What I learnt this week: The amount of night in a night shift #WILTW

This is the 70th #WILTW

This week saw the unfortunate fallout resulting from the breakdown of negotiations between the trade union for doctors in the UK (the BMA) and the government over a new Junior Doctor contract.

One of the documents circulating is from the Review body of Doctors’ and Dentist’s Renumeration. In it there is an interesting table which comes from an analysis by the Incomes Data Service.

Please click to enlarge

Whether it is important or relevant to compare fast food restaurants with hospitals is not a question I wish to tackle here. However the last row did catch my eye as it appears airline pilots have a night shift window which starts at 1am. The DDRB document also has the following

Airline Pilots

Airline and Healthcare analogies come-and-go on a regular basis and probably have mixed utility. What I immediately thought of was the challenge pilots must have with their body clocks and the subsequent relief that I no longer have to do regular night shifts. However I fully expect that due to the current and future dynamics of the provision of health services in the UK that shifts going well into the early morning  will become a typical feature of rota’s for senior staff in Children’s Emergency Medicine (and I am sure this is happening in places already)

There is a great piece of work from the Royal College of Physicians on working the night shift (thanks @thefourthcraw for the heads up) and a Top 10 tips on surviving the night shift from the team at Life in the Fast lane.

Whatever eventually falls out for Junior Doctors and Consultants it is going to require reviews of shift patterns in order to maintain emergency services 24/7. I’m mindful of the impact this will have both on professionals (and therefore patients) and wonder if we have a common language about what a night shift is (and can do to you..)

What have you learnt this week? #WILTW

(for those receiving by e-mail there are clearer figures in the online version)

Leave a Reply