Our Pastoral Network has been in existence for a number of years. It is made up of a number of experienced advisors, who are mostly retired GPs, available and trained to provide personal and confidential support to any local GP undergoing any kind of personal difficulty or crisis.
The personal difficulties which could give rise to a request for our advisors’ services include:
- Domestic or family matters, such as a marriage break-up or bereavement
- Professional matters, like being subject to a patient complaint, performance review investigation or referral to the GMC
- A breakdown in relationships at work, with professional partners, employers or staff
- Health problems ranging from coping with a disability or depression, to serious mental health problems, or an addiction to drugs or alcohol
Nature of help provided
Pastoral advisors may offer telephone advice, but will also be happy to meet with the doctor needing help, and where appropriate, others concerned about their welfare. Their objective is to help the doctor in question get through the crisis. They will provide confidential advice, interceding where appropriate, with other agencies on the doctor’s behalf, or signposting them to other sources of help and advice.
Our advisors are able to signpost a menu of experts and professional services to suit different needs, ranging from a psychiatrist, career guidance counsellor to psychotherapists qualified in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and who are accredited by counselling regulation bodies such as the BACP, BABCP and UKCP.
The LMC office will only become involved if, with the agreement of the doctor in question, additional assistance is required, e.g. liaising with Occupational Health or medical defence bodies on the doctor’s behalf. The individual can feel free to contact the designated advisor at any time, and in the future, if there is a renewed need for help and advice.