The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Care First - Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

*Please note face to face sessions are suspended until further notice due to covid-19*

Useful tools for looking after your mental wellbeing during COVID-19

Care First Weekly Webinars

Care First Webinar Poster Week 1

Care First Webinar Poster Week 2

Looking After Your Mental Wellbeing  Looking After Your Mental Wellbeing information
Tips to Cope with Anxiety Tips to Cope with Anxiety information

Who are Care First?

Care first are a leading provider of professional counselling, information and advice offering support for issues arising from home or work.

Care first employ professionally qualified Counsellors and Information Specialists, who are experienced in helping people to deal with all kinds of practical and emotional issues.

 What does the service provide?

  • Unlimited Freephone access 24 hours a day, every day of the year for personal and work related issues.
  • Short term counselling and support by telephone and face to face (up to six one hour sessions per issues).
  • Support and referral for longer term issues.
  • Information services for any practical and day-to-day issues.
  • Management support and referral services.
  • On-line counselling, supporting articles and wellbeing advice.

 How do I use the service?

You don’t need to ask your manager to use Care first, just call 0800 174319

and you can speak to a professional counsellor in confidence.

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a staff advice, information & counselling service. 

Trained counsellors are available 24/7 and can provide immediate support.  If required employees are entitled to up to 6
sessions of face to face counselling or telephone counselling.

You can receive advice on financial, legal, family and personal issues. The service is free and you can access the service online or by phone. 

To access the service by phone simply call 0800 174319 to speak to a professional counsellor or information specialist, in confidence.

To log in to the online Live Chat facility use on the Care First website with username: leedsteaching and Password: hospitals


1. What is an EAP and what can I call them about?

EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program. The EAP is there to offer employees counselling and information services. You can call Care first about work related or personal issues as well as for general and practical information such as financial information.

2. How do I contact the EAP?

You can contact Care first 24/7 on the Freephone telephone number – 0800 174 319. You can also access online counselling on the Lifestyle website.

3. Who answers the phone when I call?

Calls will be answered by one of our UK based BACP accredited counsellors. On the rare occasion that all counsellors are on the phone supporting other people, these calls will then be answered by one of the Information Specialists or one of our trained Employee Assistance Service Advisors.

4. What happens if I receive a call-back from Care first?

When a call-back is logged it will be attempted that same day by a BACP accredited counsellor. One call-back will be attempted and it will appear on your phone from a withheld number.

5. Will Care first leave me a voicemail if I miss the call?

If we have been given permission by you when you originally called, yes we will leave a voicemail.

6. What support can I receive from the EAP?

Every employee can phone the service for ad-hoc in the moment support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service can be used as many times as it's needed. If it is clinically appropriate, an employee will be referred for contracted counselling. (This will not be for everybody, the counsellors will assess you over the phone and decide if this is suitable. This may take place after you have contacted the service a couple of times).  Each employee is entitled to up to 6 sessions of contracted telephone counselling or face to face counselling.

7. Why can’t I have more than 6 sessions?

The model of counselling used at Care first is a short term focused model.

8. Who decides what support I should have?

The counsellor will go through a clinical assessment with you. This will ensures that you are referred for the most appropriate form of support.

9. If I receive face to face support, where do I go for this?

Care first will locate a counsellor within either a 20 mile radius or a 30 minute public transport commute from your desired location. This could be your place of work, your home address or another location.

10. How quickly can my sessions be arranged?

Structured telephone counselling can be arranged within 24 hours. Structured face to face counselling can be arranged within 48 hours and a first appointment can be offered within 4 days of your referral.

11. What if my issues are long term and I require more than 6 sessions?

 It may not be appropriate for Care first to offer contracted support. What we can offer is support in the moment as well as signposting to where you may be able to seek appropriate ongoing support.

12. I am already receiving support from another organisation (NHS, charity for example). Can I still receive support from Care first as well?

It would not be appropriate to duplicate any support you are already receiving or soon to receive. If for example there is a long waiting list before you will receive support from the NHS then it may be appropriate to offer support prior to that starting. This would always depend on the clinical appropriateness.

13. I really feel that face to face support is what I need but the counsellor has offered me telephone support. Why is this?

Following the clinical assessment, at the time the counsellor may feel that it is not clinically appropriate to provide a certain type of support. Please be reassured that telephone counselling can be just as effective as face to face counselling. Telephone counselling may be more appropriate or convenient for the individual.

14. I don’t require emotional support but have a question around a practical issue, can Care first help?

Yes. Alongside our counsellors we have a team of Telephone Information Specialists who are all citizens advice trained. They will be able to provide information around issues such as finances, employment, redundancy, housing, legal information and childcare.

15. What issues can Care first support me with?

Care first can support both work related and personal issues. The common issues we support with are emotional health, family issues, relationships difficulties and bereavement as well as work related health, changes at work and work pressure.


Service Issues / Complaints

 Care First are always open to feedback on the service and have a clear Service Issue procedure to follow (please see the flow diagram and service issue form attached)

A service issue includes any feedback following a clients contact with Care first as well as any perceived concerns or issues.


If you want to raise an issue informally you can either contact Jack Walsh, Service Manager from Care First directly or Alison Munro, Staff Engagement Advisor from the Trust who can liaise with Care First for you.

Contact details are:

Jack Walsh

Tel: 01452 623200

Mobile: 07387 093 773

 Alison Munro


Tel 0113 2064060

For any feedback regarding the EAP and it's services, please contact the Staff Health & Wellbeing on 64060 or email