At the beginning of August 2021 we held the third in a series of Advisory Board sessions, with the focus this time on supporting our candidate’s mental wellbeing, a topic all too prevalent with the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic.

A difficult, but necessary discussion led us to uncover a feeling of burnout, moral injury, guilt, low morale and even a loss of purpose. As published in a recent report by The Lancet [1], this is a feeling known all too well across the healthcare sector, with COVID-19 exacerbating the tensions between medical professionalism and physician wellbeing. A new poll by think tank IPPR/YouGov [2] also found that one in four healthcare workers are more than likely to leave the NHS due to a year of unprecedented pressure. In turn, adding additional burden to a workforce that was already experiencing a crisis of unfilled vacancies before the pandemic begun.

Ensuring good mental wellbeing has never been more important or spoken about on such a regular basis, so we felt it was important for us to also provide essential coping mechanisms and provide strategies to implement to our attendees. To guarantee we gave professional advice, we were joined by Dr Yvonne Barlow and Dr Imran Jamil who spent their time highlighting how best to mitigate the psychological impact of COVID-19 and giving high-level practical advice.

The Advisory Board platform was also an opportunity for us to hear from Healthcare Workers’ Foundation past chairman, Dr Dominic Pimenta, allowing a real insight into the work they are doing to provide support and guidance directly to healthcare workers with no middle-man involved. They are also continuing to, much like Athona, fight for a better workplace in all areas for all healthcare workers.

Ultimately it was humbling to get this unique opportunity and a privilege to get to speak to a select group of healthcare workers to better understand the challenges and difficulties they have faced over the last 18 months. Now armed with this information, we’re able to continue implementing key changes to better improve our candidate’s wellbeing and strive for first-class service in all aspects of our business.

Through the Athona Advisory Board, we have established a number of new initiatives and provided exclusive access to developing partnerships, alongside creating a community space where our candidates can feel secure in discussing difficult topics. We have also developed the Advisory Board into a CPD accredited event, which has again been invaluable for our candidates.

Wish to be involved with our next event? Then let us know by submitting your details here.


[1] The Lancet: The changing face of medical professionalism and the impact of COVID-19

[2] IPPR/YouGov: Commit to new deal for healthcare workers or risk ‘deadly exodus’, IPPR warns government