Persistent Physical Symptoms - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Health Education England_New logo 2021
  • Northern Clinical Network
  • Keele University
  • Northern England Mental health Development unit
  • ARCH Recovery College online

Available on the Learning Hub

This programme has moved to the NHS Learning Hub. We recommend you read the information on this webpage to find out more about the programme before you access the learning (

More information about the Learning Hub and the migration of elfh programmes can be found here.

About the Persistent Physical Symptoms programme

This elearning programme provides an overview of persistent physical symptoms (previously referred to as medically unexplained symptoms or psychosomatic symptoms). It explains what they are, how they emerge and how they are maintained. You will learn how to provide a helpful and hopeful diagnosis and explanation of symptoms. Using this understanding you will then learn how you can work with patients who present with these symptoms in a therapeutic way that moves them towards recovery. At the end of the session you will have the chance to practice your skills on an innovative virtual patient who will chat to you about their problems and give you feedback on how you did.

More information

CPD points can be gained through approval with your peer group or manager


We have launched a survey to ask for feedback on the Persistent Physical Symptoms Resource. If you would like to share your thoughts on the elearning and resources, please visit: HEE elfh Persistent Physical Symptoms Evaluation Survey

Meet the team

  • Dr Philippa Bolton

    Dr Philippa Bolton

    Clinical Lead, Northern Clinical Network
  • Dr Sara Finkelstein

    Dr Sara Finkelstein

    Consultant Neurologist
  • Jonathan Guy

    Jon Guy

    Programme Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Jon Collins

    Jon Collins

    Project Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Simon Perkins

    Simon Perkins

    Learning Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Catherine Moran

    Catherine Moran

    Graphic Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Hannah Denness

    Hannah Denness

    Communications and Stakeholder Officer, HEE elearning for healthcare

How to access

To access this elfh programme, you will require a Learning Hub account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below. Note that if you hold a full elfh account, you can sign into the Learning Hub using your existing login credentials.


To view the Persistent Physical Symptoms programme, select the View button below. If you already have a Learning Hub account, you will also be able to login and access the resources within the programme.


NHS healthcare staff in England – ESR

The Persistent Physical Symptoms programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.
Further details are available here.

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access to the Learning Hub, you may be able to access the service if you have an existing OpenAthens account. Please go to Learning Hub and sign in with your existing credentials.

If you do not have an existing OpenAthens account, please contact elfh directly to check whether you may be eligible for access.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Persistent Physical Symptoms programme, please contact elfh directly.

Organisations wishing to use their own LMS

For HR departments wanting to know more about gaining access to courses using an existing Learning Management System please contact elfh directly to express interest.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the Learning Hub

elfh is a NHS England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies