The exit interview is a rare event in the 4 health services. The BMJ opinion from Wilson and Simpkin is honest and powerful, but their drawing attention to the absent “exit interviews” now needs attention, and from a completely independent HR company. None of the staff will trust the “in house” services. Yes, its got that bad, and its going to get worse. Life expectancy has peaked already and went down this last year….
“Enabling people to pursue their other interests is one key thing,” said Rakhee Shah, paediatric registrar and research associate at the Association for Young People’s Health, kicking off discussions. She highlighted the importance of giving clinicians more control over their working lives.
Ronny Cheung, consultant paediatrician at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, took this further, saying that it was also important to give clinicians control over their everyday workload. He said that his trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, had been “trying to make time and space for teams to come together.”
“It’s about regaining control,” he said, “and investing in people to allow them to do that.” This not only made staff feel more valued but also helped to remind them what they enjoyed about their work. “It has a multiplying effect,” he said.
Claire Lemer, consultant at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, highlighted the importance of food for staff. She described a successful initiative at her hospital that encouraged the executive team to provide food for clinical and administrative staff……
……The demise of the firm structure of working in hospitals had reduced support for clinicians, said Morrow….
…The panel also discussed how the intensity of clinical work affects clinicians’ ability to maintain a long term career in the NHS. Lemer said that, in some specialties, “the pressure and intensity of work is so extreme that it’s not sustainable for a whole career.”…
…Cheung also warned that the rigidity of medical training pathways was denying doctors the flexibility they needed, as they were forced to choose a specialty so early in their career.
“If we squeeze people into these pathways we shouldn’t be surprised if people break free, and we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re developing a workforce that isn’t particularly happy,” he said.
Opinion from Hannah Wilson and Arabella Simpkin is honest and ends with the paragraph: (This was not available in the on-line edition)
Quitting in Droves – Hannah Wilson and Arabella Simpkin P 473 of the BMJ
Surprisingly, while there is little literature that discusses both the quantity of doctors that leave the NHS and the factors that may drive them, there is no literature discussing the attributes and characteristics of doctors that leave. To understand what is driving the flight, we must first ask who are the doctors that quit? Surprisingly exit interviews are rarely held. Yet this is critical information to develop interventions and strategies to stem the leak.