National Physician Suicide Awareness Day in the USA

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Today in the United States has been designated ‘National Physician Suicide Awareness Day’. Do we need something similar here in the UK?

The organisers in the US claim that it will allow healthcare workers to commemorate lost colleagues as well as raising the profile of the issue internally within healthcare and externally.

Sadly, we have heard of a number of colleagues in recent years lost in this manner and an ever-increasing number suffering with mental health conditions. Doctors in particular may find it particularly difficult to seek help. The reasons for doctor suicides however go beyond just the mental health conditions seen in the general population. The position that we hold in society, one of privilege and responsibility can also ultimately lead to stress and a feeling of helplessness. With limited ability to talk about the emotional toll of their work, doctors often carry the stress of their work, leading to mental illness or even suicide.

The role of our regulator the General Medical Council (GMC) must also be considered. Complaints and referrals to the GMC have a significant impact on doctors’ mental health. Fear of erasure or sanctions, loss of reputation and good standing, loss of livelihood and careers as well as exclusion from social and professional circles can all lead to further stress and depression. It is therefore important that the General Medical Council fully appreciate their role in doctor suicides in the UK.

In her recent blog Dr Natalie Ashburner, DAUK Editor and Psychiatry Trainee found that “the Office of National Statistics showed that between 2011 and 2015, 430 doctors died by suicide”. Recent GMC training surveys have highlighted doctor burnout and a survey by Medscape in 2018 which collected results from nearly 1,000 UK doctors, found that 22% of doctors from all specialties feel burned out, 4% feel depressed and 10% feel both burned out and depressed. Furthermore, of these, only 1 in 10 said that they had got help or planned to get help.

The Doctors’ Association UK have been calling on the General Medical Council to assist us in collating accurate data on doctor suicides in the UK. We think that it is vitally important for us to fully appreciate the size of issue so that we can have the long overdue national conversation about doctor mental health and suicides. We’re collaborating with partner organisations such as Doctors in Distress founded by Amandip Sidhu after the tragic suicide of his brother, a Consultant Cardiologist.

Saving doctors’ lives ultimately saves patients’ lives.

#SavingDoctorsLives


Available Resources:

• Samaritans

Tel: 116 123

http://samaritans.org

• BMA Wellbeing Support Service

0330 123 1245 (Open to all doctors & medical students irrespective of membership)

• NHS Practitioner Health Programme (PHP)

http://php.nhs.uk/

Tel: 0300 0303 300

• DocHealth

www.dochealth.org.uk

• Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF)

https://rmbf.org/

• Louise Tebboth Foundation

http://www.louisetebboth.org.uk

• Doctors in Distress

http://doctors-in-distress.org.uk

Junior Doctors Contract changes accepted in crucial referendum

Junior Doctors Contract changes accepted in crucial referendum

The Doctors’ Association UK would first and foremost like to thank the British Medical Association and the negotiating team for their hard work this year.

However, DAUK notes with concern the outcome the BMA’s referendum of its junior members on the revised 2016 terms & conditions of employment for junior doctors in England.

DAUK will not endorse BMA junior doctor contract deal

DAUK will not endorse BMA junior doctor contract deal

DAUK have now reviewed the Framework Agreement detailing the agreed changes to the 2016 Junior Doctor Contract following the 2019 negotiations between the BMA and the government. Whilst there are several positive changes junior doctors would welcome, we do not believe the overall proposed revision to the rejected 2016 terms and conditions are worthy of our hard working junior doctor members. Therefore, on balance the DAUK committee feel that we cannot endorse this contract.

PRESS RELEASE: Charlie Massey Chief Executive of the General Medical Council admits that his decision to take Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba to court to have her struck off was incorrect

PRESS RELEASE: Charlie Massey Chief Executive of the General Medical Council admits that his decision to take Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba to court to have her struck off was incorrect

Last week, Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden Chair of The Doctors’ Association UK interviewed Charlie Massey as part of a documentary on why doctors are leaving the NHS. The episode was presented by Sammy on BBC Radio 4.

For the first time Charlie Massey publicly stated that his decision to appeal the fitness to practice (MPTS) verdict, and pursue Dr Bawa-Garba in the High Court was wrong.

Coverage in Pulse: GMC chief executive admits Bawa-Garba legal advice was wrong during interview with DAUK

Coverage in Pulse: GMC chief executive admits Bawa-Garba legal advice was wrong during interview with DAUK

The GMC's chief executive has admitted the legal advice the regulator received during the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case was wrong and if the same case were to take place now he would not try to have a doctor barred from practice.

Charlie Massey said he 'completely accepts' the legal advice he was given to pursue the striking off of Dr Bawa-Garba - who was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence following the death of a six-year-old patient - was 'not correct'.

Samantha Batt-Rawden for the BMJ: A change of tone from the GMC—but can they win back doctors’ trust?

Samantha Batt-Rawden for the BMJ: A change of tone from the GMC—but can they win back doctors’ trust?

Our Chair Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden shares her view in the BMJ after interviewing Charlie Massey (chief executive GMC) for a documentary Sammy presented on BBC Radio 4. In this interview Charlie Massy admits for the first time that his decision to take Dr Bawa-Garba to the Hight Court to have her struck off was incorrect. 

Samantha Batt-Rawden presents a BBC Radio 4 documentary on why doctors are leaving the NHS

Samantha Batt-Rawden presents a BBC Radio 4 documentary on why doctors are leaving the NHS

Want to know what our medical institutions really think about why doctors are leaving the NHS? This week DAUK Chair, Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden interviews key policy makers in the GMC, NHS Providers, BMA and Royal College of Emergency Medicine as part of a documentary for BBC Radio 4.

Jenny Vaughan for the BMJ: Medical manslaughter — will the findings of an independent review be a tipping point for change?

Jenny Vaughan for the BMJ: Medical manslaughter — will the findings of an independent review be a tipping point for change?

The General Medical Council (GMC) has just published the 29 final recommendations of the long-awaited reviewinto how gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide are applied to medical practice. This was an independent review chaired by consultant cardiac surgeon, Leslie Hamilton, and undertaken after widespread criticism of the GMC’s handling of the case of Hadiza Bawa-GarbaThe Doctor’s Association UK, among many other organisations, has been calling for a truly “Just Culture” to be adopted by the NHS for staff and patients alike as part of its Learn Not Blame campaign, and broadly welcomes the report.

The Doctors’ Association UK welcomes the findings of Leslie Hamilton’s Review into Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide

The Doctors’ Association UK welcomes the findings of Leslie Hamilton’s Review into Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide

Leslie Hamilton is today announcing the findings of an independent report, commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC), into how gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide are applied to medical practice.