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Confidential health service opens for practitioners

18 November 2008

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A new confidential health service has opened for doctors and dentists living or working in the London area.

The service, the Practitioner Health Programme, is a Department of Health-funded initiative and will complement existing health services.

It will provide appropriate and specialist care and support for any doctor or dentist with a mental or physical health concern or addiction.

The programme has been launched in response to the particular issues doctors and dentists have in accessing appropriate heath care and how this can impact on patient safety.

Dr Clare Gerada, who will lead the Practitioner Health Programme, said: “There is a tendency for doctors and dentists to manage their own health concerns, to self-medicate or to chat informally to colleagues rather than seek a consultation and treatment.

“For this reason, health concerns sometimes go unreported or unrecognised. This new service seeks to enable doctors and dentists to access the support and advice they need in a confidential and understanding environment.”

The team also includes a cognitive behavioural psychologist, a specialist addiction nurse, an occupational health physician and access to a wide range of psychiatrists and other specialist support.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Department of Health