NHS staff will be able to jump the queue for mental health care, Matt Hancock has promised.
The Health Secretary will also create a dedicated 24-hour support service to help staff deal with work stress.
He will today unveil a raft of new measures aimed at improving the mental health of hospital and GP workers.
Officials hope the changes will slash sickness absence rates and boost staff performance.
Speaking at East London NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Hancock will say: “I love the NHS and have enormous respect and admiration for the dedicated staff who make our health service what it is today.
“Working under pressure, NHS staff put themselves in some of the most challenging situations imaginable as part of their unwavering commitment to caring for us all. So they deserve unwavering support from us all.
NHS tech revolution
A CRACK digital team is being created to lead a multi-billion pound NHS tech revolution, Matt Hancock has announced.
Called NHSX, it promises to transform the way doctors and patients use apps and smart devices.
The new unit will work with NHS and industry leaders to ensure GPs and hospitals have access to cutting-edge treatments.
It aims to improve patient care, boost medical research and save time for hard-pressed doctors and nurses.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Modern technology has an incredible potential to change people’s lives for the better and revolutionise the care they receive.
“Now we’re bringing together the tech leadership into NHSX, which will be responsible for harnessing the true potential of technology to transform care, save lives, free up clinicians’ time and empower patients to take greater control of their own health.”
Earlier this month, Mr Hancock said shops such as Tesco know more about their customers than the NHS does about patients.
He claimed lives could be saved if greater use was made of existing technology.
“The mental and physical wellbeing of the people who work in our health service must be our utmost priority.”
Mental health will receive a £2.3billion boost under the new long-term plan for the NHS – to help place it on an equal footing with physical ailments.
Stress alone is estimated to account for a third of staff sickness absence, costing the health service up to £400 million every year.
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UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “The mental health needs of staff should be a priority.
They’re working long hours, in highly stressful conditions, often without a rest.
“NHS workers can’t help patients get better unless they are well too.”
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