UPDATED: Changes to NHS Practitioner Health in England

Statement / comment
15 April 2024

Update for Members: NHS England has overturned its decision to restrict the provision of NHS Practitioner Health Service for secondary care staff in England. This will now be extended by 12 months, for both new and existing patients.

We are aware that this has come at a time when NHS staff sickness figures reveal that anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental illnesses continue to be the most reported reason for sickness absence amongst the NHS workforce. Data shows that mental health reasons account for 6.4 million full time equivalent staff days lost between December 2022 and November 2023.

We welcome this announcement and will continue to highlight the importance of staff having timely access to vital mental health support now and in the future. 


Dr Lade Smith CBE, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

"From today, Monday 15 April, there are changes to the provision of the NHS Practitioner Health Service for new registrations from secondary care staff in England. You will now be signposted to alternative sources of support

"The NHS Practitioner Health Service have confirmed that for all patients who are already registered with the service, this does not alter your situation. They will continue to support all existing patients to complete their treatment.

"I know this is concerning for our members and colleagues from across the NHS workforce. The College is working behind the scenes with relevant stakeholders to emphasise the need for a swift resolution which continues the care and support for all secondary care staff.

"Services in Scotland and Wales will remain the same. For any Members and Affiliates experiencing personal difficulties, I would like to remind you of our Psychiatrists' Support Service (PSS) which provides free, rapid, high-quality peer support by telephone to psychiatrists of all grades."

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