The Society for the Assistance of Medical Families help other doctors and their families who have fallen on hard times through illness or other circumstances beyond their control. They help a number of medical students and other students, the sons or daughters of medical practitioners who are themselves in financial difficulties. They offer support in retraining/reskilling, educational support and widow(er) & family support.
The Cameron Fund is the only medical charity which solely supports NHS General Practitioners. This includes GP Trainees, working GPs, retired GPs, as well as dependants of GPs. The Fund helps GPs and their families who are suffering financial hardship, whether through physical or mental ill-health, disability, bereavement or loss of employment. Financial help is tailored to best support an individual’s return to work. As well as grants and loans, the Fund can help with money advice assessments and career coaching for those who may no longer be able to continue to work as a GP.
A useful video detailing the help they offer is available here.
The BMA has two charities which can help doctors in times of financial need – the BMA Charities Trust Fund and the Dain Fund.
The Trust Fund can provide one-off grants for specific things but can’t provide ongoing support for living costs. They also help with payment of Council tax and bankruptcy fees, and can refer doctors to a debt counsellor for free advice. They can also offer one-off grants for palliative or terminal care including money for a holiday or respite break. They cannot help with legal fees, private medical treatments or career enhancement projects.
The Dain Fund provides help with educational costs of children of doctors, and can assist a family during times of financial crisis. This also includes children of doctors who are at University.
The RMF again provides financial support for doctors and their dependents in financial need. The mostly provide emergency grants and support for widows, widowers and children.
The RMBF can provide financial assistance and advice, including debt management advice and careers counselling. They provide grants for specific things (such as paying an overdue council tax bill that you cannot meet, or paying for you to meet a professional debt counsellor) and prioritise those in greatest need. They are very friendly and approachable and there are case advisors who can discuss your individual circumstances with you. They aim to not just avert an imminent crisis, but give you the tools to manage your finances in the long term. To qualify for support you need to be a GMC registered doctor or a recognised dependant, resident in the UK, unable to work, with little in the way of income or savings. They also run an excellent support website, support4doctors (www.support4doctors.org).