DSN and the Practitioner Health Programme
Another game changing innovation in doctors’ health was the establishment of the Practitioner Health Programme (PHP). Our current chair Dr Angelika Luehrs was a member of the working party involved in developing the PHP.
Angelika relates ‘The proposal for the PHP was in response to the Chief Medical Officer's review of medical regulation in July 2006 set out in the White Paper Good Doctors, Safer Patients July 2006. The PHP proposal was a key aspect of the 'Health for Health Professionals' work stream of the White Paper. The National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) was asked by the Department of Health to oversee the commissioning and implementing of the PHP. An expert working group had been set up on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatry and the London deanery and was assisted by NCAS to develop proposals for a PHP between 2006 and 2007. The PHP was officially launched during the 'Doctors' Health Matters' conference in November 2008 and immediately started its clinical work.
I (representing DSN) approached Dr Rosemary Field, deputy director of NCAS in 2009 to discuss the PHP and offer our input considering that DSN would be able to provide valuable experience from doctors with mental health problems. This was felt to be very valuable and I joined the PHP Stakeholder Advisory Group representing DSN. DSN was also involved in the Health for Health Professionals Group working on the Health for Health Professionals Competency Framework. PHP is now in its seventh year of operation and is a highly successful service. Dr Clare Gerada, PHP’s founding medical director has ceaselessly campaigned for doctors with mental health problems. It has been an honour to work with her as part of the above working parties.’
Where we go after DSL closure
DSN has conducted a member survey around closing the DSL service and identified that the organisation still has an important remit regarding doctors' health issues. We identified that our major roles are providing a safe place for peer support from other DSN doctors and members as well as campaigning to improve the way in which doctors with mental health issues are treated by employers.
DSN exists to provide support to each other in times of need.
If you would like to get involved, please use the Contact DSN