Responding to the Health Secretary’s pledge to overhaul mental health and wellbeing services for NHS staff following the launch of a Health Education England review, BMA mental health policy lead, Dr Andrew Molodynski, said:
“Staff are fundamental to the delivery of patient care in the NHS and without a healthy workforce our health service can barely function, let alone thrive.
“Given the current pressures that the NHS workforce is under, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing support for staff is both timely and necessary.
“We know that doctors’ mental health and wellbeing has been adversely affected by the increasing demands of their work and this is true also for medical students who are dealing with stress, fatigue and exposure to traumatic clinical situations, very often without adequate support on hand.
“The BMA recently for greater provision of mental health support for NHS staff as their report¹found that only about half of doctors were aware of any services that help them with physical and mental health problems at their workplace – while one in five respondents said that no support services are provided.
“While these measures will go a long way to providing much-needed support for NHS workers who are struggling with their mental health and overall wellbeing, more must be done to address the wider pressures on the system, such as underfunding, workforce shortages and rising patient demand, so we can reduce the number needing to seek help in the first place.”