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Doctors' well-being

About BMA counselling and the Doctor Advisor Service

BMA Counselling

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. You can even choose to remain anonymous when you call.

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

You can get ongoing counselling and you can arrange regular appointments. There is no restriction on the number of calls you can make and, having spoken to a counsellor, you can ask to speak to that person again.

Call 08459 200 169 (landline: 01455 254 189) - 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 you wish to use the service call 08459 200 169 and ask to speak to a Doctor Advisor - you will be given the name of a doctor to contact and details of their availability.

This is not an emergency service and if you find yourself in such a situation, please get appropriate help from either your own GP or usual medical advisor.

Doctor Advisors do not provide diagnoses or treatment, although inevitably any interaction will have a therapeutic aspect.

As with BMA Counselling, once you have made contact with a particular Doctor Advisor you may contact them as many times as you feel necessary and there is no limit on how long you stay in touch for.

Call 08459 200 169 (landline: 01455 254 189) - ask to speak to a Doctor Advisor


Confidentiality and GMC issues

The Doctor Advisor service cannot provide an advocacy service or represent doctors at tribunals or GMC hearings.

The BMA Counselling and Doctor Advisor services are completely confidential and are not linked to any other external or internal agencies. Any data that we record is anonymised and used to focus resources appropriately and for lobbying for improved services for doctors' health issues.

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 Doctor Adviser will try and encourage the doctor to change whatever presents a risk to the patient. Failure on the doctor's part to give an undertaking to stop putting patients at risk will mean that the Doctor Advisor will have to take advice on how to act and this may be by contacting the GMC.


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 or for the non-availability of a Doctor Advisor.


How to contact us

BMA Counselling (24-hours a day, seven days a week) and the Doctors Advisor Service - call 08459 200 169

Calls are charged at 'low call rates' (normally less than that of a standard call on BT's most popular residential package).

Write to us at:

Doctors for Doctors Department
British Medical Association
BMA House
Tavistock Square

Telephone: 020 7383 6739
Fax: 020 7554 6739
Email: info.d4d@bma.org.uk 


Issues we can help with

These include:

  • Stress
  • Bullying
  • GMC issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Alcohol
  • Substance abuse
  • Debt
  • Depression

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