How does the NHS GP Health Service work?

The NHS GP Health Service provides support and treatment to GPs struggling with mental health issues, addiction and burnout. GPonline outlines how the service works.

The GP Health Service, which reaches its one-year anniversary this month, is open to any registered GP or GP trainee on the NHS England performers’ list who has a mental health concern of any severity or an addiction problem of some kind.

How do I get in touch?

GPs can establish contact with the service – which is free through the NHS – confidentially by telephone, email or online.

  • Telephone number: 0300 0303 300
  • Email address:  gp.health@nhs.net
  • Website: gphealth.nhs.uk

The service is self-referral only, with phone lines open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-lunch on weekends.

What happens next?

Following initial contact, GPs will receive a brief telephone assessment before seeing a doctor for a more in-depth evaluation. This will last up to 90 minutes which will precede access to therapy, self-help tools or prescribing, as required.

Treatment services are available across all 13 NHS England local area teams to allow for a locally-sensitive service.

GPs can opt to receive care near their home, near their workplace, or in a different location to minimise their chances of seeing people they know. Consultations are also available through Skype or FaceTime.

If follow-up treatment is required, patients will be sent a link to download the GPH booking app, which allows them to arrange further bookings and appointments if necessary.

What can the service help me with?

  • Common and more complex mental health conditions
  • Mental health conditions relating to a physical health issue
  • Substance misuse including support for community detoxification
  • Rehabilitation and support to return to work after a period of mental ill-health

What kind of support is available?

  • General psychiatric support and treatment
  • Support for addiction related health problems
  • Psychological therapies, e.g. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness
  • Brief psychotherapy
  • Group therapy including reflective practice groups
  • Local groups addressing specific areas (for example, suspended doctors, addicted doctors or specific issues affecting mental health in a particular area)

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