NHS GP Health service

The NHS GP Health service programme will improve access to mental health support for general practitioners and trainee GPs who may be suffering from mental ill-health including stress and burnout.

The programme supports the Workforce 2020 plan jointly established with Health Education England (HEE), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the British Medical Association’s (BMA) General Practitioners Committee (GPC). The Workforce 2020 plan has three key strands:

  • improving recruitment into general practice;
  • retaining doctors within general practice; and
  • supporting those who wish to return to general practice.

The NHS GP Health service will aim to support retaining practitioners as part of its plan to retain a healthy and resilient workforce, in addition to supporting practitioners who wish to return to clinical practice after a period of ill health. This is an important part of our delivery of the commitments published earlier this year in the General Practice Forward View.

The General Practice Forward View has committed £19.5 million available over 5 years for the GP Health service. The contract will initially run to March 2019, with a possible extension to March 2021.

Since last year, we have been working with partners, including the RCGP and BMA, to understand how the NHS GP Health Service could best meet the needs of GPs. We have now developed a service specification and going out to tender is a significant milestone in making it a reality for GPs across the country.

What will the service look like?

  • The service will be provided by health professionals specialising in this clinical area.
  • It is expected to start in Winter 2016.
  • The contract will initially run to March 2019, with a possible extension to March 2021 with a budget of up to £19.5m.
  • It will include a national self-referral phone line and website for information and self-help tools.
  • Treatment services will be free and available across England
  • It will be discreet and totally confidential and in no way be used to performance manage GPs.

More information can be found on the gov.uk website.

Key Partners in development of the service specification:

  • British Medical Association (BMA)
  • Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM)
  • General Medical Council (GMC)
  • Health Education England (HEE)
  • National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS)
  • Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)