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GPs and practice managers invited to listening events to tackle stress

GPs, practice managers and all NHS staff are invited to listening events to tackle stress and devise solutions to present to government.

Professor Gerada: 'Everything is pointing to a system showing signs of stress' (Picture: Pete Hill)
Professor Gerada: 'Everything is pointing to a system showing signs of stress' (Picture: Pete Hill)

The first event is at the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury, London, on Saturday 20 September between 12.30 and 5pm and is backed by a network of bodies joining together for the first time including the RCGP, Institute of Healthcare Management and Royal Society for Public Health.

This follows recent surveys by Medeconomics and GP magazine which found serious problems with the morale of both GPs and practice managers.

Event organiser Professor Clare Gerada, medical director of the Practitioner Health Programme, which helps GPs with problems including mental health and alcohol addiction, and a former RCGP chairman, said: ‘I think there are a lot of problems in the NHS with how staff are treated.  Doctors and nurses are having mental health problems and everything is pointing to a system showing signs of stress.

‘As staff, on behalf of patients, we need to take control and talk about what is going wrong. We need to come up with what we should be asking of ourselves and government to make things better. This is not a whinge and we don’t want to be creating a big document.’

The sessions will be run by the Institute of Group Analysis and a group of managers and clinicians drawn from a number of organisations will collate the outputs of the listening events.

These will be shared with national policymakers and political leaders to help them to deliver on the commitments made in the NHS Constitution.

One such pledge is: ‘The NHS commits to provide a positive working environment for staff and to promote supportive, open cultures that help staff to do their job to the best of their ability.’

The organisers said: ‘We recognise that there are serious problems with working life in the NHS and these must be urgently addressed if the NHS is to have a secure future. Staff must work together to come up with solutions and create a momentum for change for the benefit of patients and the NHS.’

Future events will take place at BMA House on 8 November, on 24 January and 28 March 2015 at venues to be confirmed. Events are free, feedback will be anonymised and numbers are limited so registration is essential.

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