Private doctors quizzed on workplace stress

Independent practitioners are taking part in major research to support their health and well-being in increasingly pressurised workplaces.

Consultants and GPs in private practice are being asked to confidentially contribute to in-depth interviews designed to understand their work-related risks and strategies they use to address these.

The ‘Thrive at Work’ project, led by Affinity Health at Work, is funded by the MPS Foundation, a global not-for-profit initiative which researches well-being of healthcare professionals, their teams and patient safety.

As many as 500 private practitioners are due to participate in a survey based on the priorities identified in the interviews, measures of the work environment, plus health and self-related performance outcomes. 

Questions for the survey will also consider awareness and acceptability of strategies and interventions to support workplace mental health.

Help to identify risks

Prof Jo Yarker

Researchers aim to develop a range of resources and interventions, including downloadable guidance and two- to five-minute videos, to support clinicians in identifying work-related risks and taking preventative and supportive action.

Prof Jo Yarker, a psychologist and managing partner at research and consultancy organisation Affinity Health at Work, said: ‘Given the growing number of people using private healthcare due to long NHS waiting lists, private practitioners are under increased pressure and the need to support and protect their well-being has never been greater.

‘Research into the well-being of healthcare professionals is often focused on the public sector and does not capture the nuances of working in the private sector – for example, running a profitable business, different governance structures and different patient demands when delivering a paid-for service. 

‘Private settings are also typically smaller than their public counterparts and may have fewer support services available to clinicians.

‘Our project aims to identify aspects of the work environment that are considered most stressful, and target interventions and resources that help clinicians understand their personal work-related risks and develop skills to manage these risks. 

‘This will ultimately support their mental health and help healthcare professionals thrive in their work.’

Medical Protection Society (MPS)’s MPS Foundation has supported over 30 research projects worldwide since its 2022 formation.

To take part in the project, via an interview or survey, register your interest at www.affinityhealthatwork.com/current-studies/1759.