The suicide rate among doctors in the UK is double the national average. There are many doctors who drink too much and take drugs to help them cope, however, there are no specific figures.
There is rising concern in the UK about how stressed doctors are becoming, say experts. The Central Manchester NHS Trust found, after carrying out a survey, that the level of stress experienced by its doctors was so high that they invited a company of psychology consultants to come in. Theyir task is to try and help doctors better cope with stress.
Len Richards, Director of Children's Services said to Hospital Doctor magazine "The impact of modernisation together with local and national agendas for change have increased the pressure on staff across the whole of the NHS.”
(NHS = National Health Service)
The psychologists are first carrying out a survey. Once that is done they have been asked to put forward a plan of action.
Richards said "The aim of the survey is to understand the levels of workplace pressures across the Children's Services Division, with every member of staff being invited to take part. It will allow us to identify areas for further work that will incorporate staff involvement through focus groups."
Dr Oliver Dearlove, a consultant paediatric anaesthetist at Central Manchester NHS Trust hospital, said "My perception was that there was an increased level of stress among colleagues at the Children's Hospital compared with other hospitals.”
The British Medical Association (BMA) says that doctors will often be the last people in the world to admit that they have a stress-related illness. They do not even like to admit that they are under too much pressure. Therefore, the BMA welcomed this move.
Dr Edwin Borman said "One of the problems in the past has been doctors' reluctance to admit they are ill, depressed or under considerable pressure. This is a very positive step and I very much hope that the consultants get the support they need."