Is Resilience Enough?

With our Resilience special edition having recently hit your doorsteps and some great chat on Twitter this week, I thought it would be useful to look at what we all mean by this very well used term of ‘Resilience’ because it seems to mean different things to different people – but can everyone be right?

Perhaps they can.
The figure below is from an article in BJGP ‘Resilience: what is it, why do we need it, and can it help us?’, a co-author of this being our amazing InnovAiT editor Chantal Simon. It shows the different types or layers of resilience and this, to me, seems to cover the differing perspectives well.
The area discussed most in our special edition was the first layer – Individual Resilience. The more we, as individuals, are resilient the more we can avoid feeling stressed from at least the smaller daily challenges we face.
On a good day I can recognise that there is an inefficiency in the system or that someone else has done something a bit rubbish without feeling too frustrated. But I know that when I am feeling more worn down, tired, and with a series of such things, I feel irritated and this edge to my mood is hard to shake off. For those GPs and surgeries who are on the brink right here, right now, some small changes may allow them to be supported in order to keep going and actually remain open.
On Twitter there was concern that we are being told to toughen up and get on with it when actually all around us is increasingly difficult. I agree, there is no way that the individual resilience is a sufficient sticking plaster alone to do this, nor should we be expected to make it so.
If the environment in which we are working is dysfunctional, no amount of coaching will be enough. We need to ensure that the places we work are more supportive, (Organisational Resilience), that we engage with the public in a positive way to gain their support and push for the political solutions too – so perhaps instead of #resourcesnotjustresilience the push for resources is in fact the third layer of resilience as a whole.
As discussed in the very frank article in the BJGP, we need public and political support to redress the chronic starvation of funding to primary care and increasing tide of unresourced work that we all face day in and day out. Pushing to do this as one voice would undoubtedly give us the most strength.
I would love to hear what you think – agree or disagree. I am thrilled to hear that the special edition is being taken into VTS sessions for heated discussions – just as it should be!