Mental health wellbeing platform launched for key health workers
Online GP consultation provider, Push Doctor’s, new initiative ‘Your Health Matters Too’, aims to take care of its NHS partners, including GPs, practice nurses and surgery receptionists. NHS staff can speak with a trained professional who will listen to concerns, provide advice, and offer support. If further support is needed, users will be directed to counselling specialists.
Dr Dan Bunstone, chief medical officer, Push Doctor, said: “Technology has been fantastic in supporting demand and providing efficiencies amid the Coronavirus outbreak, but our platforms are essentially empty vessels without their human element at the core. Ensuring our workforce and support staff are cared for is top priority for us and we hope that ‘Your Health Matters too’ will help provide our hardworking NHS staff with the mental health support that is needed at present. This year during Mental Health Awareness Week we must bolster efforts to ensure that our key workers health matters too. As a company, we will continue to adapt and respond to the needs of staff, as well as patients, as quickly as possible.”
The ‘Your Health Matters Too’ initiative builds on the sudden change GPs have faced in how they practice and treat patients since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. According to a BMA study, almost half of doctors say they are currently suffering from burnout, depression or anxiety, as the long hours and concerns around protective equipment take their toll. In a recent BMJ article, proactive measures were set out and encouraged to be enacted upon in order to prevent moral injury in the healthcare workforce, including active monitoring and support.
‘Your Health Matters Too’ is being offered as a 'starter' package, and will be shaped by its users, according to demand. A pilot is initially being launched in Lewisham with the super-partnership, Modality, and plans for incremental roll out to all partner surgeries across the country, reaching thousands of GP’s and key support staff.
Mina Gupta, group clinical chair at Modality Partnership said: “We are truly working through unprecedented times and no one could have predicted that the way we deliver care to our patients would have changed so much, in such a short period of time. My colleagues and I have had to quickly adjust since the start of the coronavirus outbreak to new ways of consulting patients, protecting ourselves from the public both inside and outside of work and working longer hours than usual. Our ultimate aim is to provide the best health care and advice for our patients, but it does take its toll on our physical and mental health, which is why we welcome this new initiative from Push Doctor to discuss and offload our concerns and struggles to a professional.”