The RMBF (Royal Medical Benevolent Fund) has recently been awarded funding from BMA Giving to create a dedicated mental-health hardship fund for doctors.
This financial support comes as the profession faces a period of exceptional challenge and stress owing to the COVID backlog of patients, winter flu season, and vacancies in the NHS.
The RMBF’s hardship fund was created owing to the rising need for support from doctors facing mental health issues.
The charity said: ‘We are seeing a surge in requests for help due to mental ill health. We know that mental ill health can have a serious financial impact on doctors by affecting their ability to work. Feeling low can make it harder to manage your money and worrying about money problems can affect mental wellbeing. The issue now accounts for around 45% of our case load and can affect doctors at any stage of their career.'
The BMA Giving grant will help RMBF offer ‘a valuable safety net to doctors who need it most, supporting them through their recovery journey and where possible to return to work and retain their skills within the profession’. The fund specifically provides cost-of-living support to doctors who are struggling financially because of a mental health illness.
‘It enables us to give doctors the breathing space to focus on their health and recovery without having the added stress about how they will pay the bills if they are on reduced hours, reduced pay, or not able to work for a prolonged period. We know the support we offer works, with 70% of new beneficiaries returning to work or no longer needing help within one year,’ said the charity.
Access the fund
RMBF’s mental health hardship fund supports eligible doctors at any stage in their career. Eligible doctors must be GMC-registered, have little in the way of income and savings, and be unable to support themselves financially due to mental ill-health.
Through a completely confidential assessment process, RMBF caseworkers review a doctor’s individual needs and gain evidence for their situation. Typically, grants of around £1,000 to £4,000 are provided, and more can be awarded depending on the need.
Anyone reading this who feels they may be eligible or has a colleague who might be struggling, can access the fund using the link below. After filling in the contact form, RMBF’s casework team will be in touch to discuss their situation and provide guidance through the application process. All enquiries, applications and offers of support are treated with the utmost confidence.
The full list of 2022 BMA Giving grant holders can be found here
For more information on other sources of financial and wellbeing support for doctors and medical students, please see the BMA’s sources of support page.