Support for practitioners

We acknowledge the challenges faced by healthcare practitioners and that they may need additional support during challenging times. There are a number of national organisations and other resources that practitioners can access for support, some of which are listed below. Where possible our Advisers will try and identify specific sources of support that may be relevant in individual cases

National Health Service

  • NHS Inform – offers a self-help guide that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and expert advice to manage sleep problems and insomnia.
  • NHS Health Education England Learner Health and Wellbeing – collated links to practical resources to provider trainees and learners with information and tools to improve their own health and wellbeing.
  • NHS Practitioner Health – Doctors and Dentists with disabilities. A collection of resources and information for doctors and dentists who identify as having a disability.
  • NHS Practitioner Health Programme – A free and confidential mental health and addiction service available to all healthcare staff in England and all regulated health and social care professionals in Scotland who due to confidentiality reasons cannot access care via their own GP or local services.  Also provides a specific guide to complaints and investigations.
  • NHS psychological therapies – Talking therapies or psychological therapies can help with common mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression. Talking therapies can be accessed for free on the NHS.
  • NHS Staff mental health and wellbeing hubs – The hubs can offer a clinical assessment and referral to local services enabling access to support where needed, such as talking therapy or counselling. It is open to all health and social care staff, from all services and settings.
  • 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.

Services specific to Wales and Northern Ireland

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 Association of Physicians of Indian Origin – non-profit organisation open to all healthcare professionals. Monitors, highlights and addresses the difficulties faced by doctors.
  • British Caribbean Doctors and Dentists’ Association – network of doctors and dentists offering support to members, through networking events, mentoring and professional development programme.
  • 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.
  • 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 in distress – mental wellbeing support for all healthcare workers across the UK through confidential, facilitated peer support groups.
  • Doctors’ Support Group – A support group for any medical professional or dentist facing suspension, exclusion, investigation of complaints, or allegations of professional misconduct.
  • 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.
  • Frontline19 – Confidential psychological support service for people working in the NHS & frontline services in the UK.
  • GLADD – The Association of LGBTQ+ Doctors and Dentists. Represents LGBTQ+ doctors, dentists, medical and dental students from all over the country.
  • Healthcare Workers’ Foundation – Charity offering services covering the physical, mental and day-to-day needs of all healthcare workers – including counselling sessions.
  • Help me I’m a doctor – Website resource for doctors, dependents of doctors or medical students. Uses a short questionnaire to identify which of five independent charities may be able to provide financial assistance.
  • Medical Association Of Nigerians Across Great Britain – Supports its members in all circumstances, including through development, informal mentoring, family tragedies, professional difficulties.
  • 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.
  • Medical Protection Counselling Service – offers independent and confidential counselling to any members experiencing work-related stress, or stress that they feel could impact their practice.
  • Melanin Medics – A non-profit charitable organisation for the present and future African and Caribbean doctor
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Society for Assistance of Medical Families – mutual provident fund assisting doctors and the families of doctors in times of hardship.
  • UK Health Professionals with Hearing Loss – deaf and hard of hearing health professionals providing information and support.
  • You Okay, Doc? – Advice, guidance, and discussion on mental health and wellness topics for doctors

National charities

  • Alcoholics Anonymous – a fellowship concerned with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the fellowship for help.
  • Anxiety UK – charity offering support, advice and information for those affected by anxiety, stress and anxiety based depression
  • Child Bereavement UK –  ‘For doctors: managing your wellbeing’ – a short guidance film aimed at helping doctors maintain their personal resilience and wellbeing while working in the face of loss, death, and grief.
  • 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.
  • Suicide Prevention UK – charity helping anyone who may be struggling with their mental health and/or thoughts of suicide.

Other resources

  • The Happiness Trap – offers free resources that use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to treat conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, depression and stress.
  • The Mindfulness Initiative – resources for health and care staff. A curated list of free mindfulness resources for health and care workers to support them through a time of crisis.
  • – offers a free 8-week online program on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction .
  • Self-Compassion by Dr Kristin Neff. Offers free meditation and self compassion exercises.

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