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Who cares for the carers? Preventing burnout in primary care.

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Who cares for the carers? Preventing burnout in primary care.

Emotional exhaustion. A sense of reduced professional performance. Increased negativity, even cynicism. A decrease in self-worth. Anxiety. Tearfulness…

Burnout can affect people in any profession. But it is undeniably widespread within healthcare, and particularly in the primary care sector, where staff increasingly feel over worked and under resourced.

Prevention, as always, is better than cure. And there are a number of strategies that can be put in place within a practice to alleviate and reduce the incidence of burnout.

Essentially staff have three core needs: to feel in control of their work life; to feel connected to a caring, supportive workplace community; and to feel effective, delivering positive patient outcomes.

One key provision that contributes to fulfilling all three of these needs is the creation of primary care team that ensures all clinical roles and skill sets are represented, meeting patient needs and distributing the workload in a manageable way.

Other practical measures to consider include:

Putting staff wellbeing front and centre with a well-lit and ventilated environment. Consider a quiet room where team members can relax and recharge.

Make sure everyone has a voice, and everyone listens. Whether it’s regular meetings or unplanned chats, open communication is a stress reliever.

Give positive feedback and share good news when you can. And when mistakes happen choose learning, not blaming.

Make sure everyone knows that mental wellbeing is not only a priority, but that help and support is there.

Build the team with social activities.

Put a mentoring scheme in place. A trusted ear and an experienced voice is invaluable.

At Vela, we are experts in helping primary care networks recruit and retain Allied Health Professional and Nursing Staff, making sure practices are supplied with the right skill mix, so the workload is shared in a sustainable way.

If we can help you, we’ll be happy to chat.