Medicopolitical Digest

BMA's counselling service takes over 6000 callsFundholders offered fast track exitScottish health minister ready to work with BMAJuniors' pay changes from 1 AprilConsulants' workload to be surveyed

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7139.1250 (Published 18 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1250

BMA's counselling service takes over 6000 calls

The BMA's stress counselling service has taken more than 6000 calls in its first two years. The confidential, national service was set up in April 1996 for doctors, medical students, and their families and is run by FirstAssist where a team of eight trained counsellors deals with doctors' calls.

The largest number of calls relate to emotional issues (2260), with anxiety, stress, and depression heading the list. This is followed by employment issues (1523), with workload, relationship with colleagues, and job dissatisfaction the main areas of concern. More than 700 calls were received by the legal advice line.

Mrs Sandra Ridley, counselling services manager at FirstAssist, said, “Doctors should have a little more confidence to seek help earlier. I think these figures confirm what we know, that people in the helping professions often find it very difficult to seek help.”

Fundholders offered fast track exit

A fast track exit from fundholding is to be offered to GPs who wish to become involved in setting up primary care groups, the Labour government's key reform of the NHS in England. …

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