Working in the NHS can be very challenging. It is vital that all doctors and NHS professionals support one another by providing an environment that encourages and enables us to make choices that promote healthy lives and wellbeing. We need well doctors so that patients receive the best care and management possible.

If you or a colleague is looking for support there are a range of organisations, services and websites which can offer help. The links below signpost support available.

The local department is usually the first place to seek advice and support. Staff there will understand specific problems and be in a position to provide solutions and support.
Examples of this support network include:

  • Clinical Supervisors
  • Educational supervisors
  • Occupational Health Department
  • Freedom to Speak up Guardians (England)
  • Medical Director
  • Training programme directors
  • Guardian of safe working
  • Champions of flexible working
  • HR department
  • Junior doctor forum.

Health Education England

NHS Staff and Learners Mental Wellbeing Report. A new framework aimed at helping health and social care employers improve the mental wellbeing of their employees  by Health Education England (HEE).

Enhancing supervision for postgraduate doctors in training. Support and guidance for trainees is available through their Specialty Training / Foundation School with access to local Professional Support Services.

The Workforce Stress and the Supportive Organisation. A new framework for improvement through reflection, curiosity and change which encourages employers to take a closer look at the systems they currently have in place for managing staff wellbeing, it challenges them to give greater consideration to the impact workforce stress has on staff and look at the role they can play in providing better support to staff who may need It.

Scotland Deanery

Support for trainees. Support and guidance from the Deanery, aimed specifically at those experiencing issues that affect their work or training, such as health problems, family difficulties and/or workplace issues.

Wales Deanery

Professional Support Unit.  The Unit provides guidance and information to all parties involved in postgraduate medical and dental training, addressing issues that may arise during the training process, which could hinder progression.

Tel: 03300 584 211 /212 /213
Email: HEIW.ProfessionalSupport@wales.nhs.uk

Northern Ireland

Professional Support Unit.  The Unit provides guidance and information to all parties involved in postgraduate medical and dental training in Northern Ireland, addressing issues that may arise during the training process, which could hinder progression.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists

Support and wellness. A web page resource that points to a selection of general and profession specific resources for doctors experiencing problems in their personal or working life.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Sustainable working.  The College has developed this important strategy to improve the working lives of clinicians working in Emergency Departments in the UK. It covers many areas such as wellbeing, work patterns, bullying, valuing trainees etc.

The Royal College of General Practitioners

GP Wellbeing. A web page resource that points to a selection of general and profession specific resources for doctors experiencing problems in their personal or working life.  It also includes information and advice on general wellbeing.

The Wellbeing library provides educational resources and guidelines on wellbeing that are relevant to GPs and other primary healthcare professionals. It brings together national guidance and resources which we hope you will find helpful whether for your own needs or because you wish to develop a more specialised interest in wellbeing.

Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine

The wellbeing centre. A web resource that provides some original resources and key external links on the subject of wellbeing and career support.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Supporting our Doctors. A web resource dedicated to the O&G workforce covering issues around workforce challenges, culture, mentoring and peer support.

Advice and support for trainees. A web page resource for doctors in training covering issues around assertiveness, dealing with bullying or undermining behaviour, mentoring, pregnancy, indemnity and more.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Where to go for help and support for doctors’ wellbeing. A web page resource that points to a selection of general and profession specific resources for doctors experiencing problems in their personal or working life.

Wellbeing for health professionals. A web resource that provides original resources about health and wellbeing.

Survive and thrive in paediatrics. A web resource that provides original resources on career development for paediatricians at all stages of their career

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

Good Pharmaceutical Medical Practice Support Network has been established to provide guidance and direction to pharmaceutical physicians who face ethical or medical dilemmas in their practice.

The Royal College of Physicians

Mental health and wellbeing. This online resource aims to shine a spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of physicians by opening up the conversation about mental health issues and their impact.

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Through the Physician Wellbeing programme RCPI is providing support, training and information to doctors at all stages of their careers.  The programme aims to support doctors and raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding doctors’ health and wellbeing.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Supporting You. A wide range of support for College members, from the first moment they join the College to after they retire.

Supported and valued. A web resource that points to a selection of resources supporting local improvements and initiatives which aim to help overcome the challenges commonly faced by psychiatric trainees throughout the UK. The web page also includes the ‘Supported and Valued?’ report, a trainee led review into morale and training within psychiatry.

Psychiatrist’ Support Service. This confidential service provides free, rapid, high quality peer support by telephone to psychiatrists of all grades who may be experiencing personal or work-related difficulties.

The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh

#letsremoveit is the RCSEd’s ongoing campaign against workplace undermining and bullying. This provides a range of resources that highlight the negative impact bullying has on patient care as well and freely available toolkits and learning e-modules that offer help, support and advice.

The Royal College of Surgeons England

Confidential Support and Advice Service for Surgeons.  For surgeons experiencing problems with their work or personal life and would like to seek confidential and impartial advice. The pages signpost  to a number of resources and organisations that provide support and advice to surgeons and their families. It also gives details of services provided through the College’s regional network of representatives and by the surgical specialist association.

Surgeon to Surgeon Helpline. The College has established a telephone helpline, which provides a point of personal contact between surgeons, where they can discuss issues of concern with a professional colleague or peer. Callers are put in touch with an appropriate surgical colleague who can provide confidential and impartial advice.
Tel: 020 7869 6221

BMA Wellbeing Support Services

The BMA offer counselling and peer support to help you deal with a variety of issues. By seeking constructive help you may identify ways of addressing the root causes of your concerns and develop strategies to reduce the impact of the consequences.

