DAUK Co-chair Dr Matt Kneale on Doctors’ Burnout

A large study has found that doctors with burnout are twice as likely to be involved in patient safety incidents such as medication errors. 

The meta-analysis published in the BMJ today of 170 studies across the world found that the link between burnout and medication errors was greatest in doctors aged 20-30 years. 

DAUK co-chair Dr Matt Kneale told Pulse: ‘With chronic underfunding and decreasing staffing across the board, on the background of a major pandemic, it is no wonder that doctors are facing burnout at unprecedented levels. This is a national health crisis and without being addressed, staffing levels will continue to decline and patient safety will be compromised. 

‘We recognise the BMJ survey but suggest it is likely an underestimate of the true burden of burnout, given that even “minor” burnout not described in the headline findings is too much. This is reflected by GPs showing the lowest levels of burnout and yet still nationally declining in number.’ 

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