Resources for Doctors in Difficulty

13Below is a list of resources available to doctors in difficulty. Stress is the most common cause long term absence from work in the UK. If you have any other useful links please email them to

HSCB supportive resources
There are no dedicated HSCB supportive resources for doctors although individual trusts do offer Occupational Health facilities. GPs can self-refer or a formal referral can be made to the Occupational Health Service from the HSCB. Occupational Health can then initiate further help / support as appropriate.
Overview of websites available for doctors in difficulty
BMA Doctors for Doctors
This is an excellent resource to give an overview of services available for doctors’ well-being. The lines are staffed by professional telephone counsellors. Website: Tel: 08459 200169 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Doctor Advisor Service
The Doctor Advisor service runs alongside BMA Counselling giving doctors and medical students in distress or difficulty the choice of speaking in confidence to another doctor. If a Doctor Advisor learns that patients may be in danger, he or she has a duty, as a doctor, to act to prevent harm. The issues you can get help with below include:

  • Accommodation
  • Addiction
  • Bereavement
  • Counselling and support
  • Defence bodies
  • Disabilities
  • Equal opportunities
  • Financial support
  • Mental health
  • Relationships
  • Royal Colleges
  • Stress
  • Training and education

Tel: 08459 200 169

Alcohol Concern
The national umbrella body for 500 local agencies; tackling alcohol-related harm and offering help to the families and friends of those with alcohol-related problems. Website:
Alcoholics Anonymous
This is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; they are self-supporting through their own contributions. Their primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. Website: 
British Doctors and Dentists Group
This is a service for recovering alcoholic and drug dependent doctors, dentists and students. Website: 
They were formerly known as Alcohol Recovery Project. It provides quality services for those with drink-related problems, their friends and families. Website:
Gamblers Anonymous
This is a fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about their own gambling problems and to help other compulsive gamblers do the same. Website: Tel: 08700 50 88 80 
They provide support, information and advice to anyone suffering through a gambling problem. Open 8am-2am 7 days a week.

Website: Helpline: 080845 6000 133 Tel:  020 7801 7000 Fax: 020 7801 7033 Email: 

Medical Council on Alcohol
This is an organisation of registered medical practitioners with a view to understanding alcoholism, its prevention, treatment and after-care of alcoholics. Website: 
Narcotics Anonymous
A non-profit, international, community based organisation for recovering addicts. It is active in over 60 countries. Narcotics Anonymous members learn from one another how to live drug free and recover from the effects of addiction in their lives. Website: Email: 
They offer a range of specialist services to professionals and the public concerning drugs and the law. They provide advice to drug users, their families, friends, and statutory and voluntary agencies. Advice is free, professional, non-judgmental and confidential.

Website: Tel: 0845 450 0215 Email: 

Sick Doctors Trust
They provide early intervention and treatment for doctors suffering from addiction to alcohol or other drugs.


Cruse Bereavement Care
Offers free information and advice to anyone who has been affected by a death. They provide support and counselling one to one and in groups. They offer education, support, information and publications to anyone supporting bereaved people. They increase public awareness of the needs of bereaved people through campaigning and information service.

Website: Helpline: 0844 477 9400 Email: or 

Counselling and Support
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Their website provides a facility which enables a search for a therapist in a particular area. They might be able to help with whatever problems are presented.

Website: Tel: 08704435252 Email: 

Carers UK and Carers Online
This is the organisation representing the UK’s 5.7 million carers.

Website: Tel: 02074908818 Tel: 0345573369 (Carer’s Line) Fax: 02074908824 

Citizens Advice Bureau
They give free, confidential, impartial and independent advice on a limitless range of subjects. They include debt, benefits, housing, legal matters, employment, immigration and consumer issues. The Citizens Advice Bureau is open to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality or disability.


The Doctors Coach
Discovering ways that coaching can help doctors to help their patients. Website: 
They provide doctors and dentists working in the London Deanery area with practical advice about their career, emotional support and access to brief or longer term psychotherapy. The service operates on a strictly confidential basis. Website: Tel: 020 8938 2411 
NHS Practitioner Health Programme
This is a free, confidential service for doctors and dentists who have mental or physical health concerns and or addiction problems, in particular where this may affect work. The service covers all doctors and dentists living in the London area. There are currently no arrangements for other parts of the UK, but the service accepts referrals on a cost per case basis. Website: 
Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. Website: 
Victim Support Line
This is the national charity which helps people affected by crime. We provide free and confidential support to help you deal with your experience, whether or not you report the crime. Website: Tel: 0845 30 30 900 Email: 
Defence bodies
Medical Defence Union
This is available for MDU members only. They provide expert help and advice on medico-legal and ethical matters including handling complaints, claims and GMC cases. It is staffed by a team of medico-legal advisers.


Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland
This is available for MDDUS members only. They support members with complaints made by patients against them or who are facing disciplinary matters from their employing trust. A highly qualified team of medical and dental professionals gives advice and guidance.


