Your wellbeing

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BMA Counselling and Doctor Advisor service

Your wellbeing

How to contact us if you need support

For help, counselling and peer support just call 0330 123 1245 and you will have the choice of speaking to a counsellor or the details of a doctor advisor who you can call directly. These services are available to all doctors and medical students.



BMA Counselling

Our counselling service is staffed by professional telephone counsellors, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All counsellors are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and are bound by strict codes of confidentiality and ethical practice.

The service is confidential. The counsellors are there to help you deal with a wide variety of issues, including:

  • The pressures and stresses of work – and the impact of this on family life
  • Relationship problems
  • Concerns about children and other family members
  • Issues relating to mental health
  • Help to address alcohol or drug misuse, and provide information about other specialist resources available to you. 

By seeking constructive and supportive help from our counsellors, you may identify ways of addressing the root causes of your problem, develop strategies to reduce the impact of the consequences and rebuild self-confidence. 

Ongoing counselling is available and you can arrange regular appointments. Having spoken to a counsellor, you can request to speak to that person again. It can be more helpful to speak to the same counsellor each time, giving you continuity of care and providing you with more effective support and assistance. 

Video counselling sessions are available.

Call 0330 123 1245 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week


Listen to one doctor's story

Dr Elliot King talks about how BMA counselling supported him when he needed it most.

Watch the video


Doctor Advisor Service

The Doctor Advisor Service runs alongside BMA counselling, giving doctors in distress or difficulty the choice of speaking in confidence to another doctor. It's peer support with an emotional focus. If you wish to speak to a doctor advisor you will be given the name of a doctor to contact and details of their availability.

The doctor advisor provides reflective space, working with you to gain insight into your problems, supporting and helping you to move on by adopting a holistic approach to your situation. They can signpost, if necessary, to other sources of support. A wide range of problems are dealt with such as: 

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying at work
  • Mental health issues
  • Relationship issues

Please note that doctor advisors do not provide diagnosis or treatment, although invariably any interaction will have a therapeutic aspect. This is not an emergency service.

You can call 0330 123 1245 and ask to speak to a doctor advisor. 


Confidentiality and GMC issues

The Doctor Advisor Service is not able to provide an advocacy service or represent doctors at tribunals or GMC hearings, etc. The Doctor Advisor Service is completely confidential and is not linked to any other external or internal agencies. Any data recorded is anonymised and used to focus resources appropriately and to lobby for improved services for doctors' health issues.

In those rare cases where a doctor's health problem appears to pose a risk to their patients, the doctor advisor has a responsibility to prevent harm. The doctor advisor will try to encourage the doctor to obtain appropriate help to change whatever presents a risk to patients.

Failure on the doctor's part to comply will mean that the doctor advisor will have to take advice on how to act and this may be by contacting the GMC. However, we anticipate these occassions will be very rare and will only ever be undertaken as a means of last resort.


Doctor advisors provide their services on a voluntary basis and are not employees or agents of the BMA. Accordingly, the BMA is not responsible for any acts or omissions by any of those doctor advisors. Although the unit works to ensure that the contact details of doctor advisors are kept up to date, it cannot accept any responsibility should a doctor advisor not be available.

Both services are available to all doctors and medical students.


Contact information

Access BMA Counselling (24 hours a day, seven days a week) and the Doctor Advisor Service on 0330 123 1245.
For further information about the services please call 020 7383 6739, email [email protected] or visit our doctor's wellbeing area


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If you are undergoing a GMC investigation we have a dedicated service to help manage the stress.

Find out more about the Doctor support service and how it works

Watch our feature on the impact of a GMC investigation