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GPs offered mindfulness for free to relieve winter pressures

GPs can access an app to practice mindfulness this winter, as part of a BMA campaign focused on doctors' mental wellbeing.

According to the BMA, it is 'not always easy' for doctors to take any time out to focus on themselves while working under winter pressures.

The BMA is therefore offering all members two months' free access to mindfulness app Headspace.

The BMA said: 'Looking after your mental health and taking your breaks is essential while working under winter pressures or when you're facing exams.

'It's important to give yourself the gift of five minutes and try to spend a small amount of time each day focusing on yourself.'

The BMA highlighted that mindfulness 'can be an effective support for those experiencing routine stress, and has also been shown to help with more serious concerns like anxiety, depression and insomnia'.

'Listening to their bite-sized guided meditation sessions can help you cope with working under winter pressures and exam stress,' it added.

The news comes as the Government yesterday announced £335m in additional funding to relieve NHS winter pressures, however it specified this would go to NHS trusts rather than GP practices.

A recent Pulse survey of over 800 GPs revealed that almost half of GPs say their ability to care for patients has been affected by the stress of general practice.

Around one in nine GPs has turned to alcohol because of work pressures, with 6% turning to prescription drugs.

The survey also found that one in 10 GPs has taken time off work in the past 12 months because of stress or burnout, while a further 22% fear it is likely they will do so within the next year.

Meanwhile, the GP Health confidential counselling service, launched in January this year, has been inundated with GPs suffering with mental health concerns, including stress or depression, or addiction issues.

Readers' comments (26)

  • WTF. Is this a joke? As if intelligent people like GPs can't find their own meditation app. There are tons for free. The BMA can't even offer this for free after 2 months.

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  • Phew, that'll make the 190 calls on a duty day easy. Here's me thinking more cash and safe staffing levels were needed, I just need to listen the sounds of a few whales at it to sort out primary care.
    Still can't remember why I'm not paying up to BMA / RCGP....

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  • Ideal perhaps for Dr Chand, who seems to be endlessly whinging about the Government, a sure sign of incipient burnout.

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  • AlanAlmond

    I can’t be negative about this idea. Sounds nothing but helpful. Don’t use it if you don’t want to but it might help someone so what’s not to like.. Thanks.

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  • can't you blag a free trial to this app anyway without the bma and as another poster mentioned there are many free resources.

    what kind of people run this organisation?

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  • doctordog.

    Decrease my stress by increasing my remuneration . Simples.

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  • Naughty bait headline designed to increase GPs blood're getting as bad as the Daily Mail.

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  • Would rather stop paying BMA subs and for and APP like this,we know how well they work anyway, and substitute it with a couple of cand of lager paid for by the savings thankyou.Way more useful and pleasurable than headspace and the BMA.

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  • " I can’t be negative about this idea. Sounds nothing but helpful"

    the problem is the patronising attitude of the BMA towards doctors, and the implication that failure to deal with the stress and workload of a failing Health service is somehow the fault of the victim. It also highlights the utter uselessness of the BMA in it's core role as a Union, to protect it's members at work.

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  • This is up there with RCGP colouring books, don't patronise me with some half arsed app, try negotiating a decent contract, BMA one less member after this pathetic stunt.

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