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Views And Reviews

Doctors’ wellbeing: self-care during the covid-19 pandemic

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 24 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1150

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  1. Shreena Unadkat, clinical psychologist,
  2. Michael Farquhar, consultant in sleep medicine
  1. Sleep medicine department, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, UK
  1. Shreena.Unadkat{at}

During a period of increased stress and uncertainty it is more important than ever for NHS staff to look after themselves, say Michael Farquhar and Shreena Unadkat

In February 2019, Health Education England published the Pearson report looking at the mental wellbeing of NHS staff. It asked about who cares for the people who care for the nation’s health and stated, “We must improve the way in which we look after ourselves and our colleagues, so they are better placed to meet the needs of patients.”

That reflects a growing consensus—from the General Medical Council, the Royal Colleges, the BMA, and others—that protecting the wellbeing of NHS staff is essential.

The NHS, already under chronic strain, is about to be put under almost unimaginable additional pressure, as we respond to a global public health challenge of a magnitude not seen for generations.

The paradox is that the more pressured things become, the more important it is to pay attention to …

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