Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democats leader, has today announced the Scottish Liberal Democrats official endorsement of the national Fight Fatigue campaign, a joint initiative of the Association of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of fatigue and shift work on our NHS workforce.
The Fight Fatigue campaign was launched last year in response to the tragic death of a trainee anaesthetist who died whilst driving home tired after a night shift. In addition, a national survey of over 2,000 anaesthetic trainees published in the scientific journal Anaesthesia found:
- Nearly three quarters of respondents reported fatigue had a negative effect on their physical health or psychological wellbeing.
- 84% had felt too tired to drive home safely after a night shift.
- Less than a third had access to a suitable rest facility.
- 57% had experienced an accident or near miss when driving home after a night shift.
Willie Rennie said:
“The Scottish Liberal Democrats full support the Fight Fatigue Campaign, a brilliant initiative, which is needed to protect our NHS staff from the impacts of sleep deprivation. It’s about educating people about the risks and mitigating the effects- in practice we want a cultural shift.
“Years of research has shown us that sleep is crucial to our health and overall wellbeing, meaning that a lack of sleep among our healthcare staff will have a detrimental impact on them, and potentially on their patients. To improve working conditions, and ensure patient safety we have a collective duty to make these small changes.”
Speaking about the Scottish Liberal Democrat’s official endorsement of the campaign, Association of Anaesthetists President and Consultant Anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Kathleen Ferguson, said:
“We are pleased to have the Scottish Liberal Democrat’s official endorsement of our Fight Fatigue campaign. We want to change attitudes across the NHS to ensure everyone understands the risks of fatigue and how to mitigate against them. We hope that by taking responsibility collectively for making changes to working practice, we can improve working conditions for all staff which will in turn benefit patient care.
“As momentum for our campaign grows, we now have increasing support from organisations representing a wide range of specialties across the NHS. We also have support from politicians across the political spectrum at Westminster and the devolved bodies. We urge all our colleagues in the NHS to back our campaign and ensure everyone understands the risks of fatigue and how to mitigate them.”