About Practitioner Health
Practitioner Health is a free, confidential NHS primary care mental health and addiction service with expertise in treating healthcare professionals. The service can help with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. We also see healthcare professionals with more severe illnesses, such as bipolar affective disorder, personality disorders and psychosis and with a range of addiction issues.
We understand the special needs of healthcare professionals with mental illness, how their role might impact on their ability to seek out help; and how their condition might impact on their work and potentially their own patients. We are skilled at helping health professionals return to work or training. We work in the unique interface between health practitioners as regulated professionals and as patients with a mental illness, and as such are experts at the interface between regulation, employment and mental illness and addiction.
The service is a multidisciplinary, integrated team, drawing together GPs, psychiatrists, nurses and therapists into a single network with shared objectives, jointly caring for our patients. We have clinicians available across England offering a hybrid mix of face to face and virtual consultations.
Our Mission Statement
- Practitioner Health aims to improve the clinical health and mental wellbeing of the workforce and support them to remain in or return safely to work.
- It hopes to reduce the stigma of mental illness in those who provide care to others.
- Through its delivery of care to the workforce, and engagement with the wider professions of health and care, the service aims to contribute to a collaborative and compassionate culture within health and social care.
- The service aims to support the development of practitioner style services in other countries by sharing our learning and research, developing standards and training and coordinating networks to influence and deliver service improvement.
We are committed to raising the standards of clinical care for patients by:
- offering a wide range of services including new technologies and on-line options
- ensuring all communications with patients are clear and comprehensive to ensure that they are informed about their options
- providing systematic education, mentoring and training for clinical and non-clinical staff to ensure they provide the best possible care
WHAT PRACTITIONER HEALTH DOES NOT PROVIDE
It is important to say what we do not provide.
- We are not a specialist mental health service, our specialism is in understanding the needs of healthcare professionals. This is a subtle but important distinction. We do not limit our care to any particular mental health disorder (such as depression or addiction), nor any patient demographic.
- We are not an occupational health service. We help with returning healthcare professionals to work, but we do not carry out return to work assessments, or assessments which might be required to formulate reasonable adjustments.
- We are not a replacement for mainstream NHS services, nor designed to offer a second opinion for mental or occupational health, nor is it a shortcut to obtaining a medico-legal opinion. Healthcare professionals who are currently supported by NHS mental health services are encouraged to remain with their local team, though we are happy to offer guidance on particular aspects of care or support them for their return to work. This means that patients with, for example, acute psychotic illnesses, patients with severe eating disorders, or patients who require assertive outreach or home/in-patient treatment must be seen by local services.
- We play no part in managing professional standards and have no role in overseeing healthcare professionals in disciplinary processes, supporting investigations into their practice or informing performance assessment processes.
- We are not an emergency or urgent service but try to be as responsive as possible where healthcare professionals are in crisis.