National Health Service (NHS) England has launched its NHS GP Health Service on 30th January 2017. It is a free, confidential service that is designed to advance access to mental health care for general practitioners and trainee GPs who may be suffering from mental ill health and addiction. Now, GPs in England will be able to refer themselves for specialist help to cope with mental health and addiction issues.
In last October, the NHS announced the £20m scheme, which will be available to all 55,000 GPs within each of NHS England’s 13 local service teams for the next five years.
According to the NHS England, the new service "is an important part of NHS commitment to support retain a healthy and resilient workforce and in supporting GP trainees and GPs who wish to remain in or return to clinical practice after a period of ill health.
The new NHS GP Health Service, developed by NHS England with the BMA’s GP committee, the Royal College of General Practitioners, Health Education England, and the General Medical Council, can be accessed via a confidential national self-referral phone line, email or app and websites. It enables GPs and GP trainees to access information about the services available, access self-help tools, and access clinical support.
The Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said that the GPs and GP trainees have been crying out for a service like this new GP NHS Health Service for some time, so this is an amazingly welcome development. RCGP strive to ensure a healthy workforce that can deliver the best possible, safe patient care to over 1.3m patients everyday.
The medical director of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh said that the job of a GP is tough. It needs a deep knowledge of medicine, and a skill to separate the serious from the trivial, coupled with compassion. The stress of the job increase as the number and complexity of consultations grows. The aim of these pilot schemes is to offer help to key members of the profession who contribute so much to the lives of so many.
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