Back in London, I notice the filthy water of the Thames, the inescapable stenches of various kinds emanating from nooks and corners on the streets, the stress of the daily commute and the demanding work environment. Patients demanding to be treated like ‘customers’ who are always right and managers trying to get results unachievable with the realities and limitations on ground. Me, finding myself stuck in the middle of the two. One patient, who was denied a separate room that she demanded for no valid reason said that this is the National Health Service but their ‘customer service’ is very poor.
Many nurses and doctors feel demotivated and exhausted by constant firefighting and not having the time to actually do the work they want to, taking care of patients. This leads to earlier burnout and sideways movement of highly trained staff away from frontline work to more lucrative and glossy management roles.
Stress is the biggest killer of modern times. One of the definitions of stress is, not living up to one’s own expectations. With fewer job prospects, growing number of ‘zero hour’ contracts, rising property prices, longer working hours and rising living costs, it is not surprising that young people find themselves not achieving as much as they are capable of.
The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics highlight that young suicide in the UK is at its highest for the past 10 years. In 2015 1,659 young people under 35 years took their own lives; an increase of 103 more than in 2014 and 58 above the previous highest recorded figure (1,631 in 2011).
Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK and tragically the figures continue to rise. It is a national crisis yet far from prominent on the government’s agenda.