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International Practitioner Health Summit 2022: The Wounded Healer

News and presentations from today's NHS Practitioner Health conference The Wounded Healer 2022, recognising the importance of staff wellbeing to the delivery of patient care, and the need to reflect and restore.  

Government Update

Professor Chris Whitty Chief Medical Officer for England

Prof Whitty opened the conference with an address focusing on the impact of the pandemic and how it has affected the profession across the NHS.  He said; "the affect this has had is not uniform, the impact on A&E and critical care with PTSD is massive". People have responded in different ways on different levels, there are those with serious physical and mental reactions to Covid, and there is a large group suffering significant stress and exhaustion, and then those that may be relatively unaffected but that feel guilty about that.  Most importantly we need to address the physical and mental health needs and how we organise the system to provide support.  Prof Whitty spoke about the importance of a supportive team structure; "We need to acknowledge there are many people experiencing substantial difficulties who need support from all of us." Prof Whitty finished his talk with a plea for everyone to let him know what you think should be done to support people.    

Speaking Pandemic Truth to Power

Dr Rachel Clarke Palliative Care Doctor and Author

• the human need to give voice to what we witness - and, crucially, for this to be heard
• the cost to healthcare practitioners of their lived experiences of pandemic medicine being minimised, dismissed, or ignored
• the therapeutic benefits of sharing our own stories with others, to help us come to terms with the burdens and trauma of caring for patients in pandemic conditions

Rachel said; "How do we live now with the pandemic memories we all have - quite a few people would like our memories to just disappear, Boris spin is denying and reasing frontline experiences."

Nurse Government Update

Ruth May
Chief Nursing Officer for England


Why we need to stop talking about resilience and start talking about failure. A story of hope and recovery

Dr Helen Garr Deputy Medical Director
NHS Practitioner Health

"Seeking help is strength"
Helen talked about resilience and how we cope when things go wrong. She said in medicine we demand pefectionism.  We self select the perfectionist in the healthcare system, yet in healthcare things will go wrong. Resilience is not how far you fall but how quickly you get back up by learning from what went wrong. 

The mental health of healthcare staff during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond

Professor Neil Greenberg Professor of Defence Mental Health
King’s College London

• what was the mental health of NHS staff working during the Covid-19 pandemic
• what impact did potentially moral injurious events have on staff wellbeing
• what support mechanisms are associated with better mental health
• what might be the lessons for supporting the mental health of healthcare staff in the future

Consensus Statement 


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