Looking after ourselves at work: the importance of being hydrated and fedBMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l528 (Published 06 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l528
All rapid responses
By default, all of us who come to work in NHS, want to make a difference to our patients' lives and forget the oxygen mask in the aeroplane principle. In view of limited NHS resources, there is a nation-wide huge drive to improve quality and financial efficiencies to meet operational and clinical targets. However if appropriate mapping and allocation of resources to fulfil these objectives is not achieved robustly, it can predispose all staff members (clinical and operational) to ignore their body alarms like headaches, thirst, exhaustion on a daily basis, which can lead to more serious complications e.g migraines, hypertension, kidney stones, sleep deprivation, obesity, vertigo, insulin resistance leading to diabetes and increased cardiovascular risk. All these avoidable clinical conditions can have far reaching implications in the lives of NHS staff members--both professional and personal--including the potential for a staff member to make medical errors due to suboptimal health.
I absolutely agree with Brennan et al that proper structured breaks, easy access to drinking water, clean toilets and good quality nutritious food in the hospital should be easily available to all staff members which will help them to have an optimum metabolism, allowing them to perform their duties well and reduce any sickness absenteeism- a feature which is showing an upward trend in many NHS hospitals.
Thanks again to all the authors and BMJ team for this invaluable article. A healthy NHS workforce is crucial to provide high quality patient care and all attempts should be made at relevant strategic levels to achieve this.
Competing interests: No competing interests