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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

FAQs

 

How do I get in touch with the Psychiatrists’ Support Service (PSS)?

You can call us directly on 020 7245 0412 or email pss@rcpsych.ac.uk.

 

How does the support service work?

Our support service manager will answer your call, give you information about the service, and answer any questions you might have.

After listening to your situation they may provide you with some initial advice or signpost you to an appropriate organisation.

They may also take your contact details and ask you when you might be free for a call with one of our doctor advisors.

If so, the manager will talk through your case anonymously with a doctor advisor and then either pass on their advice to you or arrange a time for them to call you. We then confirm this with you, usually within the same day.

 

Is it confidential?

Yes, our service is confidential.

However, if you tell us about something that threatens personal or professional safety, we have a professional duty of care to report it to the appropriate organisation.

We tell you this at the start of your call to us.

 

What issues do doctors call about, and what sort of help do you give?

We take calls on many different issues, but the most common is about dealing with difficult colleagues and difficult working relationships.

You can see a list of the sorts of problems doctors contact us about on our signposting page, and we’ve also got a range of helpsheets for the topics doctors often contact us about.

 

I would like to discuss my problems face-to-face. Is this possible?

We’re a telephone-based service, so we don’t offer face-to-face meetings.

 

Do you offer treatment?

We’re your gateway to specialist advice and peer support. We don’t offer counselling or treatment but we may point you in the direction of services that do.

Our signposting page has further information.

 

Will you provide advocacy or representation at an employment tribunal?

We are not an advocacy service; we won’t act as a trade union or offer representation at an employment tribunal, but we can direct you to agencies that help with these matters.

Our signposting page has further information.

 

Can I use the service if I’m a trainee in psychiatry?

Yes, absolutely. We provide support to doctors at all grades of our College’s membership.

 

Do you link with other services available to support doctors?

We have great links with the General Medical Council, the British Medical Association and the National Clinical Assessment Service.

We often signpost to other useful services for doctors and so like to keep informed of any local and national developments.

Our signposting page has details about these other organisations. We know that they sometimes signpost doctors to us too.

 

How many phone calls can I expect to get from a doctor advisor and how long will calls last?

It depends on the reason for the call and the amount of support needed. Often, one call from a doctor advisor is enough to discuss the issues.

In other cases, several calls are needed, but our doctor advisor will talk to you about whether further phone calls would be helpful. The length of a call also depends on your needs.

 

How do I become a doctor advisor for your service?

When a place on our committee becomes free, we advertise the role on the Posts for members page.

If we are not advertising a doctor advisor role at the moment, and you are keen to help us, please email pss@rcpsych.ac.uk with your CV and a covering letter about your experience in helping doctors in difficult situations.

We’ll keep these on file and contact you if the need arises. We interview all our doctor advisors in line with College procedures.

 

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