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The impact of cutbacks and manpower shortages on GPs will come under the spotlight at this weekend’s wide-ranging EQuiP conference, which will address a variety of topics on the theme of patient safety, including the impact of capacity and resources in general practice.
Secretary of EQuiP and conference organiser, Dr Andree Rochfort, said the event is of huge importance to GPs in Ireland. Dr Rochfort is also Director of Quality Improvement with the ICGP.
“Workload pressures and stress are a common part of many GPs’ lives, with the inability to find locums, and the complexity and unpredictability of their work,” said Dr Rochfort. “This conference will have open discussions on balancing patients’ expectations with their capacity to deliver, in a changing healthcare environment. Happy doctors means safer patients, and doctors need to heed the signs of burnout.”
GP Dr Mark Rowe, who will give a workshop on physician wellbeing, said some data would suggest that as many as 50 per cent of GPs suffer from stress and burnout in their lives. “We are working in a dysfunctional system in the HSE, and the truth is that we cannot control a lot of the changes that are happening. So doctors have to put their focus on self-care”, he said.
GP trainee Dr Anna McHugh will present a paper on the OAK project in Letterkenny University Hospital which found ways of helping staff build resilience and overcome burnout.