02 January 2024
Volume 6 · Issue 1

Nearly four out of five (78%) family doctors across the UK are experiencing moral distress while caring for their patients.

New research conducted by the medical defence organisation MDDUS revealed that doctors are emotionally burdened from being unable to provide the care they want and expect to deliver due to issues such as lack of resources and delays. Moral distress occurs when the gap between what professional judgment dictates should be done and what the healthcare system currently permits is wide. Among doctors as a whole working in hospitals and GP practices, 65% said they had experienced moral distress while working in the NHS. Of doctors who said they were experiencing moral distress 83%, said it was due to the current challenges facing the NHS. The impact of the cost-of-living crisis is also contributing to this distress, with 65% of doctors saying that patients are presenting with conditions that are preventable through better diet and living conditions. The most prevalent are new severe psychological problems, with 76% of doctors saying they’ve encountered this. Doctors have also seen an increase in the Victorian-era illness scurvy (14%).

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