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Nine out of ten trainee doctors said they do not have someone at work solely responsible for staff wellbeing

Post date: 06/08/2019 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 17/09/2019

A Medical Protection survey of doctors has highlighted concerns about staff wellbeing, with junior doctors feeling the least prioritised by their line managers/partners.

Ahead of thousands of new doctors starting their careers on hospital wards, 90% of trainees who responded said they do not have someone at work solely responsible for staff wellbeing. The results also revealed that:

  • 70% do not feel like their personal wellbeing is a priority of their line manager/partner
  • More than half did not feel encouraged by their line manager/partner to discuss wellbeing issues
  • Almost 43% agree or strongly agree to have considered leaving the profession for reasons of personal wellbeing.

Medical Protection believes the early experiences of doctors can shape their careers, and it is important that as new doctors start their foundation years on hospital wards, they are safe in the knowledge that they are working in a supportive environment.

The defence organisation is recommending that NHS organisations in England fully commit to the implementation of Health Education England’s recommendation to establish Workforce Wellbeing Guardians in every NHS organisation by 2022. Similar actions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be taken.

Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, Education Lead at Medical Protection said: “While nearly half of trainee doctors would recommend medicine as a career – there are clearly challenges which highlight the importance in building an environment which allows new doctors to succeed and harness the enthusiasm they have.

“Being a newly qualified doctor is a challenging yet rewarding time, but they must remember that they are not alone. Working in a clinical team allows them to help and support each other and seek guidance and advice from senior colleagues and peers. This is positively evident in our survey, which showed that 87% agree or strongly agree that they would be prepared to cover a colleague’s work for a short period, so that they may take a break.”

“However, just under two thirds do not or do not at all feel supported by their practice/hospital management – it is therefore imperative that there is the right mix of support from clinical leaders, peers and managers, as this can help prevent the loss of these hard-working and highly skilled doctors.”  

  1. Medical Protection conducted a survey of doctors. The survey ran from June 11 – June 25 2019 and received 275 responses, 53 of which were trainees.


For press enquiries, please contact the MPS press office.

About Medical Protection

Medical Protection is a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). MPS is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

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