One in three NHS doctors 'burnt out'
NORTHERN Ireland doctors are the most resilient in the NHS but continue to suffer from burnout and "compassion fatigue", a major study has found.
More than 1,600 medics from across the UK discussed the emotional impact of their job at a time of unprecedented work pressures.
Published in the BMJ Open Journal, it found that almost a third may be "burnt out".
A&E doctors and GPs reported the highest levels of exhaustion and stress.
A geographical breakdown showed that doctors working in Northern Ireland scored higher in terms of resilience than their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales.
Hospital-based doctors also scored higher for resilience than GPs.
Doctors in Northern Ireland are currently faced with the worst waiting lists on record, with A&E units reporting thousands of 12-hour breaches over the Christmas period amid severe workforce shortages and a big spike in the number of patients presenting.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association, said: "Years of systemic underfunding and serious workforce shortages mean NHS doctors are working longer hours in highly pressured, understaffed environments, and their wellbeing is suffering as a result."
The vast majority of the 1,651 doctors who took part in the survey last autumn were women.
Of those who responded, almost a third reported high burnout, more than a quarter had "high secondary traumatic stress", and 31 per cent had compassion fatigue.
Their overall score for resilience was found to be 65 out of 100 - with doctors in the north scoring 68.5.
Hospital doctors were more resilient than family doctors, and consultants were more resilient than recently qualified doctors.
Medics in A&E units were much more burned out and stressed than those in other areas of care.
GPs, meanwhile, had the lowest scores for compassion satisfaction.
Meanwhile, a separate study has found that almost one in five doctors who deliver babies have post-traumatic stress disorder from witnessing distressing events in their work.
In a survey of 1,095 UK obstetricians and gynaecologists, two-thirds said they had encountered traumatic situations during labour and birth.