Healthcare workers without mental health assistance 2023


The British Psychological Society is disappointed that, despite compelling evidence of the ongoing need to support NHS and social care staff mental health, the government has still not clarified whether it will protect vital NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs.

Despite additional hubs closing in recent weeks, the BPS has yet to hear a response from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on December 2022 inquiries.

After our #FundNHSHubs campaign, which saw over 600 people write to their MPs in favor of the hubs, Dr. Rupa Huq, Fleur Anderson, and Sarah Olney asked the Department for Health and Social Care about hub funding and evaluation.

NHS employee health is a priority. NHS England released a strategy to expand and improve workplace health and wellbeing services earlier this year. NHS personnel with severe mental health needs due to trauma or addiction can continue to use NHS Practitioner Health, a nationwide support program.

Survivor hubs don’t know how long they can serve employees and have limited services.

The Minister said NHS Practitioner Health (NHSPH) services help NHS personnel. This program is different from the hubs and provides crucial assistance to some personnel, but it is mostly provided exclusively to doctors and dentists, so many NHS and social care professionals cannot use it.

The BPS is concerned that the Minister’s response displays a lack of understanding of NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs’ purpose and value. Given the amount of hubs that have closed or will close, this is alarming.

Even worse, NHSPH has witnessed a large rise in demand, leaving those who can afford it waiting longer than normal for an examination. NHS Practitioner Health refers personnel in need to the hubs facing closure.

The BPS has consistently urged the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to grant at least one year of targeted, transitional funding to keep the hubs operating and continue serving health and care employees.

The centers were established in February 2021 to give NHS and social care employees with rapid, free, and confidential local mental health therapies after the COVID-19 epidemic traumatized them.

The centers have supported health and care workers with illness absences, exhaustion, suicide risk, and other wellness concerns outside the epidemic.

The hubs lost government financing on 31 March 2023. Many hubs have closed due to government financial uncertainty, leaving healthcare workers nationwide without mental health treatments.

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