Last reviewed 15 April 2020

NHS England has launched a new mental health hotline to offer support and advice to GPs and other NHS staff during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Run by the Samaritans and staffed by thousands of trained volunteers, the hotline offers psychological support to those NHS staff who are working on the frontline.

NHS England said the hotline will be open between 7am and 11pm every day, while the text service will be operate on a 24/7 basis.

This comes as part of a package of measures to support 1.4 million NHS staff in England as they work through the pandemic outbreak.

GPs and other staff can reach the confidential support line on 0300 131 7000 or they can text FRONTLINE to 85258. A website is also available at: https://people.nhs.uk/help/

People who require further help will be signposted to other services ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement and psychological support.

NHS Practitioner Health (NHS PH), the service that provides free support to NHS doctors and dentists in England experiencing stress, burnout and mental health issues, has also announced that it will provide support to returning retired doctors and medical students working in clinical practice as a result of the pandemic.

NHS PH Medical Director Dr Clare Gerada, who recently recovered from the COVID-19, urged doctors not to "suffer in silence" and encouraging them on Twitter to make use of the service's new online groups to connect with "like-minded people".