GMC report calls for support service after doctors' suicides


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Twenty-eight doctors committed suicide while under investigation over their fitness to practise between 2005 and 2013, according to an independent study.

The report, commissioned by the General Medical Council, found that many of the doctors who killed themselves or died in suspected suicides had been suffering from mental health problems or had drug or alcohol addictions, and in some cases were under stress because of marriage breakdown, financial hardship and investigations by police.

Leading GP Clare Gerada said she had seen a four-fold increase in patients at the Practitioner Health Programme and warned that a culture of complaint was “hard-wiring cruelty into the NHS” and increasing pressure on vulnerable professionals. The report found that the GMC had made “significant improvements” in the support it offers doctors under investigation, but recommended further changes and for the Department of Health and NHS England to set up a National Support Service for doctors.

Anyone in need of confidential support can contact the Samaritans in the UK 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90.