MDU offers wellbeing helpline for GP practices

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) is coming to the aid of stressed out GP practice teams with the launch of a free employee assistance helpline for members of its practice group scheme.

With GPs and practice staff being susceptible to burnout and poor wellbeing because of the intense pressure from increasing workloads, the MDU has negotiated access to a free confidential helpline to support the whole team with issues in their personal or work life.

Following the introduction of state indemnity for GP practices in England and Wales, the MDU has announced new benefits for its GROUPCARE practices. When all GPs in the practice are MDU members, the team will have access to the employee assistance helpline - this benefit applies across the UK. For practices in England and Wales a 10% saving on the usual MDU subscription for NHS work undertaken by members of the practice team is also available. This is in addition to other exclusive benefits.

Dr Michael Devlin, head of professional standards and liaison, said:

'Research has shown that GPs are susceptible to burnout and would benefit from a healthier working environment. Creating this environment can be challenging and one thing the researchers suggest is fostering a mutually supportive team structure, for example through mentoring and communal breaks. But it may also be beneficial to speak to a third party confidentially about issues. This is why we are offering a support helpline to qualifying GROUPCARE practices. We hope it will be a valuable benefit.'

The confidential helpline, provided by Peninsula Business Services Ltd, can provide information and support on areas including:

  • legal information services
  • debt and financial information
  • family advice on topics such as childcare and eldercare.

The MDU's GROUPCARE scheme is open to practices where at least half the GPs (partners or salaried doctors) are members. However where all GPs in a practice are members, they can unlock the full range of benefits.

Other benefits include free membership for practice managers, employment law and health and safety advice lines, free practice seminars on medico-legal topics and support from a team of dedicated local GP liaison managers.

Dr Devlin continued: 'It's worth remembering that state-backed indemnity only provides indemnity for clinical negligence claims arising from primary care work under a relevant NHS England or Wales contract. MDU members still need our expert guidance with issues such as complaints handling, coroners' inquests, criminal and GMC investigations and dealing with the media. In addition, the state scheme will not cover claims arising from common practice activities such as providing private medical reports and certificates and paid-for travel vaccinations.'

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This page was correct at publication on 27/06/2019. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.