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Good medical  
practice

Good medical practice
The duties of a doctor registered with  
the General Medical Council
Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health. To justify that 
trust you must show respect for human life and make sure your practice meets the 
standards expected of you in four domains.
Knowledge, skills and performance
n  Make the care of your patient your first concern.
n  Provide a good standard of practice and care.
  l  Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.
  l  Recognise and work within the limits of your competence.
Safety and quality
n  Take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being  
 compromised.
n  Protect and promote the health of patients and the public.
Communication, partnership and teamwork
n  Treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity.
 l  Treat patients politely and considerately.
 l  Respect patients’ right to confidentiality.
n  Work in partnership with patients.
 l  Listen to, and respond to, their concerns and preferences.
 l  Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand.
 l  Respect patients’ right to reach decisions with you about their treatment 
    and care.
 l  Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health.
n  Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests.
Maintaining trust
n  Be honest and open and act with integrity.
n  Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues.
n  Never abuse your patients’ trust in you or the public’s trust in the profession.
You are personally accountable for your professional practice and must always be 
prepared to justify your decisions and actions.

Good medical practice
This guidance has been edited for plain English. 
Published 25 March 2013.
Comes into effect 22 April 2013.
This guidance was updated on 29 April 2014 to include paragraph 14.1  
on doctors’ knowledge of the English language.
You can find the latest version of this guidance on our website  
at www.gmc-uk.org/guidance.
General Medical Council | 01

Good medical practice
Contents
 
Paragraph(s) Page
About this guidance 
 
03
Professionalism in action 
1–6 
04
Domain 1: Knowledge, skills and performance 
7–21 
06 
 
Develop and maintain your professional  
7–13 
06 
  performance 
 
 
Apply knowledge and experience to practice 
14–18 
07 
 
Record your work clearly, accurately and legibly  19–21 
09
Domain 2: Safety and quality 
22–30 
10 
 
Contribute to and comply with systems to  
22–23 
10 
  protect 
patients 
 
Respond to risks to safety 
24–27 
11 
 
Protect patients and colleagues from any risk  
28–30 
12 
 
 
posed by your health
Domain 3: Communication, partnership  
31–52 
13 
 
and teamwork 
 
 
Communicate effectively 
31–34 
13 
 
Work collaboratively with colleagues to 
35–38 
14 
 
 
maintain or improve patient care 
 
Teaching, training, supporting and assessing 
39–43 
14 
 
Continuity and coordination of care 
44–45 
15 
 
Establish and maintain partnerships with patients  46–52 
16
Domain 4: Maintaining trust 
53–80 
18 
 
Show respect for patients 
53–55 
18 
 
Treat patients and colleagues fairly and without   56–64 
19 
  discrimination 
 
Act with honesty and integrity 
65–80 
21
References 
 25 
Index  
 
27
02 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
About this guidance
Good medical practice includes references to explanatory guidance.  
A complete list of explanatory guidance is at the end of the booklet.
All our guidance is available on our website, along with:

learning materials, including interactive case studies which bring to  
 
life the principles in the guidance and show how they might apply  
 
in practice 

cases heard by medical practitioners tribunals, which provide examples  
 
of where a failure to follow the guidance has put a doctor’s registration  
 
at risk. 
General Medical Council | 03

Good medical practice
Professionalism in action
1  Patients need good doctors. Good doctors make the care of their 
patients their first concern: they are competent, keep their knowledge 
and skills up to date, establish and maintain good relationships with 
patients and colleagues,* are honest and trustworthy, and act with 
integrity and within the law.
2  Good doctors work in partnership with patients and respect their rights 
to privacy and dignity. They treat each patient as an individual. They 
do their best to make sure all patients receive good care and treatment 
that will support them to live as well as possible, whatever their illness 
or disability.
3  Good medical practice describes what is expected of all doctors 
registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). It is your 
responsibility to be familiar with Good medical practice and the 
explanatory guidance† which supports it, and to follow the guidance 
they contain.
4  You must use your judgement in applying the principles to the various 
situations you will face as a doctor, whether or not you hold a licence to 
practise, whatever field of medicine you work in, and whether or not you 
routinely see patients. You must be prepared to explain and justify your 
decisions and actions.
*  Colleagues include anyone a doctor works with, whether or not they are also doctors.
†  You can find all the explanatory guidance on our website (www.gmc-uk.org/guidance).
04 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
5 In 
Good medical practice, we use the terms ‘you must’ and ‘you should’ 
in the following ways.
 

‘You must’ is used for an overriding duty or principle.
 

‘You should’ is used when we are providing an explanation of how  
 
you will meet the overriding duty.
 

