Jim Shannon – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Shannon on 2016-10-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to provide support for (a) junior doctors and (b) other medical staff employed in hospitals who are experiencing stress.

Mr Philip Dunne

Employers across the National Health Service are responsible for the health and wellbeing of all their staff. They will provide access to a range of services and support to staff including doctors who feel they are experiencing stress.

The Department continues to commission NHS Employers to provide advice, guidance and good practice to the NHS on improving staff physical and mental health and wellbeing. This includes an emotional wellbeing toolkit enabling staff to check their own emotional wellbeing and encourage discussion with colleagues. NHS Employers is also working with NHS England who are investing £5 million in a new NHS staff physical and mental health and wellbeing initiative, with the support of Public Health England.

There are particular additional issues for junior doctors relating to the need for them to move between different hospitals in the course of their training. Health Education England, which is responsible for doctor training arrangements has a programme of work to address these issues. This includes looking at reducing the number of training rotations to help balance doctors’ work and other responsibilities such as family and caring commitments, giving doctors ten weeks’ notice of new placements and reviewing the process for the annual review of competence progression to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.