We recognise that working on the frontline in the NHS can be challenging, and especially so if you are involved in an incident that may lead to a claim. There are a number of national organisations that NHS healthcare staff can access for support, some of which are listed below. (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and we would encourage you to explore further avenues that you may find helpful.)
National Health Service
NHS Staff Support line – A free helpline is available to all NHS staff in England. Trained professionals can give you advice on coaching, bereavement care, mental health and financial help. Support via text is also available to doctors any time of day.
NHS Staff Support – A comprehensive overview of free wellbeing resources, offers and toolkits for all NHS staff. This includes mental, physical and financial wellbeing services.
NHS Practitioner Health Programme – A free and confidential service based in London for doctors and dentists with issues relating to mental health condition or addiction problem, in particular where these might affect their work.
NHS Health Education England Learner Health and Wellbeing – Collated links to practical resources to provide trainees and learners with information and tools to improve their own health and wellbeing.
Professional associations and colleges
Association of Anaesthetists– Contact is welcomed from members with regard to any professional or personal issue that requires support. Website provides information and resources to support members’ wellbeing.
British Dental Association – The professional association for dentists who can provide access to sources of advice, guidance and help for managers and individuals experiencing stress, emotional distress or difficulties at work.
BMA – Your wellbeing – Services and information to support doctors and medical students. Includes a confidential counselling service and a peer support service that offers the choice of speaking in confidence to another doctor.
BMA Doctor Support Service – Doctors who face General Medical Council (GMC) investigations or licence withdrawal have access to a confidential support service which offers emotional help from fellow doctors and functions independently of the GMC.
General Medical Council – Support for doctors – advice on health management, health assessments and links to other independent organisations where doctors under investigation can seek advice, support and resources.
Health and Care Professions Council Wellbeing Hub – Signposting to resources available to health and care professions.
Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) – Resources for doctors and representatives: information and guidance about hearings to help doctors, lawyers and medical defence organisations prepare for a hearing. Includes a doctor support service for confidential face-to-face support and a hearing information line for all doctors who have been referred to the MPTS for a tribunal hearing.
Nursing and Midwifery Council FTP Support – Resources and information for nurses going through fitness to practice proceedings.
Psychiatrists’ Support 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 service is confidential and delivered by trained Doctor Advisor College members.
Royal College of General Practitioners – GP Wellbeing – Advice, information on campaigns, events and courses as well as links to other resources.
Royal College of Midwives Support Service – Resources for midwives: Information and guidance on a range of issues, including disciplinary hearings, personal injury, financial assistance.
Royal College of Nursing Covid and Wellbeing Support – Wellbeing advice and signposting to available support in the time of Covid aimed at nurses.
Royal College of Nursing Lamplight Support Service – Resources supporting the nursing community to adapt to change or deal with pressures adversely affecting their financial situation.
Royal College of Nursing Support Service – Resources for nurses: information and guidance about incidents at work, stress, sick leave and pay, counselling, welfare and peer support services.
Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists – Supporting our Doctors– A range of advice, information, support mechanisms and links to other resources. Includes a peer-to-peer support service.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – Wellbeing for health professionals– A range of resources including practical advice, real life experiences and guidance to support health professionals while they work.
Royal College of Surgeons Confidential Support and Advice Service– A confidential support and advice service for surgeons who are experiencing problems in their work or personal life. Provides signposting to a number of resources and organisations that provide support and advice. Also offer a surgeon to surgeon helpline which can put callers in contact with an appropriate surgical colleague who can provide confidential advice.
Medical support organisations and charities
BMA Charities – Two charities which help all doctors, and their dependants, and medical students in times of financial crisis.
British Doctors’ and Dentists’ Group – A mutual/self-help group of doctors and dentists who are recovering, or wish to recover, from addiction/dependency on alcohol and/or other drugs.
British Doctors’ and Dentists’ Families’ Group – An independent self-help group which offers help, support and recovery for all family members who are suffering, or have suffered, from the effects of a doctor’s or dentist’s alcohol or drug addiction.
British International Doctors’ Association – Works to achieve equal treatment of all doctors and dentists working in the UK based on their competence and merit irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin or school or graduation.
The Cameron Fund – A medical benevolent fund that supports current and retired GPs, as well as their families, in times of financial distress, whether through ill-health, disability, death or loss of employment.
Cavell Nurses’ Trust – A charity that helps registered nurses, midwives, nursing associates, maternity support workers and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they are suffering personal or financial hardship, including through illness, disability or old age.
Dentists’ Health Support Trust– A registered charity with a national network of advisers providing dental professionals with free support and advice on health, alcohol and drugs issues.
Dochealth – A confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for all doctors, helping them to explore professional and personal difficulties with senior clinicians (fee payable for doctors using the service).
Doctors Support Network – An independent, confidential, peer-support network for doctors and medical students with concerns about their mental health. Offers an online, confidential, anonymous support forum. Aims to improve wellbeing of doctors by safely connecting them with other medics with similar concerns.
HOPE for disabled doctors– Help and support for doctors with a disability or chronic illness.
Medic Support – A confidential service that provides support to medical students and doctors who have been identified as having issues relating to performance or health.
Medical Council on Alcohol (MCA) – The MCA is an independent charity of health professionals from all medical specialties, dedicated to improving the understanding and management of alcohol-related health harm. Its activities include working with healthcare professionals to increase their understanding of the risks associated with their own alcohol consumption and of the measures to address these.
Pharmacist Support– Independent charity working for pharmacists and their families, former pharmacists and pharmacy students to provide help and support in times of need. Services include: wellbeing service; listening friends confidential helpline; financial assistance; specialist advice in the areas of debt, benefit and employment law and an addiction support programme.
Queen’s Nursing Institute – A nursing charity focused on promoting nursing in the community, that provides practical and financial help to community nurses and midwives in need.
Royal Medical Benevolent Fund – Provides support for doctors and their families through all stages of their career and beyond. A charity for doctors, medical students and their families, providing financial support, money advice and information when it is most needed due to age, ill health, disability or bereavement.
Sick Doctors Trust – Independent organisation providing support and help for doctors, dentists and medical students who are concerned about their use of alcohol or drugs.
UK Health Professionals with Hearing Loss– Deaf and hard of hearing health professionals providing information and support.
Alcoholics Anonymous – A fellowship concerned with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the fellowship for help.
Cocaine Anonymous – A fellowship of recovering addicts who maintain their individual sobriety by working with others.
Cruse Bereavement Care – A national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, offering support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.
Narcotics Anonymous – A non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs have become a major problem. They are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.
Samaritans – A charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. Open 24 hours a day.
In providing information about other organisations and their services/products, NHS Resolution should not be regarded as endorsing them. We do not accept liability for any losses, damage or injury which users of those services and products might suffer, howsoever caused.
We would also like to note that our Practitioner Performance Advice provides impartial and expert advice to healthcare organisations to support the local management and resolution of performance concerns relating to doctors, dentists and pharmacists at all grades. All of our activities are directed towards supporting the early identification, fair and effective management, and satisfactory resolution of concerns in the interests of patient safety and public protection.
As an advisory body, our aim is to help ensure that where concerns have been raised about an individual these are managed and resolved in a fair, proportionate and timely way. We can also offer advice and assistance, including signposting to additional avenues of support. There is no minimum threshold for seeking advice and we encourage healthcare organisations and practitioners to contact us as early as possible when concerns come to light.
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