updated Good Medical Practice - Letter from GMC Chief Executive

Dear colleague,

I am writing to let you know that we have just issued the latest edition of our core guidance for doctors, Good medical practice. This is an update of the 2006 edition and, as before, sets out the standards expected of every doctor on our register.

What has changed in this edition?

With revalidation under way, every licensed doctor is required to have an annual appraisal based on Good medical practice. To reflect this, we have restructured the guidance under the same four headings used in appraisals.

We have also added some new duties including the need to ensure continuity of care – for example, by making sure that a named clinician or team has taken over responsibility for a patient's care when the doctor’s role has ended.

Other additions include making it explicit that doctors must take prompt action if a patient is not receiving basic care to meet their needs. We have also specified that doctors new to practice or in new roles should be willing to find and take part in structured support, such as mentoring, and that more experienced doctors should be willing to mentor others. And we have introduced guidance on the use of social media.

A clear message from our 2011 Good medical practice consultation was that doctors wanted the guidance to be brief and clear. As a result the updated edition is shorter, and we have moved more detailed advice on specific issues to separate explanatory guidance.

When will it come into effect?

Good medical practice 2013 will come into force from 22 April. By then, doctors should have read the document and should be applying these principles in their practice. New and updated learning tools will also be available on our website from that date.

How you can help

If your organisation refers to Good medical practice in any printed or online materials, please make sure that you only use the updated edition from 22 April.

If you or any of your staff have any questions, we would be pleased to help - the team responsible can be contacted on 020 7189 5404.

Thank you for any support you can give to this endeavour, including dissemination - we believe the standards we set are a vital underpinning of medical practice across the UK.

Best wishes,

Niall Dickson

Chief Executive and Registrar

11 Replies

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  • :-)

    On main Thyroid UK web-site:

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/news.h...

  • Rod,

    Thanks. I'm reading it now.

  • Thanks for posting this NBob, On a slightly flippant note, what a weird (unprofessional?) way of signing off an 'official' letter to your colleague 'best wishes' it's not a Christmas card!!

  • Thanks for posting this NBob, On a slightly flippant note, what a weird (unprofessional?) way of signing off an 'official' letter to your colleague 'best wishes' it's not a Christmas card!!

  • The cynic in me (based on other not so different "on paper" exercises elsewhere) is saying positive effect - zero; negative effect - lots of "box ticking" which wastes more time, and which might even make Doctors less effective & more scope for accident chasing Solicitors making everything clam up even more.

    Would like to be wrong

  • its about patients using Good Medical Practice to their advantage.

    we should know what they are supposed to do and complain when they dont

  • I know what it is "about" but I also know what things have a great tendency to "become" :-(

  • Come on, picton cheer up.

    Thr GMC have had their derrieres kicked by the Shipman report and the govt has made them change the way they regulate doctors. the Govt also wants more patient involvement.

    there is an inquiry into how complaints have been dealt with. the tide s turning but we have to catch that tide or we will an opportunity to be directly in volved in change. the more the status quo persists, the harder it will be to make positive change.

    This is a good opportunity to "hit the ground running", start as we mean to go on etc

  • Cheer up?

    Give me something to cheer up about.

    The NHS (and that's what it is all about for most who use the medical system in this country) is just one small area of a daily worsening of everything people fought for years to get and improve, and getting fed distractions from it by this sort of thing which is about as much use as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic would have been! :-(

    Yes it will make a very few cases easier to make, although Doctors who are so far out of touch with things are probably going to stand out as decidedly poor in every way anyway, but most people will get no benefit out of it, and it will create a lot more paper-chasing which seems to be THE disease of the late 20th and early 21st Century - the more people talk about reducing it, the bigger deal it becomes.

    If there was genuine concrete change for the good I could be much cheerier, but tinkering like this will make no practical difference on a day to day basis, just create a lot of full hard disks and filing cabinets - even if specific Doctors are blatantly in the wrong, who is going to be able to get legal aid to pursue cases - you are left in the hands of the no win no fee system? :-(

    As an example, we have a disability discrimination LAWS, not just a few rules for boys in a club, they also say a LOT, but enforcing those "rights" is so impractical and down to affected individuals so nothing has really changed for years, and people still can't get access to half the buildings in this country, and worse. It's certainly made no difference to my life.

    Besides, I wouldn't trust the GMC as far as I could throw the headquarters building: self-regulation, and that is what it is simply does not work **anywhere**, as we have seen so well illustrated with the press.

  • This is great news. However --- there are many GPs/consultants who are doing an excellent job within existing perameters. One of the big problems as I see it is as follows --- the basic systems are not working. They are - inefficient - inaffective - inadequate. Things take far too long. GPs for example generally cannot get T3 tested. The labs will not do it. They say "only endos can ask for this??????" How can a GP do their job when they cannot get things , they deem necessary, tested for?. Hands are tied for those trying to help. This NEEDS to CHANGE radically.

  • Not testing T4 and T3 baffles me. It is clear that all 3 plus clinical assessment are necessary for diagnosis and treatment. Even the RCP recommend T4.

    I explained all this to my GP. she said she agreed but even if she asked the lab, if TSH was in normal range the lab will not test for T4 and T3.

    I told her that SHE is my clinician not the lab. I told her that the lab has not seen my clinical signs and symptoms. If they decide what to test for, they are acting outside the limits of their competence (contrary to GMP and the NHS Constitution) and also acting "ultra vires" i.e. beyond their remit.

    I said to my GP that the lab should simply do what she asks. I reminded her that she is my doctor, not the lab.

    She got on the phone to the lab and hey presto I get TSH T4 and T3 tested each time I have my blood tests.

    GMP covers a lot of these actions. its a matter of knowing how to apply Good Medical Practice and the NHS Constitution and being prepared to back your evidence based treatment plan with informal then formal action if necessary.

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