthetists in the UK, Republic of Ireland and internationally, the Association of Anaesthetists promotes patient care and safety, and advances anaesthesia through education, publications, research and international work. The Association maintains an active programme of support for anaesthesia worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Its motto in somno securitas (‘Safe in Sleep’) encapsulates the major focus of the Association: safety in anaesthesia. www.anaesthetists.org
About the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA)
The Royal College of Anaesthetists is the professional body responsible for the specialty throughout the UK, and ensures the quality of patient care through the maintenance of standards in anaesthesia, critical care and pain medicine. www.rcoa.ac.uk
About the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM)
The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine is the professional body responsible for the training, assessment, practice and continuing professional development of Intensive Care Medicine doctors and practitioners in the UK. www.ficm.ac.uk
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