Dr. Jo Szram, Deputy Postgraduate Dean, HEE and Chair Elect, NACT UK, supports national campaign to raise awareness of fatigue | Association of Anaesthetists
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Dr. Jo Szram, Deputy Postgraduate Dean, HEE and Chair Elect, NACT UK, supports national campaign to raise awareness of fatigue

Dr. Jo Szram, Deputy Postgraduate Dean, HEE and Chair Elect, NACT UK, supports national campaign to raise awareness of fatigue amongst healthcare staff 

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Dr. Jo Szram, Deputy Postgraduate Dean, Health Education England and Chair Elect, National Association of Clinical Tutors (NACT UK), is supporting the national Fight Fatigue campaign to help raise awareness of fatigue amongst NHS healthcare staff. The campaign, run in partnership with the Association of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) aims to tackle the negative effects of shift working and fatigue on the 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.

Speaking about the campaign, Dr. Jo Szram said: “As a junior doctor, I often struggled with fatigue on my own on call shifts, which made it hard to do my best at work, and when studying. This is a field that has advanced significantly since that time, when I worked in a sleep study unit as part of my training in respiratory medicine.

My main motivation for pursuing a career in educational leadership is to influence learners’ lives for the better by improving their educational and professional environment. This campaign is an excellent way of engaging with healthcare staff, their supervisors and the organisations they work in so that the true impact of inadequate sleep and rest on the delivery of patient care is recognised, setting out clear solutions for improvement. I tell everyone I meet about the excellent resources available on the website, and will continue to spread the word until unnecessary tiredness is a thing of the past.”

Association of Anaesthetists President and Consultant Anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Kathleen Ferguson, said: “I’m delighted that Dr. Jo Szram 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.”

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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: press@anaesthetists.org.  Or, Stephanie Addington, marketing and communications manager, Association of Anaesthetists, on: +44 (0) 20 7631 8854 or email stephanieaddington@anaesthetists.org.

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