Letters

SHOs: the lost tribes Troubled SHOs should seek counselling

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6923.275 (Published 22 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:275
  1. S Brandon
  1. National Counselling Service for Sick Doctors, London NW1 4LJ.

    EDITOR, - At the meeting on senior house officers reported on by Luisa Dillner1 several speakers said that junior doctors were reluctant to contact the National Counselling Service for Sick Doctors for fear that their consultants or referees would hear of their difficulties. I wish to state unequivocally that the service offers a confidential and non-coercive service to doctors who seek its help. Its primary role is to help doctors in difficulty to identify their needs and find appropriate help. The service has no connection with the General Medical Council and would contact employers or seniors only at the request of the person seeking help. The main criticism directed at the service is that it has no outcome measures or performance indicators because its preoccupation with confidentiality prevents it from maintaining central records or following up those who have used the service.

    Access to the national advisers or psychiatric counsellors is normally by telephone (071 935 5982). Initially no personal details are sought, but the caller is given the telephone number of an appropriate adviser. Any doctor with health problems or problems related to stress is welcome to seek help and can be assured of complete confidentiality.

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