BMA 24/7 helpline
The BMA 24/7 helpline is a dedicated helpline for doctors and medical students to speak to a counsellor or doctor advisor in confidence. You can talk through any issues which may be worrying you in total privacy, confident that you are getting the best possible support.
Responding to the death by suicide of a colleague in Primary Care
The sudden death of any colleague can be shocking, distressing and destabilising it can have a major impact on the wellbeing and functioning of staff members. The SOM have designed a report which describes the difficulties faced and presents a framework of actions.
The GP lifestyle - wellbeing in general practice
We run an online course offering advice on stress management, alcohol, nutrition, exercise and substance misuse.
The GMC website has advice for doctors with health concerns.
Help me, I’m a doctor
The help me, I’m a doctor website brings together five independent charities that support doctors when they need confidential financial assistance. They can provide support to help doctors in genuine financial need get their lives and careers back on track.
NHS Practitioner Health Programme
The NHS Practitioner Health Programme is an award winning, free and confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists with issues relating to a mental or physical health concern or addiction problem, especially when it might affect their work.
NHS GP Health Service
The NHS GP Health Service is a confidential self-referral NHS service for GPs and GP trainees in England.
The GP Health Service can help doctors with issues relating to a mental health concern, including stress or depression, or an addiction problem, in particular where these might affect work.
GPH is provided by health professionals who have additional expertise in addressing the issues concerning doctors.
Doctors' Support Network (DSN)
DSN is a peer support group for doctors with mental health problems.
Health for Health Professionals Wales
HHP Wales is a face to face counselling service for all doctors in Wales. They provide doctors with access to accredited therapists in their area.
Second Victim Support
A healthcare professional who has experienced a significant personal or professional impact as a result of a patient safety incident can be referred to as a second victim. This web-based resource provides guidance and tools to support individuals (and their managers) who have experience of being involved in such incidents.
Confidential emotional support 24-hours a day samaritans.org
Sick Doctors Trust
SDT provide a 24-hour confidential telephone helpline for doctors with drug and alcohol problems.
The Cameron Fund
The Cameron Fund is the only charity that 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. It also helps those who are already suffering from financial hardship and those who are facing it.
Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF)
The RMBF is the UK charity for doctors, medical students and their families. They provide financial support, money advice and information when it is most needed due to age, ill health, disability and bereavement.
Royal Medical Foundation
The Royal Medical Foundation exists to support doctors and their dependants who find themselves in financial hardship.
The Medical Defence Union (MDU)
The MDU is led and staffed by doctors who have real-life experience of the pressures and challenges you face every day. They have expertise in legal issues, complaints and claims. You can visit their website or call them on 0800 716 646 or for Ireland 1800 535935.
The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS)
MDDUS is a mutual organisation providing healthcare professionals across the UK with access to indemnity, assistance and support. Run by doctors, dentists and practice managers, as well as solicitors widely recognised for their specialist medical legal expertise.
The Medical Protection Society (MPS)
MPS is an indemnity organisation. They provide access to expert advice and support and indemnity for complaints or claims from professional practice.
- Mental health in the context of COVID-19 - November 2020, 30 minutes
- Practice staff health - May 2018
- Protecting doctor wellbeing: PPE for the mind - February 2020, 1 hour, 14 minutes
- Traumatic events in primary care - November 2020, 5 minutes
- Mental ill health and burnout - November 2020, 5 minutes
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during and after lockdown - May 2020, 10 minutes
- Mental health in times of lockdown - May 2020, 10 minutes
- How to keep yourself well during the pandemic - November 2020, 14 minutes
- Managing stress and avoiding burnout in primary care - January 2020
University of the 3rd Age (U3A)
The University of the Third Age (U3A) brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning. With over a 1,000 U3As across the UK, and hundreds of interest groups covering many subjects, you can teach and learn from other U3A members simply for the joy of learning.
