NHS staff have been traumatised by the pandemic – they cannot go on without support

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Thursday 19 May 2022 16:02
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<p>The Medical Protection Society has called on the government to take inspiration from the veterans’ scheme when considering services for NHS staff</p>

The Medical Protection Society has called on the government to take inspiration from the veterans’ scheme when considering services for NHS staff

The British Medical Association is right to highlight the dystopian reality for many doctors during the pandemic, with unimaginable levels of illness and death, many colleagues lost, no hospital visitors, and doctors having to hold phones in front of dying patients so they could say goodbye to loved ones.

To fulfil the promises made in the Armed Forces Covenant, the NHS established dedicated veterans’ mental health services in 2021, which provide rapidly accessed, occupationally informed care for veterans who have been psychologically injured because of their service. More than 13,000 former troops have benefited from specialist care for issues such as anxiety and depression and almost 2,000 more have received help for complex problems such as PTSD.

Despite the difference in context between the military on deployment and healthcare staff working during the pandemic, there are key similarities in terms of the exposure to trauma and risk to psychological and physical health.

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