Paediatric Intensive Care Society supports fatigue campaign | Association of Anaesthetists

Paediatric Intensive Care Society supports fatigue campaign

Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) supports national campaign to raise awareness of fatigue amongst healthcare staff 

Friday 9 August 2019

The Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) 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.

PICS President Elect James Fraser said: “The Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) recognises the effects of chronic fatigue on all colleagues who work in children's intensive care. Many PICU consultants work very long shifts and are frequently in hospital through the night. Fatigue effects decision making and patient safety. PICS supports the #FightFatigue campaign and advocates for sustainable work patterns and adequate rest facilities for all its members.”

Speaking about the campaign, Dr Emma Plunkett, fatigue project group lead and consultant anaesthetist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, said: “Sleep is a key part of maintaining our health and wellbeing and the issue of fatigue amongst our NHS workforce is concerning. Our campaign seeks to change attitudes across the NHS to ensure everyone understands the risks of fatigue and how to mitigate them.  We hope that by collectively taking responsibility for making changes to working practice, we can improve working conditions for staff which will in turn benefit patient care.”


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: [email protected].  Or, Stephanie Addington, marketing and communications manager, Association of Anaesthetists, on: +44 (0) 20 7631 8854 or email [email protected].

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:   

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.

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. 

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.

About the Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) 

The Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) was founded in 1987 as a multidisciplinary forum for those involved and interested in paediatric intensive care. Two decades later, PICS  remains the main professional society representing the UK paediatric intensive care community at a national and international level.

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)