The Founders Network was founded in July 2014 on the initiative of Clare Gerada, Lambeth GP, Medical Director NHS Practitioner Health Programme, and Rex Haigh Medical Psychotherapist and Institute of Group Analysis Board Member. I am a proud member of this network and I can see it growing from strength to strength.
The collective network recognizes that there are serious problems with working life in the NHS and these must be urgently addressed if the NHS is to have a secure future. This sentiment provides the basis for my PhD work, and I am extremely grateful to Clare Gerada for advising me on my project as it moves forward. The infamous paper compiled by Clare introduces the succinct notion that “If the NHS were a patient, it would have Depression” and as such, we have much work to do in order to ‘fix’ this.
It became apparent that action was needed. A series of active listening events collectively named as the Creating a healthier NHS project, facilitated by the Founders Network and the Institute of Group Analysis were arranged as a platform to hear NHS staff and explore solutions to remedy the toxic cultures within the health care system. I attended three of these listening events and as a result, have met many inspiring people with illuminating stories to tell!
The most poignant idea that stemmed from these for me personally was this:
(I have added some extra thoughts to this!)
- The NHS is the burnt out and overworked mother of the nation, her internal struggles are endless.
- She is not kind to herself.
- The father of the nation is our government.
- Father may well want a divorce, but the alimony payments would be too high to bare.
- Mother is having to care for more and more children with more complex needs, but with less resources. She is constantly adjusting her purse strings, but someone always loses out.
- The father is frustrated and entertaining a mistress (Privatization) – shes alluring and dangerous, so he keeps quiet about her.
- The children continue to tug at mothers apron strings, demanding more and more.
- There is only so much more mother can take before she breaks. SHE is the one who needs to be cared for.
And that is why I feel passionate about this drive to value NHS staff. They need to be cared for if the patient is to receive quality care. Staff may not be very good at caring for themselves, and therefore it is imperative that we keep this conversation going, take action via the Founders Network and move towards appointing a national lead for NHS staff health and wellbeing. Please consider joining this network if you feel able to.
Here are some of the videos from the listening events if you could not attend, I will share the outcome of these listening events as soon as they become available to me and open to public viewing.
If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed within this post, please visit the support page.