The RCGP has launched a new poster campaign urging GPs to take breaks to ensure patient safety.
The campaign, titled ‘Your safety should always come first’, says that the limits on hours worked by pilots, lorry drivers and train drivers should apply to GPs.
It adds that GPs have to see as many as 60 patients a day, finishing off with: ‘A rested GP is a safer GP.’
The poster will be sent to every GP practice in the UK ‘to emphasise the need for GPs and other practice staff to take regular breaks in order to prevent overtiredness and ensure safe care for their patients’, the college said.
The campaign is one of the outcomes of a report by the RCGP last year highlighting growing fatigue amongst overworked GPs.
RCGP breaks poster
Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP and an expert in patient safety, said: ‘Most people would not get on a plane flown by a tired pilot, or jump on a train where they knew the driver had already worked a 12-hour day – and most patients would not choose to be the 40th or 50th patient at the end of a long day in surgery.’
She added: ‘We hope that our poster will encourage practices to implement regular breaks for all GPs, even as little as 10 minutes, so that we can catch our breath from the pressures of surgery.’