GPs gain support for mental ill-health and addiction

A new service designed to offer support to GPs and GP trainees suffering from mental ill health and addiction has been announced by NHS England.

The NHS GP Health Service went “live” at the end of January and will provide confidential support for GPs and trainees. The service is initially being piloted in 11 areas.

It has been developed by NHS England and others, including the British Medical Association’s (BMA) General Practitioner Committee, Health Education England, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the General Medical Council, in response to calls from the profession for greater support.

The service is being run by the Hurley Clinic Partnership, which currently provides the London-based NHS Practitioner Health Programme.

Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England medical director, said: “As the number and complexity of consultations grows, so does the stress of the job. This takes its toll. Both sickness and early retirement rates are rising.”

The moves follows on from NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens’ announcement in autumn 2015 that the NHS needed a “nationally-specified occupational health service for GPs” to tackle rising levels of burnout and stress in the profession.

Separately, the BMA in Scotland has set up a confidential advice service for members suffering from bullying or harassment.

The dedicated portal was launched at the start of January and within the first three weeks had 15 contacts, the BMA said.


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