Breaking Bad News
Counselling and Support


Our NHS People

New wellbeing hub developed to support NHS staff during COVID - expert support helplines, Apps, webinars and resources available


Practitioner Health

“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, in particular where these might affect their work.”

A London-based service, check the website for access and availability.

PHP-HEE London provides an initial face to face assessment followed by short term interventions for doctors and dentists in training in London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex with mental health and/or addiction issues


BMA Counselling and Doctor Advisor service

“BMA Counselling is staffed by professional telephone counsellors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are all members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and are bound by strict codes of confidentiality and ethical practice.

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 you wish to use the service call 0330 123 1245  - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”


Doctor Support Service

“Any doctor, you don't have to be a BMA member, where a complaint has been made to the GMC can ask for support from the Doctor support service. Support is available from when a complaint is made until the outcome of the case. Doctors unable to talk with family or supportive colleagues may find the service particularly useful. Support is available from when a complaint is made until the outcome of the case. Unrepresented doctors or doctors with health problems may find the service particularly useful.”



“DocHealth is a new confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for all doctors. The pilot service is delivered by Consultant Medical Psychotherapists based at BMA House in London. Although located in London the service is open to all doctors in the UK.  For doctors living a considerable distance from London we are able to offer, after the initial face-to-face consultation, further consultations by skype. It is supported by the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF).”


Doctors’ Support Network

DSN is a confidential peer support network for doctors and medical students with concerns about their mental health.  We aim to raise awareness, reduce stigma and influence the agenda regarding physician health.



Cavell Nurses' Trust provides support to UK nurses during difficult times. They offer help to registered nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants, and retired nurses. They also help student nurses in exceptional circumstances.


Nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants
The Blue Light Infoline offers confidential, independent and practical support, advice and signposting around mental health and wellbeing. The Infoline is just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families, to help keep you or those you care about well for work.


A range of support services for those currently registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council or those who have been on the register in the past. Includes an online-chat service.



Tea and Empathy

This video is about the Dr Rose Polge Award by Medic Footprints, which was won in 2017 by Tea & Empathy. Rose was an F1 Doctor in Torbay who ended her life in 2016. Her tragedy has inspired the creation of Tea & Empathy, a peer to peer support network on Facebook whose aims are to create a more compassionate NHS and to reduce the stigmatisation of struggling healthcare professionals

The "Tea and empathy” facebook page is at:



“Talk to us any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.

Whatever you're going through, call us free any time, from any phone on 116 123.

We're here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it's best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don't have to be suicidal to call us.

Please don’t suffer alone.”


Zero Suicide Alliance

The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) is a collaboration of National Health Service trusts, charities, businesses and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond. We are an alliance of people and organisations coming together around one basic principle: Suicide is Preventable

The ZSA is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of, and promoting, FREE suicide prevention training which is accessible to all.



24 Hour domestic abuse helpline: T: 0808-2000-247

The Helpline can help you find a refuge vacancy for you and your children; call us for more information.

We can also support you to find other specialist services in your community, which can provide support whether or not you have left your partner.


Law Society

If you do not qualify for legal aid, a solicitor may be able to take on your case as part of their pro bono work.

Pro bono work is free legal help for people who:

  • cannot afford to pay for legal services and
  • do not qualify for legal aid 
Learning & Development

PSU eLearning, Support & Self-Review Modules - CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW
Reflective Writing, Professional Boundaries, Conflict & Undermining in the Workplace,
Stress, Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace, International Medical Graduates & EU
Doctors, Prescribing, Record Keeping, Clinical Incidents, Medicines Management, Insight,
Professionalism, Personal & Professional Effectiveness, Resilience, Examination Support

PSU AKT Workshop
Support for GP trainees having difficulty passing AKT

PSU CSA Workshop
Support for GP trainees having difficulty passing CSA

“Fourteen Fish – pass the AKT
Resource for AKT preparation for GP trainees (one-off payment)

BMJ eLearning
For BMA members or by subscription
Includes modules on resilience, emotional intelligence, bullying & harassment,
assertiveness, negotiating and influencing, managing pressures in medical school &

Electronic Library for Health (eLFH)
Includes modules on bullying, assertiveness, conflict etc

Legal Issues

Bar Pro Bono Unit
Charity helps to provide free legal advice from volunteer barristers

For BMA members

Citizens Advice Bureau

Doctor Support Service
Provided by the BMA for all doctors undergoing GMC investigation

Mental Health

Practitioner Health Programme/Trainee Doctor & Dentist Support Service (PHP/TDDSS)

Anxiety UK
Help for people with anxiety disorders

Eating disorders

Bipolar UK
Help for bipolar sufferers & their families & carers

Confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service doctors (provided by
previous “MedNet” team)

Doctors Support Network
Confidential self-help group for doctors with mental health concerns

GP Health Service
Confidential Service for GPs and GP trainees provided by PHP

Mental health foundation
News, events & information

Support for anyone with a mental health problem

Practical information, support and crisis care

Moral Injury

There is a paper here that gives 5 points for clinicians to prevent moral injury. 

I quite like this article written by an army nurse giving clinicians advice from an army point of view on moral injury: - defines and gives principles of avoiding/negating the effects moral injury

Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic (BMJ) here: 

Peer Support Groups

Other Sources of peer support for UK based doctors include:

Autistic Doctors International

CamDocUK(Association of Cameroonian Doctors in the UK)

APPNE ( Association of Pakistani Physicians of Northern Europe)

BAPIO (British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin)

Home ( (Afro Caribbean Medical Mentors)

Catholic Medical Association

Christian Medical Fellowship

Disabled Doctors' Network (DDN)

DDN Resources

Doctors' Support Group

GLADD (Gay & Lesbian Doctors and Dentists Association)

Jewish Medical Association

MANSAG (Medical Association of Nigerians across Great Britain)

Muslim Doctors' Association

Medical Women's Federation

Sikh Doctors & Dentists Association

Women in Surgery


PSU coaching service

PSU Specialist Clinical Communications & Linguistics Service
One-to-one communications sessions - Support for developing skills in having difficult conversations with colleagues, patients &

PSU Courses and Conference
Including assertiveness & resilience

Clinic for Boundary Studies
Training and other services for professionals facing difficulties relating to professional
boundaries, ethics, conduct and career challenges

Marriage Care
Help with marriage & family relationships

National Family Mediation
Not for profit family mediation services

Counselling for relationship difficulties

Women’s Aid
Support for domestic violence

Royal Colleges

Association of Anaesthetists – Wellbeing & Support
Information & guidance on wellbeing for anaesthetists

Confidential Advice & Support for Surgeons
Confidential telephone helpline for surgeons

Royal College of Psychiatrists Mental Health Page
Information & fact sheets

Psychiatrist’s Support Service, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Confidential support & advice helpline


PSU careers unit
One-to-one careers coaching

Supported Return to training
For trainees returning to training after an absence for any reason

Fit for work - Occupational Health guidance - CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW
PSU advice on using Occupational Health Services

NHS Health careers
Information on careers in health

Medical Women’s Federation
Representing the interests of female doctors

Using Human Factors 'Dirty Dozen' to respond to Covid 19 (NSW Clinical Excellence Commision)

Pandemic Kindness Movement (NSW Agency fro Clinical innovation)