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Detoxifying the Workplace: GMC Seeks Proposal Feedback

For the first time in a decade, the General Medical Council has updated the advice contained within their Good Medical Practice guidelines.

Now they’re asking for feedback via three specially tailored surveys, for members of the public, healthcare professionals and all who work with them, and organisations as a whole.

Practice managers will notice that the new additions to the guidelines cover a whole range of situations that they will be familiar with. Perhaps most importantly, there’s a big focus on all personal interactions in surgeries being compassionate, civil, inclusive and fair. New duties have been created on doctors and others to support this. What with the stories we hear regularly in the media about abuse directed towards staff, this will feel particular important to many in front-line health services.

Whilst many of the guidelines are not entirely new, they are now more explicit and focussed in their scope. In summary, the four main areas that the GMC proposes to change or update are:

  • Tackling discrimination and promoting fairness and inclusion: the aim here is reducing the incidences of abusive behaviour through a duty not to take part in or condone such behaviours, especially in a sexual context, and act where they are discovered.
  • Working in partnership with patients: a new duty to find out what matters to patients and how they can be given the power and information to decide on their own healthcare.
  • Working effectively with colleagues: emphasises basic values of listening and respect between colleagues.
  • Leadership and organisational culture: The GMC has created a new duty to help medical professionals gain leadership skills.

Other areas include social media, where doctors are now urged not to ‘mislead’ by anything they post on social media, with ‘reasonable checks’ advised before posting.

There are twelve overarching commitments focussed solely on doctors, too. They cover things like helping patients to make decisions about their care; making healthcare more inclusive and fair; and acting promptly if the dignity or comfort of a patient is put at risk. There’s also updated advice to reflect the increase in remote consultations reminding GPs of the necessity to provide safe and effective care “whether you provide clinical care in a face-to-face setting, or through remote consultations via telephone, video-link, or online services”.

Do you think these proposals go far enough? Are they needed? Would there be anything you’d do differently or like the GMC to consider? If so, share your views, and encourage your GP colleagues to share theirs too.

The consultation is open from 27 April until 20 July 2022 and anyone can take part. Follow this link to the Good Medical Practice consultation to share your views. If you’re unable to complete the survey online, you can download the survey questions in the link above and email your responses to professionalstandards@gmc-uk.org


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