The GMC “Caring for doctors, caring for patients” report has been published today. This prompt review, only conceived in 2018, is structured around an “ABC of doctors’ needs”; Autonomy; Belonging and Competence. The report initially describes the strain on doctors and what the consequences are and goes on to use Case Studies to show instances of good practice in supporting Autonomy, Belonging and Competence in different organisations. Recommendations are made about:
- Voice, influence and justice
- Work conditions
- Work schedule and rotas
- Team working
- Culture and leadership
- Management and supervision
- Training, learning and development
Data in the report was pragmatically collected through a number of methods. Qualitative content analysis of meetings with doctors and mental health and wellbeing reports was undertaken to inform the themes covered in the report. A systematic review of interventions, designed to improve doctors’ health and wellbeing, drew on 100 papers and quantitative data from the National Training Survey (NTS) and form the NHS National Staff Survey were also analysed.
The report acknowledges many of the challenges faced by doctors and the Case Studies provide a starting point for organisations to consider how they might implement the recommendations. Although, eliminating tasks and activities that do not add value to patient care, or doctor’s wellbeing, is recommended, reducing the evidence required by training boards or improving appraisal are not explicitly mentioned. The benefits of less than full time working for all, in increasing recruitment and retention were not strongly emphasised either. The need for evidence-based, peer-reviewed measures of various aspects of wellbeing, however, comes through in the report.