​​Professional Support Unit

Careers Unit Individual Support Team  Communication Skills Supported Return to Training Coaching Service SPOC Differential Attainment 

COVID-19 Wellbeing Hub 

The Professional Support Unit (PSU) is a free service primarily dedicated to supporting the progression of postgraduate training for NHS healthcare professionals. We work independently of Specialty Schools, training Programme or Trusts and can offer confidential and impartial support or advice for those who need it.

The services we currently offer via the PSU include:

Urgent/immediate psychological support in a crisis

You can access free & confidential psychological or mental health support 24/7 via

  • The NHS Frontline service for all NHS staff: 0300 131 7000  (between 7am-11pm) or Text 'FRONTLINE' to 85258 (24hrs/day)
  • NHS Bereavement & Loss Helpline for NHS staff: 0300 303 4434 (between 7am-11pm)
  • The BMA's 24/7 counselling service for all doctors (including non BMA members): 0330 123 1245 or visit the BMA
  • The Samaritans: Call 116 123 or visit Samaritans 
  • The Practitioner Support Programme's crisis line: Text NHSPH to 85258 or visit Practitioner Health

Who can access the PSU?

Healthcare professionals within London and Kent, Surrey & Sussex, specifically:

  • Postgraduate Doctors & Dentists who hold a London or KSS training number (Foundation years until CCT). The PSU allows for a 3-month grace period for trainees who have CCT'd or have recently given up their training number. NOTE: From 2nd August 2023, KSS Foundation trainees should access support services via the KSS’s own Professional Support & Wellbeing Service. Please head to https://kss.hee.nhs.uk/kss-foundation/current-doctors-in-training/careers-and-wellbeing-support/ for more information
  • Nurses and Allied Health professionals between Bands 5 - 8 in a recognised training scheme (eg nurse preceptorship or development for more specialised clinical roles)
  • Pharmacists in training: 
    • Pre-registration Pharmacists (1yr post degree programme in Trusts ) & Pharmacy technicians (2 year programme employed by Trusts)
    • Foundation Pharmacists (2 years post registration)
    • Clinical Pharmacists undertaking the 18 month General practice pharmacist training pathway as part of the NHS England pilot
  • Healthcare Scientist trainees on STP or HSST programmes
  • Doctors who have passed the entry requirements & have been offered a placement on the GP Return to Practice (RtP) or the GP International Induction Programme (IIP) workforce schemes
  • Doctors on the Clinical Apprenticeship Scheme (CAPS) and/or the Medical Support Worker (MSW) educational programme

How to access the PSU support

Access to the PSU is by self-referral. Each of the tabs above provides information about the services provided by the PSU and the contact/application information for each service. Alternatively, if you are unsure of what services would be most useful or you would like to access multiple services, please complete the following online application form.

Questions and queries

If you cannot find the answer to your question on these web pages and wish to speak to a PSU Coordinator please email psu.lase@hee.nhs.uk

  • For contract related matters please first discuss issues with your line manager or employer (GP LEO for GP trainees or Trust HR department for all other trainees)
  • For physical health related problem, you can also consult your GP or your local Trust's Occupational Health Department
  • For questions regarding your rotation you should liaise with the HET team or your Training Programme Director.

PSU support developed during COVID-19 pandemic

We adapted a range of our services to support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our COVID-19 Wellbeing hub has further information regarding:

  • Online Wellbeing Resources (podcasts, webinars, self-support advice, links to HEE & external resources available for trainees)
  • 1:1 Support (free, confidential & independent 1:1 conversation with a senior PSU lead via telephone or on-line teleconferencing platforms)
  • Virtual Group Support (free, confidential trainee peer support groups facilitated by a trained group facilitator)
  • Online Courses (a range of e-learning and wellbeing/support courses we will be delivering via teleconferencing platforms)


PSU Eligibility Criteria - May 2022

PSU Privacy Statement

Managing Fatigue associated with working nights

Complaints Policy - December 2016

Support for non training grades and post CCT

Confidentiality Policy - November 2018

Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner - joint statement 2019