NHS Practitioner Health's Covid Experience
NHS Practitioner Health service is now accessible to the 1.6 million NHS staff across England and Scotland. The service expansion came into effect March 2021, following the huge increase in staff seeking mental health support during the pandemic. In the last 12 months, the service has seen almost 5000 new patients, compared to the same number of patients being seen over the last 10 years in the service.
Reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic NHS Practitioner Health have produced a report ‘Practitioner Health’s Covid Experience - Meeting the mental health needs of doctors during the pandemic’. Rather than surveys or staff questionnaires, this report highlights for the first time the real life experiences of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the workforce, the issues they have faced and the impact this has had on their mental health.,
The report identifies the impact of the pandemic using data from October 2019 onwards. This allowed us to compare October 2019 – March 2020 ‘Pre pandemic’ with April 2020 – March 2021 ‘Pandemic’. As a service we prepared for the effect the pandemics would have on the mental health of health professional, we expanded our service to support all NHS staff with mental health and wellbeing resources. After an initial dip in April and May 2020, we have seen a significant rise in presentation peaking between October – December 2020 compared to previous years within the service, we acknowledged how much health professionals have been and still are grappling with their mental health.
"I am pleased that doctors have found their way to us, and that now all health care staff can access our service. What is needed going forward is a period of recuperation and reflection such that the hard working NHS can draw breath and recover from the experiences they have all been through on our behalf. We are delighted to have expanded our service to make mental health treatment and support accessible to all NHS staff. during these difficult times".
Dame Professor Clare Gerada
Medical Director, NHS Practitioner Health
"The last fifteen months have challenged NHS staff like never before and the resilience and strength of the workforce has been remarkable. However, what has been achieved have brought challenges and pressures that have and continue to impact on the mental health of us all. I am so pleased that Practitioner Health is able to be there for any member of staff who needs us, whether it is anxiety or addiction, they are not alone and we are here to help.”
Chief Executive, NHS Practitioner Health
BBC News Interview with Chief Executive Lucy Warner
Surviving COVID: The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of NHS workers
This short film developed by The Health Foundation features first-hand perspectives from NHS staff discussing wellbeing during the pandemic. The film illustrates the impact of the pandemic on the mental wellbeing of NHS workers and highlights the importance of providing emotional support to them at this challenging time and into the future
Find out more about how Practitioner Health supports all health professionals to improve the their needs by our case studies below.