24 May, 16 | by Guest Post
In this guest post, Gabriella Morley reflects on her experience as a just-qualified doctor in paediatrics in Birmingham, UK, and what the experience of the “Learning From Excellence” model feels like to those under the greatest strain at the moment – junior doctors in England.
It could probably be said that this was one of the most turbulent and uncertain years for doctors in the NHS. Yet the contractual dispute was the proverbial last straw causing the final break in our backs. For a long time now, morale in the NHS has been fading.
I didn’t really get this though before I started life as an FY1 back in August ’15. How could people be dissatisfied, frustrated or, frankly, just down right fed up when they are doing, what I perceive, is a very meaningful job?Of course that’s naive, but until you’re in its hard to fully appreciate just how stretched the system is. Now I know, there is a constant in our hospitals which is a backdrop to our day: tension. It’s almost palpable. We feel under pressure constantly quite simply because there is demand greater than our supply. The beds are full, the A and E swamped and ‘crisis’ is becoming a norm. We worry about what our next shift might have in store for us as the rota gaps get more prevalent and the workload intensifies. We are scared that this struggling system may mean we slip causing damage to the very people we so badly want to help. It’s thus not surprising that morale, “the level of psychological well-being based on such factors as a sense of purpose and confidence in the future”, is looking a bit peaky.