This hub brings together resources and sources of support for wellbeing, mental health and legal advice.
We understand that whilst working in O&G is rewarding, it can sometimes come with its challenges. Supporting the O&G workforce and ensuring doctors are equipped and supported to deliver the highest levels of care to women and girls is a key strategic priority for the RCOG. This hub brings together resources and sources of support for wellbeing, mental health, physical health and legal advice.
On this page:
- RCOG support
- Professional support
- Counselling and support
- Legal advice
- Wellbeing apps
- Physical health
- Calling it out
We understand that in order to provide the best possible care to their patients, doctors need to be supported to manage both the personal and professional challenges they may encounter throughout their career working in O&G. We have developed resources and guidance to support you through these.
- Visit the RCOG Supporting Our Doctors page to find resources to support doctors in difficulty, including managing work-place challenges.
- RCOG peer-to-peer support for members (NHS)
offers informal guidance on workplace issues, interpersonal difficulties, return to work options or non-clinical concerns.
- RCOG Return to Work Toolkit
supports doctors who have taken time out of clinical practice transition back to clinical work.
- Workplace Behaviour Toolkit
supports contains 8 modules to support you tackle poor workplace behaviours because #BehaviourMatters.
- Support services for RCOG members and trainees
- Later careers and retirement
Senior obstetricians and gynaecologists are essential to a well-balanced medical workforce. This report examines the factors influencing retirement plans; what can be done to support doctors who want to remain in the NHS workforce for longer and how to make the later career stage as attractive as possible to all.
There are a number of organisations and resources available to support medical professionals with their wellbeing. Find out more about these organisations and the support they can offer below.
- Trainees can access Professional Support Services through their deanery
- Your GP – can offer support and facilitate time off if needed.
- Supporting Our People (NHS)
Resources for NHS staff including a free confidential phone line, text message or app. Call 0300 131 7000 or text FRONTLINE to 85258. Helping you manage your own health and wellbeing whilst looking after others.
- NHS Professionals Health and Wellbeing hub
This hub collates resources and guidance to support those working in the NHS with their mental health and wellbeing.
- MinDED Hub
Resilience tips created for frontline NHS and care staff, in partnership with NHS Health Education England, NHS England-Improvement and Skills for Care.
- #Caring4NHS People
Virtual community sessions to support the wellbeing of health and care staff during the pandemic.
- National Wellbeing Hub
For staff working in health and social care in Scotland. Includes resources for both individuals and managers.
- Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
The AoMRC signposts to a range of organisations and resources that can support NHS professionals.
- NHS - REACT Mental Health Training
REACTMH is training for managers and supervisors to learn the skills to be confident in having wellbeing conversations with their teams. Follow the link to find out more information on this training and the available training dates.
- NES trainee development and wellbeing service
Doctors in training can access the NES trainee development and wellbeing service which includes support on exams and assessments, careers advice, wellbeing at work and more.
It is important for all doctors working in obstetrics and gynaecology to look after their own wellbeing. The below organisations are professional bodies who can offer resources and support when you need it. If you are struggling, we encourage you to contact one of the many support systems that are available to you. In an emergency, call 999.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Search for counsellors and psychotherapists in your area (non-medic specific)
British Medical Association (BMA)
Looking after yourself, staying safe and well at work, managing sickness and return to work. Free and confidential 24/7 counselling and peer support services open to all doctors and medical students plus partners or dependents on 0330 123 1245.
A confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for doctors in the UK
Doctors Support Network (DSN)
A confidential peer support network for doctors and medical students with concerns about their mental health.
NHS Practitioner Health
A free, confidential service for doctors and dentists in England who have mental or physical health concerns and or addiction problems. People may also want to access the service when they are looking to return to clinical practice after a period of absence.
NHS psychological therapies (IAPT services)
Free psychological therapies, including counselling and CBT. Search for services in your area and refer yourself directly (non-medic specific)
Royal Medical Benevolent Fund
Advice on topics including mental health, finances, physical health, returning to work and careers.
Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide
Second Victim Support
Healthcare employees who have experienced a significant personal or professional impact as a result of a patient safety incident can be referred to as a second victim.
Sick Doctors Trust
Support for medical students, and their families, suffering any degree of dependence on drugs and alcohol.
Trauma Response Network
Provides free therapy and anonymous trauma support by qualified EMDR therapists to people affected by a mass trauma event. Now supporting people suffering acute anxiety or PTSD as a result of COVID-19.
