Today was a momentous day for me, I handed in my notice of resignation to the NHS. I am very sad, and scared, but excited to be expanding my private practice. As other psychologists have done I have found writing an ending letter helpful in processing my thoughts and feelings (such a psychologist thing to do!). It's been such a tough decision to make, but I am looking forward to my future and hopefully helping even more people within the Lancaster and surrounding areas.
Dear the NHS,
I am devastated to say that I am leaving you; I am so sorry it has come to this, but my god have I tried.
When I started working for you over 15 years ago, I couldn’t have been prouder, knowing I was going to be a part of something amazing. And when I finally qualified, I used to walk the corridors of the hospital with my head held high, feeling honoured to be wearing my NHS badge. And when I dreamt of being a clinical psychologist as a child, I always imagined being part of you until I was grey and old.
Sadly though, it wasn’t meant to be. I have painfully deliberated over my options for over two years, while also trying to stay afloat and do my job to the best of my ability. However, you have made things so difficult for me, I just can’t do it anymore.
I have tried to bring about change both to our patients and to you as a whole, I have tried to prove to you with evidence that we need more, that we are a good investment, that our patients and colleagues deserve better; I have tried to prove my worth and that of future psychologists, but I can’t keep being told ‘no’.
I know it’s not all your fault, you are often only trying your best and that your hands are often tied, but nothing I do ever seems to be enough for you. You can’t keep expecting me to do more for less, I am only human after all. It’s not fair, and it’s not right, and I am exhausted.
Thank you though for the opportunities, for helping develop and shape me into the clinician and person I am today. Thank you for the friendships and the memories. Thank you to every patient who I’ve seen under your roof, who have trusted me with their stories, their pain, their lives. It has been an honour and a privilege.
Sadly though, you are a mess, and you need help. People are unwell, really unwell, and my goodness do I want to keep trying to help them, but not like this. I can’t keep burning out, taking a break, and hoping things will change, but ultimately just returning to the same old, same old. Things must change.
I really do hope you listen, you get better, and you improve. And I am truly sorry that I can’t help you with this anymore. Maybe one day I will return to you, but for now I need to focus on myself, my values, and my family. I hope you will understand.
I wish you all the best,