Royal Society of Medicine
The Royal Society of Medicine’s aim is to be a leading provider of high quality continuing postgraduate education and learning to the medical profession and wider healthcare teams. They are committed to becoming a trusted voice in healthcare education and promote an exchange of information and ideas on the science, practice and organisation of medicine.
Society of Medical Writers
For those looking for creative or journalistic outlets, the Society of Medical Writers is for anyone from a healthcare background who wants to write (and not just about health, either).
Retirement and the Arts
The BBC provides information and links to inspire your creativity.
Further support for later career and retired GPs
See the LCARM website section.
Tips to improve your wellbeing as a GP
You will care for thousands of patients over your career, but how often do you take time to care for you? It’s really important to focus on your own wellbeing. If your health and happiness are suffering, then you won’t get the best out of yourself, and neither will your patients.
Everyone has their own interests, hobbies, activities, and ‘go to’ people to help in times of need. It's important to keep these going, and keep your support network strong. Your future self will thank you for it! Here are some tips to help you make sure you’re looking after yourself.
Connect with people through mentoring
Support networks are vital to anyone, but especially as a GP. When you're training, you often develop nurturing relationships with educational supervisors. Later in your career, a great way of replacing that support is to get yourself a mentor. Mentoring can be incredibly valuable and powerful. It means you don’t have to wait for your appraisal to talk to someone about you and your career.
Go out there and find someone who you think would make a great mentor. Is there someone you admire who you want to learn from? What other qualities do you want in a mentor? Find someone who will positively challenge you to be the best you can be.
RCGP Mentoring platform
Through RCGP Mentoring, members can support one another in their career growth and development. The platform matches future or current GP mentees with mentors possessing their desired interests, skills and expertise and vice versa.
But it's much more than that. RCGP Mentoring offers an array of resources to help you navigate the mentoring process. It supports you in your role as a mentee or mentor, and ensures that your mentoring relationships are enjoyable and productive. Whatever grade of RCGP membership you have, simply log in to get started on your search for a match that suits you.
Pause and take notice
Allow yourself time in your day, or at least your week, to pause and reflect on how you feel.
Read Roger Neighbour’s 5-checkpoint consultation model. The ‘housekeeping’ checkpoint is a helpful way of keeping in touch with yourself and making sure that you’re aware of your behavior.
Are you finding yourself doing any of these?
- Struggling to weigh up or make decisions, or finding this more stressful than usual
- Getting rigid in your thinking, decision-making or way of communicating
- Being snappy or defensive with colleagues or patients
If so, then perhaps it’s time to take a break and get a little more ‘you’ time.
Learning new things can be enjoyable and improve your confidence. We offer various CPD courses, but investing in your own personal growth and development has immense value for your own wellbeing too.
This isn't just related to work. Learning more about yourself, and what helps you, is just as important to help sustain you in your role.
Discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits you. Perhaps you can make time for a walk or run. Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline.
Our Physical Activity and Lifestyle hub has advice on developing an active culture in your workplace. Have you considered joining the growing community of practices that now proudly call themselves an Active Practice? Joining the network of over 1,600 parkrun practices will get you most of the way there, as well as connecting you to a thriving local community where enhancing peoples’ health, happiness and fitness is at the forefront.
#DoingOurBit is a platform of over 50 free workouts for NHS staff.
Becoming an Active Practice is a great way to embed wellbeing into your practice. Even modest changes can have a hugely beneficial health and wellbeing impact on you, your practice team as well as your patient - as we have heard from practices across the UK who have signed up to the Charter. Read Clarendon Lodge Medical Practice's story.
As GPs, we’d be lying if we said it’s unusual to feel so exhausted that you feel as if you have nothing left to give... It’s not unusual. But keeping some of ‘you’ aside to give to your family and friends is important. Plus, making small gestures for the people we love and care for makes us feel good.
Spending quality time with your favourite people is the best medicine for recharging your batteries.