BMJ launches campaign for adequate rest breaks for doctors


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Professional News
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The BMJ has launched a new campaign called ‘Give Us a Break' which is calling for doctors to be able to take the breaks that they need, for their own wellbeing and for patient safety.

The journal points out that a BMA analysis found that nearly 20 per cent of hospitals do not have a common room or doctors’ lounge. Rest facilities for use at night have also disappeared following the abolition of the 24-hour resident on-call shifts, the BMJ says.

The BMJ will campaign for doctors in secondary care to have access to a doctors' lounge or staff room, and to properly equipped and maintained on-call rooms. It says it will monitor and report progress towards this aim in trusts across the UK.

The Give Us a Break campaign will also encompass general practice, where “workload pressures prevent GPs from taking the breaks that they need”. The BMJ will explore how teams have found ways to get together for a coffee break or lunch.

Writing in the journal, Cat Chatfield, quality improvement editor, and Abi Rimmer, careers editor, said: “We will promote a culture that encourages doctors to take a few minutes out of their day to pause and regroup.”

The BMJ is inviting doctors to take part in the campaign by sharing examples of where things are changing for the better or where more work needs to be done via social media using #giveusabreak.