A number of us have a long history of working in and for the NHS and in May 2013, a large number of us decided that it was time to act on improving the wellbeing of the 1.4 million people who work in and for the National Health Service and formed Action for NHS Wellbeing (AfNHSW). This arose from our shared concerns about the evidence of plummeting morale, increasing distress and burnout and National Reports (Boorman, Frances and Berwick especially) on the state of compassionate healthcare in the English NHS.
We ALL pay for and use the NHS and if it and its people are in distress or unwell, they and we ALL suffer. We could go on about doctors having power and that as patients we are subject to the various attitudes, behaviours, structures and processes that we all recognise; however, it is time for other conversations that are based on our shared humanity and basic needs.
Distressed and sick NHS staff are impaired in the same way as anyone else and their human needs are the same as ours. It is an indictment of much of their training that it does not emphasize that they can and will get distressed, demoralised and ill for the same reasons that we ALL do. No-one is above the Laws of Nature – we are ALL “only human”.
You can read what we think has to be in place in any organisation for people to thrive; we call this our Core Principle and Conditions. The Core Principle is what must be in place for creating a thriving organisation and people and the Conditions are what enable the Principle to be in place.