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Newcastle Hospitals is first NHS Trust in country to pledge support for #FightFatigue campaign
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has become the first NHS trust to pledge their support 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.
Chief Executive Dame Jackie Daniel said: “I’m delighted to be the first Chief Executive from an NHS Trust to officially back such an important campaign. Fatigue can have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of our staff, both physically and mentally, and shouldn’t be accepted as simply being part of working in the health service.
As NHS employers, we have a responsibility – and duty - to look after our workforce to help them provide the best, and safest, care they can for our patients and as part of our Flourish programme at Newcastle Hospitals we are already looking at how we can mitigate the risks associated with tiredness, particularly during night shifts.”
Association of Anaesthetists president and consultant anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Kathleen Ferguson, said: “I’m delighted that Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is officially supporting our Fight Fatigue campaign and we look forward to working with the Trust 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.”