‘You should’ is also used where the duty or principle will not apply  
 
in all situations or circumstances, or where there are factors outside  
 
your control that affect whether or how you can follow the  
 guidance.
6  To maintain your licence to practise, you must demonstrate, through 
the revalidation process, that you work in line with the principles and 
values set out in this guidance. Serious or persistent failure to follow this 
guidance will put your registration at risk.
General Medical Council | 05

Good medical practice
Domain 1: Knowledge, skills and 
performance
Develop and maintain your professional performance
7  You must be competent in all aspects of your work, including 
management, research and teaching.1, 2, 3
8  You must keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date. 
9  You must regularly take part in activities that maintain and develop your 
competence and performance.4
10  You should be willing to find and take part in structured support 
opportunities offered by your employer or contracting body  
(for example, mentoring). You should do this when you join an 
organisation and whenever your role changes significantly throughout 
your career.
11  You must be familiar with guidelines and developments that affect  
your work. 
12  You must keep up to date with, and follow, the law, our guidance and 
other regulations relevant to your work. 
13  You must take steps to monitor and improve the quality of your work.
 
06 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
Apply knowledge and experience to practice
14  You must recognise and work within the limits of your competence.
14.1  You must have the necessary knowledge of the English language to 
provide a good standard of practice and care in the UK.*
15  You must provide a good standard of practice and care. If you assess, 
diagnose or treat patients, you must:
 
a  adequately assess the patient’s conditions, taking account of their 
 
history (including the symptoms and psychological, spiritual, social  
 
and cultural factors), their views and values; where necessary,  
 
examine the patient
 
b  promptly provide or arrange suitable advice, investigations or  
 
treatment where necessary
 
c  refer a patient to another practitioner when this serves the  
 
patient’s needs.5
*  This paragraph was added on 29 April 2014. Section 35C(2)(da) of the Medical Act 1983,  
  inserted by the Medical Act 1983 (Amendment) (Knowledge of English) Order 2014.
General Medical Council | 07

Good medical practice
Working with colleagues
16  In providing clinical care you must:
 
a  prescribe drugs or treatment, including repeat prescriptions, only  
 
when you have adequate knowledge of the patient’s health and 
 
are satisfied that the drugs or treatment serve the patient’s needs6
 
b  provide effective treatments based on the best available evidence
 
c  take all possible steps to alleviate pain and distress whether or  
 
not a cure may be possible7
 
d  consult colleagues where appropriate
 
e  respect the patient’s right to seek a second opinion
 
f  check that the care or treatment you provide for each patient is  
 
compatible with any other treatments the patient is receiving,  
 
including (where possible) self-prescribed over-the-counter  
 medications
 
g  wherever possible, avoid providing medical care to yourself or  
 
anyone with whom you have a close personal relationship.6
17  You must be satisfied that you have consent or other valid authority 
before you carry out any examination or investigation, provide 
treatment or involve patients or volunteers in teaching or research.2, 8, 9 
18   You must make good use of the resources available to you.1 
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Good medical practice
Record your work clearly, accurately and legibly
19  Documents you make (including clinical records) to formally record your 
work must be clear, accurate and legible. You should make records at 
the same time as the events you are recording or as soon as possible 
afterwards.
20  You must keep records that contain personal information about 
patients, colleagues or others securely, and in line with any data 
protection requirements.10
21  Clinical records should include: 
 
a  relevant clinical findings
 
b  the decisions made and actions agreed, and who is making  
 
the decisions and agreeing the actions 
 
c  the information given to patients 
 
d  any drugs prescribed or other investigation or treatment
 
e  who is making the record and when.
General Medical Council | 09

Good medical practice
Domain 2: Safety and quality
Contribute to and comply with systems to protect patients
22  You must take part in systems of quality assurance and quality 
improvement to promote patient safety. This includes:
 
a  taking part in regular reviews and audits of your work and that of  
 
your team, responding constructively to the outcomes, taking steps  
 
to address any problems and carrying out further training where  
 necessary
 
b  regularly reflecting on your standards of practice and the care you  
 provide
 
c  reviewing patient feedback where it is available.
23  To help keep patients safe you must:
 a  contribute to confidential inquiries
 
b  contribute to adverse event recognition
 
c  report adverse incidents involving medical devices that put or have  
 
the potential to put the safety of a patient, or another person, at risk
 
d  report suspected adverse drug reactions
 
e  respond to requests from organisations monitoring public health.
 
