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Charitable funds and independent bodies


There are several charities and organisations that help doctors in financial difficulty. The best collection of these can be found on the BMA website (www.bma.org.uk/doctors_health/). As with benefits, the applications procedure can take time and you often need to supply evidence, references and a personal statement or covering letter explaining your circumstances. You can often ring them up to chat about whether you qualify and what paperwork they need. Some have very strict criteria, whereas others consider most applications on a case-by-case basis.

Help me, I'm a doctor (https://www.doctorshelp.org.uk/) is a very useful resource. They have a simple questionnaire which shortlists the right charity (or charities) for you and let you access the help you need. Each fund has its own eligibility criteria and all offer varied types of financial assistance. Whether you are retired, of working age, or a dependant of a doctor, your circumstances are unique and as such any financial help given is tailored to help in the best possible way. In 2016 the five charities supported doctors, and their dependent families, with charitable grants and loans totalling over £1.3 million.

 

The five main charities are listed below:

 

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund

Tel: 020 8540 9194

Email: info@rmbf.org

Website: www.rmbf.org

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).

 

Royal Medical Foundation

Tel: 01372 821 011

Website: www.royalmedicalfoundation.org

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. 

 

BMA Charities

Website: www.bma.org.uk/about_bma/charities/index.jsp

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 Cameron Fund

Tel: 020 7388 0796

E-mail: info@cameronfund.org.uk

Website: www.cameronfund.org.uk

 

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.

The Cameron Fund is the only medical charity which solely supports NHS GeneralPractitioners. This includes GP Trainees, working GPs, retired GPs, as well asdependants of GPs. The Fund helps GPs and their families who are suffering financial hardship, whetherthrough 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 asgrants and loans, the Fund can help with money advice assessments and careercoaching for those who may no longer be able to continue to work as a GP.

 

 

Elizabeth Finn Care

Tel: 0800413220

Email: info@elizabethfinn.org.uk

Website: www.elizabethfinncare.org.uk

 Elizabeth Finn Care does not specifically help doctors, but rather offers financial assistance to anyone with less than £4000 savings who is lacking in household income. They help people to pay for things they vitally need as well as assisting in planning for the future. They also run a website, www.turn2us.org.uk, which helps people access any benefits and grants they may be able to claim.

 

The Society for the Assistance of Medical Families

Tel: 07771 300410

E-mail: info@samf.org.uk

Website: https://www.samf.org.uk/

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.

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