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Ongoing Frustrations at work in healthcare – What can you do?

This blog will discuss the reality behind the recent headlines highlighting poor clinical care in the NHS. It will suggest some tips that clinicians can implement in order to work productively within this environment.

Currently, the National Health Service (NHS), is in the news- like never before. In particular it concerns failing standards at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust; Managers there were more concerned with ‘fiddling’ targets so that it made the hospital ‘look’ good- rather than listening to the regular and consistent concerns about poor staffing (leading to poor clinical care) raised by patients and staff alike.  This is a problem that is not recent, nor is it limitted to one trust alone, as this article demonstrates. All these problems therefore lead to staff frustrations and stress levels rising.

Those of us NHS health professionals know that this ‘target oriented’ culture is a nationwide problem.  It is something I have experienced in one form or another- and always supported by the local Manager and their Senior Managers. So where do you go – who do you turn to when you feel that you do’t agree with the directive?


In the many discussions I, and no doubt you have had about this, it is apparent like never before that the problem lies in the fact that the NHS is run like a business! Many NHS Chief Executives are Accountants- they have not ‘come up through the ranks’ and so do not know the ‘ins and outs’ of delivering basic clinical work so naturally they do not appreciate the real impact of the directives they instruct. Read a really interesting article (in the Guardian) about this.

This ongoing problem with the NHS can seem a big and overwhelming issue and indeed it contributes to stress at work. To avoid ‘sinking’ under the stress of it all, all we can do is look after ourselves and eachother as far as possible.
Read these blogs: ‘Who is Rowing your boat?’ and ‘Spotting Stress in the Employee’ for tips on how to rise above and overcome workplace stress.

As clinicians we do a very difficult job and mostly for a love of it (at least at the start – demoralisation soon sets in). But the day- day realities can mean that our daily duties can fall short of clinical work – we are requires to sped a lot of time on bureaucratic administrative tasks such as: attending meetings, or doing too much (unnecessary) paperwork (recording statistics), etc.

There is a way we can work to limit the effect of these environmental and circumstantial effects on us at work (both mentally and physically);

Click to learn more about a workshop I am doing for Health Sector workers and how it can help us work optimally in the current climate. You will learn useful tips and tricks to help you make more real time at work- for the important things (like looking after patients and other clinical duties)-Fancy that!

Look out for Part 2: Ongoing Frustrations in the NHS- How to avoid the blame game


photo credit: <a href=”″>Sign of the Times</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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