Practitioner health


General Medical Council – Good Medical Practice - Points 28-30 of domain 2 refer to practitioner health. The key message is that if a doctor knows or suspect that your judgement or performance could be affected by a condition or its treatment, you must consult a suitably qualified colleague and follow their advice.

Useful resources

Business in the Community – Mental Health for Employers Toolkit -2021) - Business in the Community -BITC) has partnered with Public Health England to produce a toolkit to help every organisation support the mental health and wellbeing of its employees.

Health and Social Care Public Health Agency – Breathing Space - This quick reference sheet is designed by the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland and helps staff take a short break to protect their mental wellbeing.

Lifelines Scotland - Supporting the mental health of people who work or volunteer with an emergency service in Scotland.

NHS Practitioner Health - England and Scotland: Practitioner Health is a free, confidential NHS primary care mental health and addiction service with expertise in treating healthcare professionals.  The service can help with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They also see healthcare professionals with more severe illnesses, such as bipolar affective disorder, personality disorders and psychosis and with a range of addiction issues. The special needs of healthcare professionals with mental illness are recognised in their approach.

Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Agency - Offer a small professional support unit to all medical and dental trainees in Northern Ireland. Contact: 02890 400000

Sick Doctors Trust - Support and help for doctors, dentists and medical students who are concerned about their use of drugs or alcohol.

Patient and carer information

BMA Counselling - The BMA counselling service provides constructive advice and support to medical students and doctors, regardless of BMA membership.

BMA Doctor Support Service - The BMA runs this service on behalf of the GMC, to offer emotional help to doctors under investigation

BMA Peer Support - This service gives you an opportunity to speak in confidence to another doctor.

Doctors’ Support Network - Peer support for doctors and medical students with mental health concerns.

DocHealth - Run by the BMA and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund -RMBF), DocHealth is a confidential psychotherapeutic consultation service for all doctors. The RMBF also hosts an advice hub with support for a multitude of challenges that may face doctors.

General Medical Council – Managing your health - For doctors with health issues, or those who have been referred to the GMC because of a health concern, this guide will help find available support.

General Medical Council – Support for Doctors Under Investigation - This site hosts support information from the GMC and also links to a wide variety of resources to help doctors in difficulty.

Health for Health Professionals – Wales - A confidential service providing face to face counselling service for all doctors in Wales.

Hope 4 Medics - A support website for doctors with disabilities, to help them overcome barriers they may face in the workplace, and facilitate a long-term, successful career.  Signposts to additional resources that may help doctors with disabilities.

NHS Staff Support - This site is for English NHS staff and has links to support, ‘how to’ guides and health and wellbeing programmes.

Rightsteps - Supported by the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund, and for medical students, Rightsteps wellbeing is a on-demand wellbeing platform where you can choose mental and physical wellbeing support from their range of self-guided wellbeing recources.

You Okay, Doc? - This is a service for doctors and medical students and includes ‘The Huddle’ - a safe space for doctors to chat in a private group about things that are not often freely talked-about elsewhere. There is also a crisis text service – text YOD to 85258.

Further information and reading

ACAS – Management of Mental Health at Work -2016)  - Research report on the management of mental health at a cross section of workplaces to provide valuable insights and identify good practice.

ACAS – Supporting Mental Health at Work - This page has information on, and further links to, guidance on mental health promotion and management at work. It touches on legal issues, discrimination and creating a supportive environment.

Connecting with People - 4 Mental Health are an organisation delivering Connecting with People training – modular training sessions on a wide range of mental health subjects, including emotional resilience and compassion in the workplace

General Medical Council – The State of Medical Education and Practice in the UK - ‘The state of medical education and practice in the UK’ is the GMC’s annual report on the realities and challenges faced by medical professionals in the UK’s healthcare systems, and includes information on mental wellbeing and burnout.

Mental Health First Aid - This is a social enterprise who are nationally delivering support to workplaces through training and resources. They support organisations to look after the mental health of employees, such as through the training of Mental Health First Aiders.

RCGP eLearning blog – Managing stress and avoiding burnout in primary care. - This blog explores the fact that being a GP can be an extremely varied and rewarding career, but the pressure of dealing with an ever-increasing number of patients can take its toll.

RCGP eLearning  module - COVID-19 and staff mental health - This two module course covers two areas which are particularly pertinent to the mental health and wellbeing of clinical staff in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RCGP eLearning module – Drugs: Management of drug misuse - This course builds on the Identification and Harm Reduction course, and describes an evidence-based approach to the treatment of substance misuse in primary care, including the role of opiate substitution therapies -OST).

RCGP eLearning course – Mental health in the context of COVID-19 - This collection of resources is specifically designed to support the mental health and wellbeing of the GP workforce and the healthcare community at large. The resources aim to help with the mental and physical state of the workforce, address current and future challenges, allow healthcare professionals to feel supported.

RCGP eLearning course – Practice staff health - The aim of this module is to offer general practitioners and practice managers practical approaches to protecting staff wellbeing, and to inspire the development of healthy workplaces.

RCGP Screencast – Mental ill health and burnout - In this screencast the the epidemiology of doctors’ mental health difficulties and burnout are discussed. Suggestions are made on how to engage with struggling colleagues and where to seek help.

RCGP Screencast – Post traumatic stress disorder during and after lockdown - This extended screencast focusing on the period of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential effects on patients and key workers during and after this period. It looks at recognising signs of post traumatic stress disorder, screening in primary care and how GPs can look after themselves during this challenging time.

RCGP Screencast – Traumatic events in primary care - Primary care team are often being exposed to stressful, negative experiences. This screencast covers the difficult topic of how to deal with traumatic and morally injurious events in general practice, the signs of PTSD and when to seek help.

RCGP Webinar – Protecting doctor wellbeing: PPE for the mind - This webinar covers how to recognise the early warning signs of burnout and mental ill health in the workplace, what helps when working in traumatic situations – the evidence, and helps you to create your own psychological PPE toolkit to help protect you now and in the longer term.