All NHS dentists and doctors in Britain are now able to access 24/7 confidential support and advice through NHS Practitioner Health.
Matt Hancock announced on 21 October that all NHS dentists and doctors have access to mental health services either in person or over the phone if they have experienced any stressful incidents or are battling with any mental health challenges.
180,000 professionals will be able to get support 24/7 through a phone line and text service regardless of the time of day. 200 experts have been trained to understand circumstances that arrive in the lives of clinical staff and are able to support them and give them advice in various challenges they may face in their professional lives.
Patients are also able to phone or email the service and are then given the link to the app where they can schedule appointments with a clinician of their choosing. After an assessment is made, the patients can be seen by their clinician and can be then assisted in the following ways:
- Medicine can be prescribed
- Support is given when the patient is booked off from work
- Appropriate follow ups can be made
Group therapies will also be made available for different reasons.
The feedback has been very positive from those who have piloted the service:
- 85% said the service helped with their ability to train or work
- 88% said it positively impacted their well being
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“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, said:
“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. They can be assured of the same levels of confidentiality we would afford members of the public who access care, and the stigma and barriers to seeking help through mainstream NHS services have been removed.”