The College is well aware that the NHS
changes and current financial climate are leading to many varied
changes in services, and that there are many of you facing
difficult and uncertain times.
Service changes, tendering processes and drive
for efficiencies are leading to threats of redundancies, actual
redundancies, loss of posts and decrease in paid Programmed
Activities. There are also Psychiatrists facing a potential loss of
earnings as a result of changes in the legal system. As a result
many feel under considerable stress due to the uncertainty and
possible changes in lifestyle.
It can be difficult to know where to turn at
such times. There are no clear answers, but here are some thoughts
on what might help.
- The British Medical Association provides assistance with
employment and contractual issues. This is an important avenue of
support when faced with service or contractual changes or the
possibility of redundancy. To contact the BMA for employment and
general information queries, telephone 0300 123 12333. Lines are
open Monday-Friday, 8.30-6.00pm. Alternatively, visit their
use the feedback form to contact an adviser.
- Consider what procedures are available to you
within your organisation to review your position or offer advice.
This could include discussion at a Medical Staff Committee meeting,
Local Negotiating Committee meeting or discussion with Human
- The Psychiatrists Support Service is a
confidential telephone advice service providing support and
signposting for members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Contact can be made on telephone 0207 2450 412. The Support Service
Manager will listen to the details of your situation and review
them with the Specialist Adviser who leads the service. You will
then be directed to an appropriate organisation to provide the
necessary support or referred to a College member for focused
- Informal discussion with your colleagues. You
may be surprised to learn that others may be experiencing similar
anxieties. Your colleagues may have helpful ideas about what you
could consider doing and help you to explore your
- The British Medical Association Counselling
Service and Doctors for Doctors service provide a confidential
service where doctors can discuss problems and get support. You can
either speak to a counsellor or a doctor-advisor. To make contact
telephone 08459 200 169.
- Support for Doctors is a
website developed by the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund and provides
a lot of useful information. The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund can
also provide support for doctors and their families facing
- The BMA can direct you towards financial
advisors, or you may wish to make contact with an advisor
- You may want to consider avenues of alternative
income or a portfolio career. Information and contacts can be
found on the College's Private and Independent Practice Special
Interest Group. An information guide ‘On planning a portfolio
career’ is in the Psychiatrists Support Service section. The
British Medical Association also provides information and seminars
on setting up a private practice.
- You may want to consider an alternative career
or specialty. Talking to colleagues may generate ideas. The
Medical Forum offers career planning
support. The British Medical Association also provides careers
counselling, and your local Deanery may have a careers advisory
Above all it is important to look after
yourself. Talk to your family, friends and colleagues. Maintain a
healthy lifestyle and work life balance. You might find the
Service's information guides helpful, in particular advice
on dealing with stress. The College is keen to hear from you
and to understand what is happening to jobs and services. Please
contact Charlotte Collins, Workforce
Manager, with any news or updates.