THE NHS has launched a mental health hotline as part of measures to support staff in the wake of COVID-19.

NHS staff will be able to call or text a free number, staffed by specially trained volunteers, to receive support, and anyone who requires further help will be signposted to other services, ranging from practical and financial assistance to specialist bereavement and psychological support.

The phone line will be open between 7am and 11pm every day, while the text service will be 24/7.

Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer for the NHS, said: "We need to do everything we can to support our incredible staff during this global emergency. The more than 1,500 volunteers who will be staffing the lines have come from charities including Hospice UK, Samaritans and Shout, and we've also partnered with Headspace, UnMind and Big Health to offer free apps to assist staff."