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
  • Deanery.

Health Education England

Learner heath and wellbeing. The Department of Health and Health Education England recognised the need to support learners with their health and wellbeing. Support on the website is divided into the areas of Mind, Body and Soul with the aim of empowering  trainee doctors and learners with information and tools to improve their health and wellbeing.

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.

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.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists’ Support Services. A confidential, free, rapid, high quality peer support by telephone service for psychiatrists of all grades who may be experiencing personal or work-related difficulties. The service is available during office hours Monday to Friday, by calling the dedicated helpline.
Tel: 020 7245 0412
Email: pss@rcpsych.ac.uk

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 can signpost you to a number of resources and organisations that provide support and advice to surgeons and their families. They also give details of services provided through the College’s regional network of representatives and by the surgical specialist association.

Surgeon to Surgeon Helpline. Callers are put in touch with an appropriate surgical colleague who can provide confidential and impartial advice.
Tel: 020 7869 6221

The Royal College of Anaesthetists

Career and Personal Difficulties. 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 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.

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.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Supporting Doctors. A webs page resource dedicated to the O&G workforce including challenges, culture, mentors, mentees and trainee doctors also.

Advice and support for trainees. A web page resource for doctors in training covering issues of assertiveness (bullying), mentoring, pregnancy and indemnity.

The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh

Anti-bullying and undermining campaign. A list of things doctors can do in relation to bullying and undermining as well as signposts to other resources for help for professionals experiencing problems in their personal and professional lives.

Your wellbeing

A comprehensive list of resources for sources of support covering problems such as addiction, bereavement, counselling, finances, legal, mental health, work and relationships.

Doctor Support Service

Run on behalf of the GMC, the Doctor Support Service provides emotional help for doctors under GMC investigation or license withdrawal . Its is also open to non BMA members.
Tel: 02073836707
Email: doctorsupportservice@bma.org.uk

BMA Counselling and Doctor Advisor Service

A counselling service that provides constructive advice and support 24 hours/7 days a week. Includes issues such as work related stress, relationships, mental health, drug misuse.
Tel: 020 7383 6707 / 0300 123 1245

MPTS 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

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.

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

Practitioner Health Services

A confidential self referral national service for doctors and dentists with mental illness and addiction.
Tel: 020 3049 4504
Email: Gp.health@nhs.net  England.phpadmin@nhs.net

The NHS GP Health Service

A confidential self referral service for GP’s and trainee GP’s for 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

Practitioner Health Programme

The NHS Practitioner Health Programme is an award winning, free and confidential self referral service for doctors and dentists with issues relating to a mental or physical health concerns or addiction problems, in particular where these might affect their work.

Doctors’ Support Network

A confidential peer support network for doctors & medical students with mental health concerns.

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: 07825 107 970
Email: 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

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 

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.

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.

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

Health for Heath Professionals Wales

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.
Tel: 0800 058 2738