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24.07.17

Most physicians ‘don’t feel valued’ by hospital they work in

Only one in four substantive consultant physicians in the UK feel valued by the hospital they work in, a survey conducted by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has today warned.

In April, researchers from the RCP and a number of other organisations asked physicians questions about their wellbeing, and found that although more than 78% felt valued by their patients more than half the time and 70% felt valued by co-workers, only 26% said they felt valued by the hospital they worked for.  

Self-determination was often found to be linked to wellbeing in the survey, but only 53% of consultants said they felt largely determined in their job plans.

Physicians also voiced considerable interest in more flexible working, with 39% revealing they want annualised hours and a third want a sabbatical as a means of improving career satisfaction.

More than half (52%) of respondents also reported that their “dream job plan” would entail more research, while 41% said they want more teaching and 47% want more time with patients.

The research also revealed that physicians wanted to retire between the age of 60 to 64 on average. When asked why, the most popular reason (70%) was personal life, whilst 31% said uncertainty about the future of the NHS was a factor.

The census also asked respondent to highlight what they would like others to say about them once they have retired, with the majority (57%) stating they want to be remembered as hard-working and 34% saying they want to be remembered in a patient-centred way (eg. ‘missed by patients’).

“Consultant physicians reported that they wanted to spend more time with patients, suggesting that they felt valued by them,” the survey stated. “They felt considerably less valued by hospitals, and stated they would like to spend more time in research and teaching. 

“Some of the ways that consultants said that their working lives could be improved would be the ability to work with annualised hours, with the option of a sabbatical.

“If working patterns were altered with 7-day working then this could be incorporated. Over their working lives, consultants really want to ‘make a difference.’”

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