“Tired. Concerned. Trying not to lose hope.” A report from the NHS frontline

MDDUS members shared their experience of working for the health service as part of our review of 2022

Comments from MDDUS members on post-it notes
  • Date: 15 August 2023
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  • 4 minute read

OUR members have shared insights with us of their lived experience working in the health service during one of its toughest years.

Taken together, this collection of your personal ‘notes on a year’ became the key theme of our annual report and accounts for 2022.

We asked a sample of our 56,000 members to reflect on three prompts about their experiences at work last year:

  • Has the pandemic changed things forever for health professionals?
  • What does it mean personally to be a health professional?
  • Can you sum up 2022 in eight words?

The questionnaire was just one example of how we listened to our members to provide them with reliable advice and relevant support during a very challenging year.

In the testimonies, published in our annual report, a doctor from Scotland said that “trust, respect and confidence in healthcare professionals have been shattered” following the pandemic.

Another said simply that things at work were “much more hostile”.

Pride and passion

Despite the negative impact of the pandemic, most healthcare professionals considered their role as one they are proud of and passionate about.

A doctor from London said: “I love the feeling of curing and caring for patients, that’s all that matters to me.

“But bad-mouthing from media and government on top of my poor pay impact my motivation to work.”

While one chose to sum up the year in less than eight words, saying: “Tired. Concerned. Trying not to lose hope”.

Supporting and defending doctors

The challenges faced by MDDUS members in 2022 were reflected in the volume of advice calls dealt with by our medico-legal experts – up 15 per cent since the year before.

Our annual report and accounts for 2022 also shows that we:

  • increased membership by three per cent
  • introduced free, unlimited wellbeing support for all members and their admin teams
  • handled nearly 8,800 calls from doctors seeking advice and support
  • provided our doctor members with almost 2,200 hours of professional advice, a 15 per cent increase on 2021
  • supported nearly 3,000 dentists with issues ranging from complaints to regulatory investigations.

Chris Kenny, MDDUS chief executive, said: “Most people, including me, probably believe they understand the incredible efforts doctors and dentists make to keep people safe and healthy.

“But regular survey evidence and reading replies from our members about their experiences on the frontline is a stark reminder of how difficult it has been for those providing our healthcare service.

“At MDDUS, it is our job to provide expert advice and support to our members, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – whenever they need us.

“And so I was pleased to see membership grow in 2022, especially in areas where traditionally our competitors have dominated.”

Professor Iain Cameron, chair of MDDUS, said: “We made sure our members’ voice was heard as governments in the UK designed and reformed healthcare policy.

“Our efforts to ensure strong, meaningful relationships with key stakeholder groups paid dividends as crucial changes we called for were delivered in legislation and regulation.

“I am proud of the way we responded, the proactive steps we took and the care and diligent support we provided when it was really needed.”

The MDDUS Annual Report and Accounts for 2022 will be presented to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Glasgow on Friday 8 September at 10am. A formal Notice of the AGM will be sent to members in August.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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