Mike Farquhar is a consultant in paediatric sleep medicine at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, where he has worked since 2012.
He has a particular interest in raising awareness of the importance of sleep and sleep deprivation for healthcare workers, particularly in the context of providing care around the clock.
The NHS functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide acute and essential care around the clock, often in high-pressured and stressful environments. We depend on our teams to give the same standards of care at 3am as they do in the daytime … the problem is we are not evolved to be awake at night, nor are we able to sustain performance for long periods of time without rest. To deliver care to our patients safely, effectively and efficiently, it is essential that we consider the impact of fatigue and sleep deprivation on NHS staff, and put in place measures to support them to function at their best, whatever the time of day or night.