Sources of support

Whether you've been practising for years or just starting out, medico-legal issues can be stressful.

As well as assistance from the MDU when it comes to dealing with a complaint, investigation or a claim, there are a number of resources and organisations available to help you look after yourself, whether you’re dealing with mental, physical, work or financial pressures.

Peer Support Network

Peer Support Network

MDU members who need support through a GMC case, claim or some other investigation process can access our peer support network.

We can put you in touch with fellow members who have been through a similar experience. The network aims to help members put things into perspective. To access this network, please speak to the medico-legal adviser dealing with your case.

Read one member's experience

Health and wellbeing e-learning

Health and wellbeing e-learning

Looking after yourself is just as important as looking after patients.

Try our free course aimed at junior doctors which helps shine a light on the impact of working in a high pressured career. It will help you to recognise the warning signs in yourself and others, as well as the steps you can take to seek support. Take the short test at the end and get a certificate of completion.

Start now

Support for students

At every medical school there will be plenty of friendly and supportive people around you ready to talk or lend a hand. Older students on your course, for example, are often voices of experience who can share useful practical tips and reassurance. If it's not something you feel able to discuss with your peers, you can also make an appointment with your personal tutor if you have one or contact Student Services at your university.

Outside medical school, it's important to register with a GP if you're living away from home, especially if you think your health is beginning to affect your performance. And while you might be getting used to life away from home, it's still a good idea to keep in touch with those who know you best.

Student members can always contact the MDU helpline for support at any time. Simply email our advisory team and quote your membership number. See resources below, and check out further advice in our student hub.

Doctors in Distress

Doctors in Distress

The MDU is a proud supporting partner of Doctors in Distress, a UK-based independent charity promoting and protecting the mental health of healthcare professionals.

Doctors in Distress runs a range of free online programmes, including photography and creative writing, and weekly support groups where you can hear from fellow professionals with lived mental health experience.

Free wellbeing programmes

Employee health and wellbeing helpline

Employee health and wellbeing helpline

Looking after your staff – and yourself – is as important as looking after patients.

As well as supporting members with a complaint or a claim, we also offer access to a 24-hour confidential employee wellbeing helpline, where individuals can speak to trained advisers and mental health nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

This helpline is available to our GROUPCARE practices (with all GPs as MDU members) and our corporate members and their staff. Speak to your MDU local liaison manager to find out more.

Contact your MDU liaison manager

Other sources of support

Benefit and debt advice


BMA Charities - Made up of two independent charities and working independently of the British Medical Association, BMA Charities offers help to all doctors and medical students in times of financial need. The BMA Charities Trust Fund offers financial aid and advice to doctors and medical students in difficulty, while the Dain Fund is aimed at supporting the children of doctors struggling with money issues.

Cavell Trust - Charity offering financial assistance to nurses, midwives and HCAs, including retired and students.

Elizabeth Finn Fund - Professionals including doctors, dentists, nurses and their partners who are holders of British/Irish nationality and who have under £4,000 in savings. Offers grants towards equipment, home adaptations and repairs, care home top ups and more.

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund - The RMBF offers advice and support to doctors who are eligible through ill health, injury, disability, bereavement or who are beyond state retirement age. It may help with money advice, payments towards living costs, awards for equipment/adaptations and top-ups for residential care. The organisation also provides some support to refugee doctors who have PLAB1 and an approved clinical attachment, as well as to medical students in their final two years who are in difficulty through ill health, disability or bereavement.

Royal Medical Foundation - Open to UK-resident, GMC-registered (or formerly registered) doctors or their dependents in difficult financial circumstances. Doctors who aren't UK qualified need to have worked here for three years. Can support private school fees.

RCN Foundation - Offering project grants, bursary schemes, hardship funding and advice to nurses.

Society for the Assistance of Medical Families - Provides financial support for doctors and their families, and for medical students.

The Cameron Fund - Open to GPs and their dependents only who need help due to illness, disability, death or loss of employment, offering grants, loans and financial advice. Can support private school fees.




British Doctors and Dentists Group - The BDDG is a mutual/self-help group of doctors and dentists from all levels of the professions who are recovering from, or wish to recover from addiction to alcohol, drugs or other behavioural addictions.

BMA wellbeing support services - Counselling and peer support available for all doctors and medical students. You do not need to be a BMA member.

DocHealth - Confidential psychotherapeutic consultation service for all qualified doctors (not medical students). Fees apply but financial assistance to cover fees is available if needed.

Doctors' Support Network - Peer support for doctors and medical students with mental health concerns, via mail forums and social events.

Enfys - Support for doctors affected by addiction (including alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, eating disorders and other dependency/harmful behaviour). Based in Wales.

Health for Health Professionals Wales - Funded by the Welsh government, a face-to-face counselling service for all doctors in Wales.

National Wellbeing Hub - Advice and evidence-based digital resources to help health and social care staff in Scotland with issues such as stress, anxiety, low mood, insomnia/poor sleep and resilience.

NHS Practitioner Health Programme - An NHS service for doctors and dentists in England with health concerns/addictions especially where it may affect their work. Self-referral for doctors who live in London. Doctors in the rest of England can access the service via a referral from their GP.

NHS staff mental health and wellbeing hubs - Free mental health and wellbeing hubs for NHS health and social care professionals in England.

Practitioner Health - Confidential care and support for health professionals in Ireland with mental health issues such as stress, anxiety or burnout, or who may have a substance misuse problem. Free of charge at the point of care.

Samaritans - A charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. Open 24 hours a day.

Workforce Specialist Service - Delivered by NHS Practitioner Health, available to health and social care professionals in Scotland.

Educational resources


BMJ Learning - Provides BMA members/subscribers with continuing medical education covering clinical topics, professional skills and career development.

Clinic for Boundary Studies - Training and other services for professionals facing difficulties relating to professional boundaries, ethics, conduct and career challenges.

Doctors in Distress - Free online wellbeing programmes for healthcare professionals, including photography and creative writing workshops and weekly support groups on topics such as stress, burnout, and self-care.

Doctors.Net - Professional network for doctors and students. Accredited CPD available.

E-learning for Health - Run by Health Education England. Wide range of online learning resources provided free to NHS doctors.

GMC - Guidance, advice and interactive learning tools.

Learn and develop with the MDU - We offer a wide variety of online e-learning, in-house and on-site training and seminars, as well as a huge range of guidance and advice on our website and mobile app.



Advice Now - Online advice for common legal scenarios.

Advocate - Charity helping users find free legal help from barristers.

Law Society Solicitor Search - Not pro bono, but lists solicitors by specialty and location.

National Pro Bono Centre - Online hub for pro bono charities across the legal sector.

University of Law legal advice for the public - The University of Law pro bono programme offers free legal advice from postgraduate students training to become solicitors or barristers, supervised by experienced lawyers.



Protect - Whistleblowing charity offering confidential advice to anyone wanting to raise a concern at work.

Student resources


Citizens Advice - Provides advice on areas like money, student accommodation, education and health. You can use the national service or visit your local branch.

Mind - A mental health charity in England and Wales with a dedicated section for students on its website.

Nightline Association - Out-of-hours listening and information services for students.

Student Minds - A national student mental health charity, which runs Student Space online resource hub.

Think Positive - Funded by the Scottish government, a collaboration project between the student's association and college/university.

Scottish Association for Mental Health - Scotland's national mental health charity, with advice and resources on looking after yourself, suicide prevention, workplace wellbeing and more.

Guidance and advice