Tel: 0330 123 1245
Email: wellbeingsupport@bma.org.uk

BMA Doctor Support Service

The BMA runs this service on behalf of the GMC, to offer emotional help to doctors under investigation.
Tel: 020 7383 6707
Email: doctorsupportservice@bma.org.uk

BMA employment advisers service

BMA members with employment queries can contact advisers.
Tel: 0300 123 1233
Email: support@bma.org.uk
webchat or @thebma on Facebook and Twitter

 

Caring for doctors Caring for patients report

A new independent report commissioned by the GMC and published in 2019 into the wellbeing of doctors and medical students. It includes recommendations on how to transform UK healthcare environments to support doctors and medical students to care for patients.

Support resources

A comprehensive list of support organisations that operate across the UK including issues of addiction, bereavement, counselling, finances, legal, mental health, work and relationships.

Support for doctors

A web page resource that points to a selection of general and profession specific resources for doctors experiencing problems in their personal or working life.

Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Doctor Contact Service

The service is available to any doctor on the day of a hearing, particularly aimed at those going to a hearing alone or without support.
Email: doctorcontact@mpts-uk.org

Health and wellbeing

NHS Employers provides information for employers to help and support staff through their wellbeing journey. The website is structured into key sections to make it simple to see what advice there is.

If you are a member of a medical defence organisation you should contact them as soon as possible. Most defence unions provide support for a broad range of services including:

  • Medico-legal complaints
  • Responding to patient complaints
  • Support for preparing a coroner’s report
  • Support with GMC fitness to practise
  • MPTS tribunals
  • Disciplinary hearings

Medical Defence Union

Tel: 0800 716 646
Email: advisory@themdu.com

Medical Protection Society

Tel: 0800 561 9090
Email: querydoc@medicalprotection.org

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Tel: 0845 270 2034
Email:advice@mddus.com

NHS Health Programme

An award winning, free and confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists with issues relating to a mental health concern or addiction problem, in particular where these might affect their work
Tel: 020 3049 4504
Email: Prac.Health@nhs.net

The NHS GP Health Service

A confidential self-referral service for GP’s and trainee GP’s. It offers help with issues relating to a mental health, including stress or depression, or an addiction problem, in particular where these might affect work.  Open between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm Saturdays.
Tel: 0300 030 3300
Email: gp.health@nhs.net

DocHealth

DocHealth is a confidential, not for profit service giving doctors an opportunity to explore difficulties, both professional and personal, with senior clinicians. This service is delivered by Consultant Medical Psychotherapists based at BMA House in London.
Tel: 020 7383 6533
Email: enquiries@dochealth.org.uk

Doctors support network

An independent, confidential and friendly self-help group for doctors who have experienced mental distress or mental health problems. The service is for doctors and run by doctors. The purpose of the group is to learn to be kinder to ourselves and others and to know we are not alone. The DSN currently has regular meetings throughout the country. The organisation is growing and has plans for meetings in other areas in the future.
Tel: 0870 321 0642

Health for Health Professionals Wales

This is a face to face counselling service for all doctors in Wales. It provides doctors with access to a British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies accredited therapist in their area. It is a confidential service fully funded by the Welsh Government and administered by Cardiff University.
Tel: 0800 0582 738 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

British Doctors and Dentists Group

A self-help service for doctors and dentists recovering from or wish to recover from addiction or dependency on alcohol and/or other drugs.

Tel: 020 7487 4445 or 01252 316 976 and also 07850 125119  – Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm
Email: natsecretary@bddg.org  bddg@btinternet.com

Sick Doctors Trust

An independent helpline set up by doctors, for doctors recovering from addiction.
Tel: 0370 444 5163
Email: help@sick-doctors-trust.co.uk

Gamcare

The leading national provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling. It runs the National Gambling Helpline and also offers face-to-face counselling.
Tel: 0808 8020 133

Gamblers Anonymous

A fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about their own gambling problem and to help other compulsive gamblers do the same. It runs local support groups that use the same 12-step approach to recovery from addiction as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Tel: 0330 094 0322
Email: info@gamblersanonymous.org.uk

National Problem Gambling Clinic

An NHS clinic commissioned to deliver care and support to problem gamblers who have difficulties that might be described as complex.
Tel: 020 7381 7722
Email: gambling.cnwl@nhs.net

Royal Medical Foundation

The foundation aims to assist GMC registered doctors and their families in financial hardship.
Tel: 01372 821010
Email: rmf-caseworker@epsomcollege.org.uk

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund

Provides financial support and advice for doctors, medical students and their families when needed due to age, injury, ill health, disability and bereavement
Tel: 020 8540 9194
Email: info@rmbf.org

BMA Charities

The BMA Charities are two charities (the BMA Charities Trust Fund and the Dain Fund) which help all doctors, and their dependents, and medical students in times of financial crisis.
Tel: 020 7383 6142
Email: info.bmacharities@bma.org.uk

The Cameron Fund

The Cameron Fund solely supports general practitioners and their dependents. It provides support to GPs and their families in times of financial need, whether through ill-health, disability, death or loss of employment. Helping those who are already suffering from financial hardship and those who are facing it.
Tel: 020 7388 0796
Email: info@cameronfund.org.uk

Association of Anaesthetists

The website signposts to a number of specific and generic resources to help those facing difficulties in their work and personal lives.

GLADD (The association of LGBT doctors and dentists)

The UK’s only organisation that unites and represents LGBT doctors and dentists from all over the country. Their website also includes information about support services specifically for those who identify as LGBTQ+.

Hope 4 Medics

A support group for doctors with disabilities and/or chronic illness. Offering specific and generic sources of support.
Email: info@hope4medics.co.uk