Well, we have just welcomed in 2017 and can I take this opportunity to wish all Univadis readers and everyone else, a healthy and happy New Year. As we all return to work switch on and log in to our computers, our thoughts will drift into what 2017 will bring us. Irrespective of where we work in the NHS, I am sure it will be a bumpy ride for all of us in 2017. In primary care, I suspect morale will remain low and the pressures will continue to relentlessly increase. This year, we will have to contend with the unknown impact of Brexit as well as ongoing austerity and all the other numerous political uncertainties that we will have to face.
In light of these problems, looking at this from a primary care perspective, what should our New Year’s resolution(s) be? Despite the huge pressures and workload issues we will undoubtedly have to face, I think it is important to further increase our personal resilience and try and create robust mechanisms to help us deal with the everyday stress we face. Of course GPs and their staff are not the only ones with a stressful job; the vast majority of any workforce is at risk of work related stress. It is a very personal method in how you deal with stress and everyone is different but it is worth thinking of developing suitable coping mechanisms. Perhaps it is worth us all reviewing this situation?
At the same time, it is important to remain committed to our job and remain compassionate and understanding of our patients. In the heat and pressure of a 10 minutes’ appointment (or longer if you are lucky) it is not easy, particularly when we are dealing with many problems and multiple morbidity.
It is also important to try and be understanding of the work that many of our colleagues carry out. This can be assisted by better communication between us all which in turn could help improve teamwork and a more integrated response to patient care.
GPs and their staff face immense pressure to carry out their activities and at the end of the day; we all want to do the best for our patients. So trying to increase our resilience, remain compassionate and trying to better understand the role and work of our many colleagues are three good New Year resolutions to try and follow. If you have any other suggestions, I would be interested to hear them. 2017 is likely to be another tough year and good luck coping with all the pressures and difficulties, we are likely to face. Hopefully we will all come through this year in good shape whilst continuing to provide high quality patient care.
Dr Harry Brown, editor-in-chief Univadis