Headlines: April 8th, 2002

A new study conducted by the NHS Confederation has identified increased public expectations, diminished control and increased accountability as part of the key causes of unhappiness in the medical profession.Workload and pay are also highlighted in the report, ‘The problem of unhappy doctors: what are the causes and what can we do?’.

It is perhaps expected the report should find that doctors feel overworked and under-supported, but the other reasons for discontent are more illuminating – the lack of autonomy, the growth in public expectations and the mismatch between what doctors were trained for and what they are required to do.

The report is stronger for coming from the NHS Confederation, which represents the management organisations which make up the NHS, rather than a doctors’ organisation. The confederation says the report demonstrates the need for a new realistic contract between Government, society, the medical profession, patients and employers.

The report is part of a wider work programme being undertaken by the NHS Confederation into how to promote clinical leadership in the NHS.