Good medical practice: public consultation on our core guidance on professional standards. Survey for organisations and individuals acting in a professional capacity

Area of Consultation: Standards & Ethics

  • Start:Apr 27, 2022
  • End:Jul 20, 2022
  • Results planned
    for publication:
    Dec 31, 2022
  • Reference number:70
  • Status:Current

Consultation Summary:

Share your views on Good medical practice

We want to hear your views on the updated version of our core guidance on professional standards, Good medical practice (GMP). This sets out the standards of care and professional behaviour expected of all medical professionals registered with us.

Our aim is for the updated guidance to support medical professionals to deliver high quality, person‑centred care. We also want it to play a part in helping to create workplace cultures which are inclusive, fair, civil and compassionate for all. And it’s important for the guidance to be clear, relevant, consistent with the law across the UK and structured in a way that’s easy to use.

The proposed changes are grounded in research, data and feedback on what makes healthcare settings positive places to work and safe places for patients. A group of experts from outside of the GMC have also guided our work. The GMP advisory forum brought together medical practitioners, clinical leaders, patient advocates, and experts on equality, diversity, and inclusion to help us update the guidance. 

Here you can read the updated version of Good medical practice.

How to take part

We want Good medical practice to be shaped by real experiences and be inclusive of all those who use it. So, we’ve developed three surveys to help a range of people share their views.  

The closing date is 20 July 2022.

This survey is for individuals or organisations with a detailed working knowledge of the policy and practice around good medical practice in the UK.

To take part

  • Create an account on this consultation platform which you can also use for our future consultations. On this platform you can read the updated guidance and save and return to your survey answers at any point. Once you’ve competed your response, you can download or print your full response.

Alternative formats and options

  • If you’re unable to complete the survey online, you can email your response to: [email protected].
  • You can send any printed responses to: GMP consultation, Standards and ethics team, General Medical Council, Regents Place, 350 Euston Road, London NW1 3JN.
  • If you need the consultation documents in Welsh, other languages, easy read, or another format, call us on 0161 923 6602 or email us at [email protected].

We’ve also developed two surveys for people with experience of the issues, but who won’t need to review the updated guidance in detail to take part:

  • Healthcare professional's survey: for doctors, physician associates and anaesthesia associates, as well as other healthcare professionals and anyone with a working knowledge or practical experience of the issues.
  • Survey for patients and patient organisations: for patients, carers, relatives of patients and members of the public, as well as patient networks and groups with experience of the issues or views on what good medical practice should involve. 

Survey questions

In this survey, we’d welcome your views on the questions on these topics:  

  • Structure, style and application, and tone (questions 1‑3)
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusion (question 4)
  • Introductory sections (questions 5‑7)
  • Questions on four key themes (questions 8‑17)
  • Other themes and changes (questions 18‑20)
  • Explanatory guidance (question 21)
  • Overall comments (question 22)
  • Implementing our professional standards (questions 23‑26)
  • The consultation process (questions 27-29).

We want to hear a variety of perspectives before we finalise the guidance, so please complete as many questions as you can.

Background:

Good medical practice (GMP) applies to all doctors registered with us no matter which specialty, grade, role type or sector they work in. It also applies whether or not they routinely see patients. And, in this consultation, we’re proposing that GMP will apply to physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs), once these professional groups come into regulation. We’ve adopted the term medical professionals to collectively describe all three professional groups.

GMP is embedded in all our regulatory functions, informing:

  • the processes for getting and retaining a license to practise through our registration and revalidation procedures
  • decision making throughout our fitness to practise procedures
  • our processes for quality assuring medical education and training.

The guidance is also embedded in UK-wide healthcare systems for appraisal and clinical governance.

What belongs in the core professional guidance?

Our guidance has a unique role in setting out the standards of care and professional behaviour expected of all medical professionals registered with us. But there are many other sources of advice for medical professionals. So it’s important that we avoid duplication and don’t create unrealistic or additional burdens on those we regulate.

We therefore only introduce new duties if they’re:

  • relevant to the individual registrant’s practice, not an action for employers, educators or government
  • relevant to most - if not all - registrants, keeping in mind that our registrants will include doctors, PAs and AAs, and not all registrants work in patient-facing roles
  • actionable by registrants in practice and capable of being evidenced, e.g., through appraisal and revalidation
  • necessary to protect patients, maintain standards or to uphold confidence in the professions we regulate.

What’s the evidence behind the proposed changes?

We’ve carried out a range of pre-consultation activities to develop the evidence base for the review. This includes feedback from those who use our guidance, as well as findings from research and public inquires.

Throughout the survey, we’ve included the rationale behind the changes we’ve proposed. You can read more about the review, including a summary of the evidence that has guided the review on our website pages about the Good medical practice review.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion

We’re carrying out an equality analysis throughout this review to help us identify the steps we must take to comply with the three aims of the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010. You can read the latest version of the equality analysis on our website pages about the Good medical practice review.

Your responses to this survey will help us understand how the guidance might impact medical professionals, patients and members of the public who share protected characteristics.

We also ask for diversity information from individual respondents to help us understand if any groups have raised specific issues about the guidance. We can then consider what steps to take to reflect the issues raised. 

Further Information

Purpose:

We’re seeking your views on updates we’re proposing to make to GMP.

What’s in scope?

GMP is supported by a range of explanatory guidance which explains how the high‑level principles play out in different situations, including where principles might come into conflict. We plan to review some of the explanatory guidance following this consultation and this survey asks for your views on what additional areas the explanatory guidance should cover.

The review of GMP is also an important opportunity to improve how we implement our professional standards. This consultation includes questions on what acts as a barrier or a positive influence on how our standards are put into practice. This will help us identify the most effective way we can support the use of GMP when it’s published.

Contact Information:


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  • Take part in this consultation by clicking the Take part button and completing the consultation survey.

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