NHS Mental Health
Information and support for your mental health, feelings, symptoms, behaviours, self-care, urgent care, psychological therapies, advice for real life situations and events.
You OK Doc? Supporting doctors' mental health and wellbeing. Includes a podcast, bespoke resources and an online community to chat informally and confidentially with other doctors about life as a medic.
Sexual assault and harassment support:
The Survivors Trust https://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/
Rape Crisis England and Wales https://rapecrisis.org.uk/
Local sexual assault and rape crisis centre
It is important for doctors to understand and plan for all issues affecting their professional practice. The RCOG recommends that all doctors working in UK medical practice secure independent, individual medico-legal cover. Find out more about legal advice below.
Independent, proactive legal advice for BMA members and non-members. BMA Law’s expert team offer a wide range of services to support doctors at work and at home; from dispute resolution and GMC investigation support, to estate planning and personal injury. All services are offered at preferential rates to BMA members.
The BMA – NHS medical indemnity overview
Find out more about the NHS medical indemnity systems in the UK.
General Medical Council (GMC)
Guidance on how decisions are reached in cases where concerns have been raised about a doctor’s fitness to practise.
Medical Defence Union
Provides expert help and advice on medico-legal and ethical matters including handling complaints, witness statements, coroner reports, GMC cases and police investigations.
Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service
Information and support for doctors who have a hearing as part of a GMC investigation.
Medical Protection Society
Provides comprehensive professional indemnity and expert advice to doctors, dentists and health professionals around the world.
E-Learning for health care - Maternity Insights
NHS Resolution training resource raising awareness
of the early notification scheme and legal process.
The below resources are available to support you when things go wrong or if complaints have been made against you.
HSIB are a professional body in England that investigate patient safety concerns. For an overview of what to expect if you are involved in a HSIB investigation, please watch this video.
Below are a series of apps to support you with your mental health and wellbeing. Click on each link to find out more about what each app is able to offer you.
Wellbeing apps for NHS staff
NHS staff have been given free access to a number of wellbeing apps to support with their mental health and wellbeing.
The Headspace app teaches meditation and mindfulness, helping you to lower your stress, deal with anxiety, focus more and sleep better.
Unmind is a mental health platform that empowers staff to proactively improve their mental wellbeing. It’s free for all NHS staff until 30 June 2021.
As well as looking after your mental health, it is also important to look after your physical health too. This section signposts to key resources to support you with your physical health.
The RCOG endorse the Fight Fatigue campaign, developed by the Association of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. The resources in the Fatigue pack are relevant for all healthcare staff.
It is important to understand the impact of fatigue on individuals’ health, and the impact of fatigue on doctors’ care for their patients. Fatigue has been shown to decrease ability to retain information and concentrate, impair communication skills and can cause a lack of empathy.
Workplace based injury
Several studies have documented the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal injuries amongst those working in O&G. These injuries are particularly common in the back, shoulders, arms and wrists. Therefore, prevention and early intervention measures are crucial.
For further information on ways to prevent work-related injuries, please visit the NHS Employers’ website for their article on musculoskeletal health in the workplace and signposting to additional resources regarding musculoskeletal health.
Drug and alcohol problems
If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol problem, the below organisations will be able to help you.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Commonly known as AA, have local meetings to support you if you have a drinking problem. They also have a free national helpline.
Narcotics Anonymous – UKNA have local meetings to support you if you have a drugs problem. They also have a free national helpline.
If you are pregnant while working in O&G, visit our page here for information to support you during pregnancy, maternity leave and returning to work.
This toolkit from the Royal College of Nursing covers your rights at work and answers our most frequently asked questions on pregnancy, maternity leave and pay.
To protect the wellbeing of yourself and others, if you have concerns such as (but not limited to) personal or patient safety, workplace bullying or harassment this section helps to signpost you on the appropriate routes to seek support and escalate concerns. Trusts and Health Boards also have whistle blowing guidelines and policies for escalation, particularly about patient safety.
The below resources will support you to raise concerns:
RCOG Workplace behaviour toolkit
has information for you if you feel you have experienced bullying or undermining or you have been witness to these behaviours.
Surviving in Scrubs - Sharing survivor stories of sexism, harassment, and sexual assault in the healthcare workforce. Raising awareness and campaigning to end this culture
The BMA’s equality and diversity guidance – This includes information and support on a wide range of issues including bullying and harassment