Accessing The Service
- Regulated NHS & Care Staff in Scotland
A confidential mental health service for all regulated professionals working in health and social work/social care sectors in Scotland.
Do you need confidential mental healthcare?
The Workforce Specialist Service (WSS), delivered by NHS Practitioner Health, is able to offer a confidential mental health service.
This is available to all regulated professionals working in health and social work/social care in Scotland who, due to confidentiality reasons, cannot access care or treatment through their own GP or other local services.
How to access mental health support via NHS Practitioner Health
If you have any difficulties accessing or completing the forms, or would prefer to speak to someone in the service please call us on 0300 0303 300. (Monday – Friday 8am-8pm, Sat 8-2pm)
Following completion of your registration, we aim to contact you within 5 working days.
Please be aware that our clinicians and therapists are unable to consult with patients who are abroad.
Following your registration, find more information on our patient pathway.
The Workforce Specialist Service
The Workforce Specialist Service, delivered by NHS Practitioner Health, is a primary care-led, multidisciplinary, mental health treatment service. It’s delivered by a team of mental health care providers that can treat professionals suffering from a range of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression or addiction, with a focus on the impact this may have on their work.
Health and social work/social care professionals may be concerned about accessing help for mental health or addictions problems for various reasons.
The Workforce Specialist Service has been established so that you can get the help you need confidentially because of agreements that have been put in place with relevant regulators.
Practitioner Health would not usually accept registrations when the patients concerned are already receiving treatment from a secondary care provider however we will assess such registrations and consider if we may have an additional role.
The WSS is being delivered digitally on an interim basis by NHS Practitioner Health while a service is developed for delivery in Scotland.
There are some practical implications of this arrangement which patients are kindly asked to consider when accessing the service.
- Assessments will be undertaken digitally and remotely (video/telephone) by clinicians based in England.
- NHS Practitioner Health can write to a patient’s registered GP to ask if they would issue a prescription recommended by the service. Alternatively NHS Practitioner Health can prescribe directly for the patient but this would incur a prescription charge as is the usual occurrence with NHS England prescriptions. The cost is currently £9.65 per item, from the 1st April 2023.
- If any tests or investigations are necessary to support your care, a local provider will be needed for support. This will be discussed with you during your appointment.
- In-patient treatment for addiction can be arranged by NHS Practitioner Health. They use a small number of approved providers. Scottish patients can access any of those available to NHS Practitioner Health patients including one in Scotland.
The following exclusion criteria will apply
- Where the patient/referrer primary need is for second opinion occupational health assessments or medical legal advice.
- Patients with complex chronic illness that requires the input of local NHS services e.g. patients with suicidal behaviour, psychosis, serious eating disorders, and patients with complex forensic histories*
- Patients with primary physical health issues
Practitioner Health would not usually accept referrals when the patients concerned are already receiving treatment from a secondary care provider, except in circumstances where support in returning to work is needed.
Wellbeing Support for staff in Scotland
The National Wellbeing Hub offers a broad range of advice and evidence-based digital resources to help staff with issues such as stress, anxiety, low mood, insomnia/poor sleep and resilience.
The National Wellbeing Helpline provides a compassionate listening service that’s available 24/7 and can offer advice, signposting and onward referral (with consent) to local staff support services where required, including out of your area.
Confidential emotional and psychological support can be accessed via the National Wellbeing Helpline: 0800 111 4191.
Support in an emergency or crisis
The WSS is not a crisis service. If you are in crisis or feel unsafe or at risk to yourself or others, then you should contact 111 or 999, your own GP or attend your nearest Emergency Department as soon as possible.
NHS PH does provide a 24/7 crisis text service and you can access this by texting "NHSPH" to 85258.
The Samaritans can also provide confidential support and are open 24 hours a day.
Tel: 0161 236 8000 (local call charges apply) or 116 123 (free to call).
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