Self-harm and suicides among healthcare workers rising, warns MP

A shadow health minister has called for urgent action to support staff during COVID-19 and beyond.

Matt Bodell
6 May 2020
Nurse upset with Coffee

Coronavirus is likely to have devastating consequences on the health and social care workforce.

There has been a “clear” rise in the number of “suicides, self-harm and suicidal ideation among frontline NHS and care staff”, claims the shadow health minister.

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Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, a practicing A&E doctor and shadow health minister, has called for urgent intervention from the government amid a rise in the number of health and social care staff experiencing serious mental health issues.

Experts have previously warned that COVID-19 is likely to have devastating consequences on the health and social care workforce.

Writing to the Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Dr Allin-Khan said; “As I speak to my colleagues across the country and in our unions, it is clear that there is a rise in suicides, self-harm and suicidal ideation among frontline NHS and care staff.

“It is vital that in order to tackle this, there is real-time data to understand where particular pinch points may be and where resources need to be directed.”

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Dr Allin-Khan calls subsequently calls upon Mr Hancock to ensure measures are in place to track and monitor the issue and provide much-needed support for frontline staff.

Adding; “The need for talking therapies is now more important than ever. I understand that the NHS Practitioner Health scheme, which offers face-to-face support for doctors and dentists, is widely valued.

“Would the Government support extending this service to all frontline NHS and care staff during this crisis?”

“Our frontline NHS and care staff are doing fantastic work in extremely difficult circumstances. Unless our staff are safe, they cannot keep us all healthy.”

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Dr Allin-Khan also calls for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) support, noting that PTSD could present “months and even years” after COVID-19.

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