Health Service Focus

21.10.19

Access to 24-7 confidential advice and support for all NHS doctors and dentists

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today more than 180,000 doctors and dentists can get confidential advice and support either over the phone or in person. For instance, if they’ve faced a stressful incident at work or feel they are struggling with their mental health.

Support is available to staff 24/7 through a dedicated phoneline and a crisis text service available throughout the night. Currently the service is crewed by 200 experts who have received specialized training to understand the specific circumstances of clinical life.

The service has already been piloted, with 88% saying the service had a positive impact on their wellbeing and 85% saying it had a positive impact on their ability to work or train.

Doctors and dentists can email or phone the service, when they contact the service, they receive a link to the app where they can book appointments with a clinician of their choosing. After being assessed, the patient can continue to be seen by their lead clinician who can provide them support while they’re off work, prescribe appropriate medication and/or follow up as appropriate.

Mr Hancock has said following the announcement: “Our incredible NHS would be nothing without our outstanding, devoted staff.

“Many of them face incredibly challenging, and often distressing, situations on a daily basis and we owe it to staff to provide the mental and physical health support they need to deliver consistently high-quality care for patients.

“There is a lot of work taking place across the country to improve the offer to staff and dedicated support to all doctors and dentists in the country is a key part of this.

“I’m determined to provide those who care for us the full backing they deserve and open doors to specialist services to turn to whenever they need help.”

Dr Clare Gerada, medical director of NHS Practitioner Health, added: “I am immensely pleased and proud that the work we have done over the last decade has demonstrated the value of a service like NHS Practitioner Health.

“This means that any doctor or dentist in England can access free, confidential NHS mental health support and treatment and get the help they need.

“No doctor or dentist need shy away from seeking help.”

 

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