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Press release

The King's Fund comments on changes to NHS Practitioner Health service

Commenting on the news that the NHS Practitioner Health service is pausing new registrations for secondary care staff from today amid a new review of wider mental health support services for staff, Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

‘The news that secondary care staff will no longer be able to register for this mental health and addiction service is deeply concerning, and we urge that the decision be reconsidered as a matter of urgency. The latest NHS Staff Survey showed that large parts of the workforce are feeling undervalued, stretched and burnt out, and there is still work to do to make health and care a more attractive career. Two in five staff report feeling unwell due to work-related stress.

‘Our joint research with the RCN Foundation into the experiences of newly qualified nurses and midwives also illustrated the need for a stronger focus on developing cultures where staff can flourish, including through compassionate, inclusive and collective leadership. Staff wellbeing also directly impacts the quality of care patients receive.

‘These essential mental health support services help address burnout and ensure that staff get the help they need and will reduce the number of staff taking sick leave. That’s why, with other health and care organisations, we wrote to the government just last month about the importance of ringfencing funding for staff wellbeing hubs.

‘Separately, we look forward to hearing more details on the scope and timing of the review announced by NHS England into wider staff mental health support and welcome the extension of funding for support for primary care doctors.’

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585. 

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all. 

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