General Practitioners (GPs) in the UK are a subset of healthcare professionals who are particularly at risk of poor mental health and burnout. In the changing landscape of the NHS the prevalence of occupational illness, including burnout, is high. With widespread physician distress and the negative associated consequences for both the GP and their patients, there is a now a consensus that organisational change is essential, to ensure the sustainability of the NHS workforce. Resilience training, which provides GPs with a space for reflection and learning self-regulation skills has potential for mitigating the impact of occupational stress. This report presents an evaluation of the Westminster REFRAME workshop, a half day, intensive resilience-training programme that was provided for GPs and practice staff in the North Kensington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area in 2019.
GPs and practice staff in the North Kensington CCG area were invited to attend workshops. All attendees were asked to take part in the evaluation. Questionnaires were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from participants at three time points: immediately prior to the workshop (baseline), immediately after the workshop (post workshop), and two months after the workshop (follow-up). Outcome measures collected included perceived stress and positive well-being. Additionally, participants were asked to rate six statements about the workshop (e.g. ‘the workshop was useful to me’; ‘the ideas and concepts were communicated clearly’). Open-ended questions collected written data regarding participants’ experiences and perceptions of the workshop.
• Thirty-six General Practitioners (GPs) attended REFRAME workshops, and twenty-nine completed questionnaires immediately pre and post workshop in the time period.
• GPs reported high stress levels, but typical levels of positive well-being.
• All of the participants agreed that the workshop was useful. Eighty-six percent said that the topics covered would be useful for work, and all 86% said that they intended to use some of the techniques they had learnt, including breathing techniques, the resilience matrix and mindfulness.
• Participants reported that they found the interactive elements of the session engaging and several noted the practical aspects to be highly useful and enjoyable. It was noted that the ability to share experiences was beneficial and made the stressful experiences feel less isolating.
• Participants had various ideas for improvement, with a key theme being the inclusion of more practical scenarios and role play.
“Experienced facilitator, understood perfectly our day to day obstacles and the impact of these”
“Style of presentation. Humour/ science balance. Opportunities for interaction”
“Better understanding of stress and relievers. Simple method of relaxation/ mindfulness”
“Useful to hear/ share experiences across the board. Feels less isolating”
“Interactive. Using different modalities. Very engaging”
“Using resilience matrix - SMARTER. Intend to practise mindfulness techniques as demonstrated”
Westminster REFRAME appears to be useful and acceptable to GPs. Overall, GPs who participated in the Westminster REFRAME workshop reported finding their session beneficial and planned to use the tools and techniques taught and practiced. Results from this evaluation demonstrate the potential for the REFRAME workshop to help GP cope better with the impact of occupational strains and improve their resilience. Further evaluation and follow-up with larger samples will aim to provide evidence for the effectiveness of this workshop at individual and organisational levels.