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East London visit sees health minister back priority mental health treatment for NHS workers

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 February 2019

Matt Hancock outside 10 Downing Street after a cabinet meeting. Picture: PA/David Mirzoeff

Matt Hancock outside 10 Downing Street after a cabinet meeting. Picture: PA/David Mirzoeff

PA Wire/PA Images

The health minister Matt Hancock has used a visit to east London’s mental health trust to endorse a report into the wellbeing of healthcare workers.

Recommendations include priority mental health referrals for NHS workers, a Samaritains-style 24 hour mental health hotline and rest spaces for on-call staff.

Mr Hancock called for a drastic cultural change during his visit to the East London NHS Foundation Trust’s Aldgate headquarters February 20.

“We have to care better for our carers, and if someone needs help we need to make sure that someone is there for them to talk to,” he said.

The recent NHS Long Term Plan has also committed to create a more modern working environment.

The report was commissioned by Health Education England.

Professor Ian Cumming, chief executive for Health Education England, said that people in the NHS should see pledges to look after them in their duties delivered on.

The East London NHS Foundation Trust works in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and the City, as well as other parts of the UK.

It employs 5,500 staff over 100 sites and is rated ‘outstanding’ by healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission.

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