Rapid mental health assessment and treatment given to NHS staff under new plans

Anxiety, stress, and other psychiatric illness account for over a quarter of all sick leave.

James McKay
21 October 2020
Stresed nurse

Healthcare workers are battling with a second wave.

NHS staff are to get rapid access to expanded mental health services as they battle with the second wave of Coronavirus.

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NHS England and NHS Improvement will invest an extra £15 million to strengthen mental health support, ensuring staff can be rapidly assessed and treated by local expert mental health specialists.

The funding package will be spent on creating a national support service, developing well-being and psychological training, and outreach work among staff deemed most at risk.

According to NHS England, critical care workers and those on dealing with the sickest patients are most vulnerable to severe trauma.

Mental health problems are one of the main reasons for staff absences, with the latest data showing that anxiety, stress, and other psychiatric illness accounted for 28.3% of all sick leave in May 2020.

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The backbone of the NHS.

Earlier this year the NHS provided staff access to a mental health helpline run by volunteers from charities such as Hospice UK and the Samaritans.

NHS National Mental Health Director, Claire Murdoch said; “It is crucial that the NHS staff working tirelessly to protect the health of the nation throughout this pandemic are given the support they deserve, which is why we are announcing this expansion of services.

“Frontline workers are the backbone of the NHS, from porters and cleaners to nurses, doctors and therapists, and this funding will ensure they are properly supported while they continue to care for the thousands of patients who rely on the NHS.”

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, added; “I want nursing, midwifery and care colleagues to know we have listened to your feedback during COVID-19 and will continue to listen.

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