Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh supports our fatigue campaign | Association of Anaesthetists
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Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh supports our fatigue campaign

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh supports national campaign to raise awareness of fatigue amongst healthcare staff

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 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.”