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.

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

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 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.

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 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 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.

Faculty of Pharmacuetical 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

Flexible working and wellbeing. Information about the work the RCP is doing to support and develop flexible careers for doctors, plus links to resources provided by the RCP and its partners.

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 supports the health of doctors and raising 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.

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 College is also working with partners from across healthcare professions to host events focused and produce advice and other initiatives, such as the anti-bullying Alliance, aimed at developing practical solutions to address bullying in the medical workplace.

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

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

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.

Support for doctors

Resources to help manage through health to emotional support.

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

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