PROTECT THE FRONTLINE
Protect the Frontline
Doctors have stepped up to the mark going above and beyond to keep patient safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. However there have been multiple concerns raised by frontline doctors and our members, especially in regard to Personal Protective Equipment and frontline testing.
Our Protect the Frontline campaign has been running since early March 2020.
We have been consistently campaigning for adequate PPE for doctors NHS staff for some weeks to help keep us, our families and our patients safe. DAUK have also been leading the call for COVID-19 testing to be extended to NHS healthcare workers.
We are now calling for a rapid full public inquiry into healthcare worker deaths and failure of PPE supply in addition to coroner’s inquests.
As the voice for frontline doctors DAUK has been communicating our members concerns to the government, NHS England and Public Health England and working with other medical organisations to ensure doctors are protected.
Our #ProtectTheFrontline campaign has gained widespread media coverage. Now DAUK have developed an app with Messly allowing doctors to report PPE shortages in real-time from the frontline. Doctors can also request emergency PPE via the app and DAUK has teamed up with fundraisers to deliver thousands of items of PPE including masks and gowns to the frontline.
LEARN NOT BLAME
For too long, when things go wrong, the blame culture has prevailed. This is endemic both within the profession and NHS organisations more widely, often without genuine analysis of systemic failings, or learning from what happened. Recent high profile cases have illustrated just how toxic this blame culture can be. In this campaign, we are coming together to say: enough. This has to stop.
What we need is a just culture in the NHS, where every individual – whether patient or staff – is valued and cared for. We need to develop a culture that celebrates success and the good work of thousands of professionals, but one that also acknowledges and learns in a constructive and fair manner when things go wrong.
We seek to empower doctors – and all those working in the NHS regardless of role – to do what they can within their own sphere of influence to ensure meaningful change and to create a better NHS to work in – and a better NHS for patients.
The NHS is Britain’s greatest treasure. Yet it still harbours a culture of hierarchy where bullying, harassment and appalling training environments go unchallenged. We believe that bullying, and discouraging victims from speaking up, goes hand in hand with a blame culture.
Often doctors are shamed into silence, and don’t realise other doctors are struggling just as much as they are. Morale is at an all time low in the NHS, with rates of burnout and sadly, even physician suicide on the rise. DAUK are teaming up with our Royal Colleges as part of a wider NHS anti-bullying alliance and are encouraging doctors to speak out.
After #NHSMeToo went viral, DAUK launched a subsequent campaign lobbying for a Compassionate Culture. After enabling doctors to speak up about instances of bullying and mistreatment, we are now asking doctors to share their positive experiences, where they have been treated with compassion.
Through our campaign we hope to share and disseminate examples of exemplary practice to encourage a change in culture and a move towards a kinder NHS which treats staff with compassion.