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GMC publishes updated core guidance for all UK doctors

Latest Good Medical Practice will underpin new system of revalidation

Ingrid Torjesen

Monday, 25 March 2013

The professional standards that every doctor in the UK will have to show they meet under revalidation have been set out in updated guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC).

Doctors will need to demonstrate at their annual appraisal how they are meeting the standards in the updated Good Medical Practice – the aim is to ensure that every doctor keeps up to date and is fit to practise.

The guidance has been amended to reflect changing attitudes of patients, such as the increasing contact with doctors online.

Following the Mid-Staffs Inquiry, the guidance makes clear that a doctor’s responsibility goes beyond providing good clinical treatment. The doctor must take a lead role in making sure that patients receive high quality compassionate care and that their dignity is always respected. The latest version is also more explicit about doctors’ responsibilities when patients’ basic care needs are not being met, particularly for those patients who are unable to drink, feed or clean themselves.

For the first time the guidance also includes guidance on doctors’ use of social media.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said: “This guidance has never been more vital or relevant – the Mid-Staffs Inquiry has shown how important it is for all health professionals to understand and accept their responsibilities for patient care – Good Medical Practice spells this out for doctors and they will now have to show, through their annual appraisal, that they are meeting the required standards.”

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