The General Medical Council (GMC) has implemented new professional standards for doctors, marking a significant shift in promoting a positive and inclusive culture within the medical profession.
The updated guidance, titled “Good medical practice,” outlines the core principles, values, and ethical expectations expected of all doctors in the UK. The updated “Good medical practice” guidance will also apply to physician associates and anaesthesia associates once they become regulated professionals, which is expected by the end of 2024.
This signifies the GMC’s commitment to fostering a unified and inclusive culture that encompasses all healthcare professionals working within the UK healthcare system.
This revision to Good Medical Practice is the largest change since 2013 and reflects the extensive feedback gathered from healthcare stakeholders through a nationwide consultation process.
There are five key areas for PAs to be aware of, once GMC regulation comes into force:
- Building a respectful, fair, and compassionate workplace
- Promoting patient-centred care
- Addressing discrimination
- Championing fair and inclusive leadership
- Supporting continuity of care and safe delegation
“Good medical practice is the most important document we publish, and the feedback we’ve received is clear: positive culture is a golden thread running throughout.”Charlie Massey, CEO at the GMC
The guidance includes instructions that doctors must not act sexually towards colleagues with the effect or intention of causing offence, embarrassment, humiliation or distress.
Additions have also been made on what doctors, including those in leadership positions, should do if they see any forms of bullying, harassment or discrimination.
The GMC’s chief executive, Charlie Massey, said: “By focusing on compassionate, fair workplaces where people feel empowered to speak up, we lay a solid foundation for teamwork and ultimately, safer care for patients.”
The GMC has also updated its more detailed guidance which provides doctors with further support on topics like social media, maintaining professional and personal boundaries, as well as delegation and referral.
The GMC says that Good Medical Practice guidelines will apply to physician associates and anaesthesia associates once they become regulated professionals which is expected before the end of 2024.