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31-10-2011 | General practice | Article

GMC reviews guidance


GMC – Good Medical Practice 2012 review

The GMC is asking doctors to give their views on what constitutes good medical practice, as part of a regular 5-yearly review of its Good Medical Practice guidance document.

In its revised 2012 draft guidance, the GMC proposes that doctors should have greater influence over all areas of a patient's care, and take responsibility for continuity of care when acting as the patient's lead clinician.

It also calls on doctors to take prompt action to deal with patients' basic care, such as making sure they are able to drink, feed and clean themselves, and to intervene if they think a child or vulnerable adult's rights are being abused or denied.

GMC Chief Executive Niall Dickson explained: "The guidance makes clear that a doctor's responsibilities do not begin and end with providing clinical treatment. They have a vital role to play to improve standards of basic care."

He added: "Good medical practice is about more than setting a minimum 'bar' below which standards of practice must not fall, or against which disciplinary action is taken. It must be a means of promoting excellent care and fostering the leadership and commitment that lie at the heart of medical professionalism."

The draft of Good Medical Practice includes new advice regarding online behaviour and use of social networking sites; taking into account patients' broader histories, such as spiritual, religious, psychological, social and cultural factors; and encouraging patients to return to or stay in employment or other purposeful activity.

GPs can take part in the consultation by completing an online survey on the GMC's website; the consultation closes 10 February 2012.

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Caroline Price