Medical Protection Society
This is available for MPS members only. They provide comprehensive professional indemnity and expert advice to doctors, dentists and health professionals around the world. Website: 
They offer a range of specialist services to professionals and the public concerning drugs and the law. They provide advice to drug users, their families, friends, and statutory and voluntary agencies. Advice is free, professional, non-judgmental and confidential. Website: Tel: 08454500215 Email: 

Association of Disabled Professionals
They draw on the expertise of disabled professionals to improve the educational and employment opportunities of disabled people.

Website: Tel: 01204431638 Fax: 01204431638 Email: 

Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss
They provide information, promote advocacy and mentorship, and create a network for individuals with hearing loss interested in or working in health care fields. Website: 
British Dyslexia Association
They are the voice for dyslexic people. Their vision is to create a dyslexia friendly society that enables dyslexic people to reach their potential. Website: Tel: 01189668271 Email: 
Deaf Professionals Network
They provide an opportunity to network to share experiences. The website is primarily for deaf professionals who live in and around London. This website can also be used as a resource for other deaf professionals who cannot attend the network meetings. Website: Email: 
DIAL UK stands for Disability Information and Advice Line. They are a national organisation. They are a network of approx. 130 local disability information and advice services run by and for disabled people. Website: Tel: 01302 310123 
Disabled Living Foundation Helpline
They are a national charity providing free, impartial advice about all types of disability equipment and mobility products for older and disabled people; their carers’ and families. Website: Tel: 0845 130 9177 Email:  
Dyslexia Action
They are a national charity and the UK’s leading provider of services and support for people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties. Website: Tel: 01784 222300 Email: 
Hope 4 Medics
They are a support group for doctors with disabilities. Website: Email: 
The UK’s leading learning disability charity working with people with a learning disability and their families and carers. Website: Tel: 020 7454 0454 Email: 
RADAR stands for Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation. Their mission is to promote change by empowering disabled people to achieve their rights and expectations and by influencing the way that they are viewed as members of society. Website: Tel: 020 7250 3222 Email: 
The Royal National Institute for the Blind supports blind and partially sighted people. Website: Tel: 0845 766 9999 Email: 
The Royal National Institute for the Deaf supports deaf and hard of hearing people. Website: Tel: 0808 808 0123 Email: 
Equal opportunities
Disability Discrimination Act
The legislation that is in place to promote civil rights for disabled people and protect disabled people from discrimination. Website:
Equality Commission
The Equality Commission has the vision of Northern Ireland as a shared, integrated and inclusive place, a society where difference is respected and valued, based on equality and fairness for the entire community. Website: 

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund
The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund is the leading 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 or bereavement


The Cameron Fund
They provide support to GPs and their families in times of financial need, whether through ill-health, disability, death or loss of employment


Mental Health and Stress
The Doctors Support Network
They aim to provide support, reduce stigma, and campaign for better services for doctors with a range of mental health problems.


International Stress Management Association
They promote sound knowledge and best practice in the prevention and reduction of human stress. Website: Tel: 0700 780430  
Mind Tools
Stress Management Resources from Mind Tools Website:  
Occupational Health
Occupational Health for Northern Ireland GPs and their staff
The self-referral occupational health service for General Practitioners will be provided by the HSC Trust occupational health departments.


List of HSC Occupational Health Services
Occupational Health Contacts

Performance of A Doctor
They work to resolve concerns about the practice of doctors, providing case management services to health care organisations and to individual practitioners. Their aim is to work with all parties to clarify the concerns, understand what is leading to them and make recommendations to help practitioners return to safe practice.

They respond to calls about any aspect of individual or team practice, even where it is not yet clear whether there is evidence of poor practice. They also provide advice on long-standing and complex cases and can discuss concerns without the need for the practitioner to be identified. Contacting them for initial advice does not commit the caller to making further use of our service. Website:  

Training and education
Clinic for Boundaries Studies
This is a UK organisation which works around all aspects of professional boundaries and prevention of boundary violation.

Website: Tel: 0203 468 4194  

National Clinical Assessment Service
A division of the National Patient Safety Agency which helps the NHS in handling concerns about the performance of doctors and dentists. For everything except case advice or support; Tel: 020 7084 3850 For new case advice in England or Northern Ireland; Tel: 020 7062 1655 Email: Website:  
NCAS Directory of Resources to Support Doctors and Dentists
They help with the implementation of recommendations following an NCAS assessment of a doctor or dentist. They should also be useful in supporting educational programmes for doctors and dentists generally and for identifying further training and programmes following determinations made by the General Medical Council or General Dental Council. Website:   
Medical Women's Federation
They represent the interests of women doctors to government and national bodies Website:   

Doctors facing GMC fitness to practise cases
BMA Support Service
Doctors facing GMC fitness to practise cases have access to a confidential support service from the BMA.

Website: Tel: 0161 9236 602

Other Useful Links

Related Pages