03 March 2017
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Press release: EQuiP Patient Safety Conference

Family doctors need to heed the warnings of stress and burnout on patient safety in general practice, conference told.

Irish and European family doctors meeting at a major European conference on patient safety and general practice in Dublin this weekend (Fri 3rd and Sat 4th March) will highlight how doctors need to heed the warnings of stress and burnout and take action to care for themselves.

The impact of cutbacks and manpower shortages on family doctors will come under the spotlight at this weekend's wide-ranging EQuiP conference, which will address a wide range of topics on the theme of patient safety, including the impact of capacity and resources in general practice.

The secretary of EQuiP, and conference organiser, Dr Andree Rochfort, said the conference is of huge importance to general practitioners in Ireland. Dr Rochfort is 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% 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 Hospital which found ways of helping staff build resilience and overcome burnout.

Cork-based GP Dr Aoife Lyons surveyed how practices were using texting in their practices to communicate with their patients.

Details of the conference can be found at www.icgp.ie/equip.

Twitter: #EQUIPDublin2017

Interviews available on request.

Media queries:
Aileen O'Meara
Communications Consultant, ICGP
087 2239830
media@icgp.ie
@ICGPnews