The NHS is set to open 40 dedicated mental health support hubs to support staff working within the health service who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 40 hubs will offer evidence-based mental health services to NHS staff who have ‘pushed their minds and bodies to the limit over the last year’, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS staff will be able to access the services on the phone, with onward referral to online and one-to-one expert help from qualified mental health clinicians, therapists, recovery workers and psychologists.

Although NHS staff will be encouraged to reach out directly for help, the hubs will also contact staff groups who are most at-risk, to offer support to ensure these individuals can access the care they need as quickly as possible.

The hubs are modelled on The Greater Manchester Resilience Hub, which was created to help those who had been affected, including NHS staff, by the Manchester terrorist attack in 2017.

The Manchester hub has also been offering services to NHS staff working during the COVID-19 pandemic and has supported over 4,200 health and social care staff so far.

“NHS staff are used to dealing with the extremes of life on a daily basis, but this year has been exceptional, and in what is likely to be the toughest year in their career, staff have put their minds and bodies to the limit treating hundreds of thousands of seriously ill-patients with COVID-19,” said Claire Murdoch, national mental health director of the NHS.

She added: “It is vital that the people that played such a big role getting this country through the pandemic are given additional support, and I would urge anyone working in the NHS whether you are a porter, a nurse, paramedic or other role to please ask for help from one of our 40 mental health support hubs as they open over the coming weeks.”