Your article (Burnout in doctors doubles chances of patient safety problems, study finds, 14 September) is profoundly saddening, but not surprising. At MDDUS, a UK-wide medical defence union, we have seen a rise in doctors calling our helpline to talk about the impact of burnout and the unrelenting pressure that they continue to be under following the pandemic.
We surveyed nearly 2,000 of our members at the start of the year, and this revealed that more than half of healthcare professionals were considering taking early retirement or leaving. They cited increased workloads, mental health and wellbeing, and staff shortages as the main reasons.
Stress levels have reached an almost unsustainable point in the health workforce. Doctors urgently need recognition, reassurance and realism from the government. The new health secretary must prioritise swift action to tackle burnout and prevent NHS doctors from leaving.
Dr Naeem Nazem
Head of medical division, Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland
• Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.