NHS expands mental health support for staff after toughest year in health service history

  • Priscilla Lynch
  • UK Professional News
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NHS England is supporting staff who have been under huge pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year to look after their mental health, as 40 dedicated support hubs are set to open across the country.

The hubs are free of charge and offer confidential advice and support to NHS staff who have cared for millions of people with coronavirus while keeping vital services like maternity, mental health and cancer care going.

Staff can access services over the phone with onward referral to online and one-to-one expert help from qualified mental health clinicians, therapists, recovery workers and psychologists.

NHS staff will be encouraged to reach out directly for help, but hubs will proactively contact staff groups who are most at-risk to offer them support so they get the care they need as quickly as possible.

The NHS’ National Mental Health Director, Claire Murdoch, said: “NHS staff are used to dealing with the extremes of life on a daily basis, but this year has been exceptional, and in what is likely to be the toughest year in their career, staff have put their minds and bodies to the limit treating hundreds of thousands of seriously ill-patients with Covid-19.

“So it is vital that the people that played such a big role getting this country through the pandemic are given additional support…”

Mental health and wellbeing hubs are starting to open across the country in places such as North East London, Bedfordshire, and Lancashire.

The hubs have been modelled on the success of The Greater Manchester Resilience Hub which was set up to treat all those affected by the Manchester terrorist attack in 2017, including NHS staff.

The Manchester hub has also been helping NHS staff working during the pandemic and has so far supported over 4,200 health and social care staff.