Sleep deprivation during pandemic ‘impairing one in four NHS doctors'
The Guardian|January 18, 2022
One in four doctors in the NHS are so tired that their ability to treat patients has become impaired, according to the first survey to reveal the impact of sleep deprivation on medics during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Gregory

Growing workloads, longer hours and widespread staffshortages are causing extreme tiredness among medics , leading to memory problems and difficulty concentrating, according to the report by the Medical Defence Union (MDU), which provides legal support to about 200,000 doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare workers.

The survey of more than 500 doctors across the UK, carried out within the past month and seen by the Guardian, uncovered almost 40 near misses as a direct result of exhaustion. In at least seven cases, patients actually sustained harm.

Despite encouraging signs that the Omicron wave may be fading , doctors admitted the constant pressure of the past 22 months spent fighting Covid on the frontline was taking a toll on their technical skills and even their ability to make what should be straightforward medical decisions. Medics admitted for the first time that sleep deprivation was causing real harm to patients in the NHS.

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