Pink cape daisies in foreground with unfocused background group of people

Wellbeing

GPs are under enormous pressure, which can take a toll on their own health and wellbeing.

Emergency contacts

BMA 24/7 Helpline – call 0330 123 1245

Practitioner Health Programme - text NHSPH to 85258

Contact to your local RCGP faculty

Samaritans - call 116 223

Where to get help

We know that sometimes the going gets tough for GPs.

As a member of RCGP you will be part of a local Faculty. If you want local support or guidance, please contact your local Faculty office. They will put you in touch with an appropriate volunteer member who can offer support and advice. Volunteers are not specialist advisers or counsellors.

You should contact your own GP if you think the current problems you face are impacting on your health.

There are other organisations that can help, use the list below to find the right one for you and contact them directly.

Your health including urgent support and helplines

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 work 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. 

GMC

The GMC website has advice for doctors with health concerns.

Help me, I’m a doctor

The help me, I’m a doctor site 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.

Samaritans

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.

Financial help

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. 

Indemnity and legal advice

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.

Online wellbeing resources from RCGP

Online courses 

Webinars

Protecting doctor wellbeing: PPE for the mind - February 2020, 1 hour, 14 minutes

Screencasts

Podcasts

Blog posts

Five ways 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?

As a doctor you might forget, or be too busy to remember, how important your own health and wellbeing is. the New Economics Foundation (NEF) has set out five activities we should all do to cultivate wellbeing in ourselves and in others.

Connect with people

Make time for family and friends, and time for you to feel supported by them. Discuss things with your colleagues, not just your patients. Get to know your neighbours and be part of your local community. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Take notice

Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Notice the seasons change and everyday sights and sounds, perhaps on your way to work or when connecting with friends. Be mindful. Try meditation.

Keep learning

Learning new things can be enjoyable and improve your confidence. Embrace new experiences. Try something new and look for new opportunities.

Be active

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.

What is the parkrun practice initiative?

Give

Look out, as well as in. Do something nice for a friend or stranger. Even when you are a busy GP, this can be as simple as saying thank you. If you feel that you have more time to give, you might want to join a community group or volunteer your time. When you see yourself as part for the wider community and feel connected you create happiness in yourself and in others. 

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