Fight Fatigue campaign welcomes confirmed NHS England trust funding for rest facilities

We welcome the recent announcement that every NHS Trust in England will receive funding towards improving rest facilities, following an agreement reached between the government and the BMA. 

The Royal College of Anaesthetists, The Association of Anaesthetists, and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine’s Fight Fatigue campaign which calls for a minimum provision of free rest facilities within hospitals has developed practical Fight Fatigue resources for hospitals to use as part of their staff inductions, to educate on the importance of good sleep hygiene. By educating healthcare professionals on the importance of good sleep hygiene and improving the availability of rest facilities we can help to change the culture of fatigue within the NHS.

Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said: “Further to our previous call for the Secretary of State to deliver on his priority of “valuing, fighting for and championing NHS staff”, we now welcome the Government’s £10m investment into the development of rest facilities for staff across hospital Trusts in England. This injection of capital funding should allow hospitals to address the lack of adequate rest facilities - something our own data clearly shows is leading to high levels of fatigue and low morale among staff. Valuing our doctors and other front-line healthcare workers and keeping them fit and healthy so they can provide the highest level of care for their patients, is something we should all be championing. The College is proud to be one of the three partners of the Fight Fatigue campaign and I encourage all anaesthetists across the NHS to make use of the fatigue resources available to educate and raise awareness of fatigue amongst their colleagues.”

Dr Kathleen Ferguson, President of the Association of Anaesthetists said: “The announcement to fund improved rest facilities for staff across NHS trusts in England is a welcome development in the drive to improve the working environment and wellbeing of NHS staff.  We know that tired healthcare workers pose a risk to their own safety and that of patients, and this funding will help to remove barriers to effective rest during and after work shifts. Alongside improved facilities we are campaigning to change attitudes across the NHS to ensure everyone understands the risks associated with fatigue and how to recognise them. Through our Fight Fatigue campaign educational resources, we want to reduce the stigma attached to talking about fatigue and we encourage colleagues to join the campaign.”

Dr Carl Waldmann, Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine said: “This funding announcement is a positive step towards addressing the needs and wellbeing of NHS staff and, in turn, allowing them to provide safer and more effective care for patients.  Critical care remains active 24 hours a day, seven days of the week, and staff need the support of every hospital in ensuring they are able to rest and recuperate.”

17 May 2019