How Burnout Is Damaging Emergency Medical Care

14th October 2013

Burnout manifests in both physical and emotional forms, but is overwhelmingly caused by stress in the workplace and persistent fatigue. The College of Emergency Medicine released the results of a survey this week that fielded the responses of more than 1,000 emergency health consultants in the UK. It found that six in every 10 emergency workers felt their jobs were ‘unsustainable’.

94 per cent of emergency workers surveyed admitted to working above and beyond what’s expected. What’s more, over half revealed that this was a regular event. The results point to doctors and nurses in emergency care suffering from burnout, stress and poor health due to excessive working hours and pressure on the job. Demand, as well as the increasing complexity of emergency care, were cited as key reasons for burnout.

Staff shortages have the flow-on effect of forcing staff who are available to work longer to compensate for the missing support. The overriding concern is that medical practitioners who continue to work while fighting the effects of burnout and related fatigue are more likely to put patients at risk through negligent care, as well as missed opportunities to intervene in the case of serious ill health.

In other industries, periods of overwork and stress do occur. The same applies in medicine, however it’s only when things go wrong that authorities appear to intervene. As too many Fletchers clients will attest, the time when things go wrong is far too late.

A bailout fund worth œ500 million aims to give hospitals suffering from issues, such as understaffing and burnout, special assistance for the next two winters. Easing undue strain on emergency services over busy times by patients presenting only in times of genuine emergency can play a part, but the real change will come through better valuing health practitioners and acknowledging when enough is enough.



Further Reading…

RCOG New Guidance on GBS

25th September 2017

RCOG publishes new guidance on managing Group B Strep infection The updated Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guideline on Group B Strep was published on 13 September 2017.  The…

Declining recruitment and increasing waiting times

9th October 2017

Recent news has seen reports of slower-than-average recruitment of NHS nurses and Trusts failing to meet national A&E waiting time targets, leaving the potential risk of failings in patient care.

What price to sign a liver?

15th January 2018

A liver surgeon who branded his initials on the livers of two patients has been recently received a £10,000 fine and been sentenced to 12 months community order.

Take the first step now, you have nothing to lose

Highly rated on 4.0/5.0

  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2016
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • Lexcel - Excellence in Legal Practice Management and Client Care
  • IIP - Investors in People
  • sia - Spinal Injuries Association
  • MASS - Motor Accident Solicitors Society
  • Apil - Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Headway - The Brain Injury Association
  • avma - Action Against Medical Accidents
  • Backup Trust - Transforming Lives After Spinal Cord Injury
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Cyber Essentials
Any Questions?

We know that making a claim can raise a few questions, here are some of the ones we get asked most often.

Read our FAQs

Contact Details
03300 080 321
Dukes House, 34 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PU
St James's Tower, 7 Charlotte Street, Manchester, M1 4DZ
Map of the UK