The Practitioner Health service, which offers free, confidential services to help NHS staff with a range of mental health conditions and addictions, is now open to anyone working in primary care.
Previously, the NHS self-referral service, offered in a primary care setting, had only been available to doctors, dentists, nurses and staff at grade 8D and above in England. Its aim is to improve the health and mental wellbeing of the workforce and support them to remain in or return safely to work.
But in a primary care bulletin last week, it was revealed that this provision has now been extended to primary care staff group too.
Dr Ursula Montgomery, interim director for primary care, and Dr Kiren Collison, interim medical director for primary care at NHS England, said in the bulletin: ‘We’re very pleased to announce that it is now open to everyone in any role working in primary care who is struggling to access confidential care and support.
‘The service has expertise in treating health and care professionals with a range of mental health conditions and addiction, offering a hybrid mix of face to face and virtual consultations.’
The service consists of a multidisciplinary team including GPs, psychiatrists, nurses and therapists, and offers crisis support via a 24/7 text helpline. Primary care staff seeking support can also contact the service by phone, email, the website or letter.