When providing information for these purposes you should still respect 
patients’ confidentiality.10
10 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
 
Respond to risks to safety
24  You must promote and encourage a culture that allows all staff to raise 
concerns openly and safely.1, 11
25  You must take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or 
comfort is or may be seriously compromised. 
 
a  If a patient is not receiving basic care to meet their needs, you must  
 
immediately tell someone who is in a position to act straight away.
 
b  If patients are at risk because of inadequate premises, equipment* or  
 
other resources, policies or systems, you should put the matter  
 
right if that is possible. You must raise your concern in line with  
 
our guidance11 and your workplace policy. You should also make a  
 
record of the steps you have taken.
 
c  If you have concerns that a colleague may not be fit to practise and  
 
may be putting patients at risk, you must ask for advice from a  
 
colleague, your defence body or us. If you are still concerned  
 
you must report this, in line with our guidance and your workplace  
 
policy, and make a record of the steps you have taken.11, 12
26  You must offer help if emergencies arise in clinical settings or in the 
community, taking account of your own safety, your competence and 
the availability of other options for care.
*  Follow the guidance in paragraph 23c (page 10) if the risk arises from an adverse  
  incident involving a medical device.
General Medical Council | 11

Good medical practice
27  Whether or not you have vulnerable* adults or children and young 
people as patients, you should consider their needs and welfare and 
offer them help if you think their rights have been abused or denied.13, 14
Protect patients and colleagues from any risk posed by  
your health
28  If you know or suspect that you have a serious condition that you could 
pass on to patients, or if your judgement or performance could be 
affected by a condition or its treatment, you must consult a suitably 
qualified colleague. You must follow their advice about any changes to 
your practice they consider necessary. You must not rely on your own 
assessment of the risk to patients.
29  You should be immunised against common serious communicable 
diseases (unless otherwise contraindicated).
30  You should be registered with a general practitioner outside your family. 
 
*  Some patients are likely to be more vulnerable than others because of their illness,  
  disability or frailty or because of their current circumstances, such as bereavement or  
  redundancy. You should treat children and young people under 18 years as vulnerable.  
  Vulnerability can be temporary or permanent.
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Good medical practice
Domain 3: Communication, partnership 
and teamwork
Communicate effectively
31  You must listen to patients, take account of their views, and respond 
honestly to their questions.
32  You must give patients* the information they want or need to know in 
a way they can understand. You should make sure that arrangements 
are made, wherever possible, to meet patients’ language and 
communication needs.15
33  You must be considerate to those close to the patient and be sensitive 
and responsive in giving them information and support.
34  When you are on duty you must be readily accessible to patients and 
colleagues seeking information, advice or support.
*  Patients here includes those people with the legal authority to make healthcare  
  decisions on a patient’s behalf. 
General Medical Council | 13

Good medical practice
Work collaboratively with colleagues to maintain or improve 
patient care 
35  You must work collaboratively with colleagues, respecting their skills 
and contributions.1 
36  You must treat colleagues fairly and with respect. 
37   You must be aware of how your behaviour may influence others within 
and outside the team.
38  Patient safety may be affected if there is not enough medical cover. So 
you must take up any post you have formally accepted, and work your 
contractual notice period before leaving a job, unless the employer has 
reasonable time to make other arrangements. 
Teaching, training, supporting and assessing
39  You should be prepared to contribute to teaching and training doctors 
and students. 
40  You must make sure that all staff you manage have appropriate 
supervision.
14 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
41  You must be honest and objective when writing references, and when 
appraising or assessing the performance of colleagues, including locums 
and students. References must include all information relevant to your 
colleagues’ competence, performance and conduct.16
42  You should be willing to take on a mentoring role for more junior 
doctors and other healthcare professionals.1 
43  You must support colleagues who have problems with their 
performance or health. But you must put patient safety first at all 
times.1 
Continuity and coordination of care
44  You must contribute to the safe transfer of patients between healthcare 
providers and between health and social care providers. This means you 
must:
 
a  share all relevant information with colleagues involved in your  
 
patients’ care within and outside the team, including when you hand  
 
over care as you go off duty, and when you delegate care or refer  
 
patients to other health or social care providers5, 10
 
b  check, where practical, that a named clinician or team has taken  
 
over responsibility when your role in providing a patient’s care has  
 
ended. This may be particularly important for patients with impaired  
 
capacity or who are vulnerable for other reasons. 
General Medical Council | 15

Good medical practice
45  When you do not provide your patients’ care yourself, for example when 
you are off duty, or you delegate the care of a patient to a colleague, 
you must be satisfied that the person providing care has the appropriate 
qualifications, skills and experience to provide safe care for the patient.5
Establish and maintain partnerships with patients
46  You must be polite and considerate. 
47  You must treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity and 
privacy.12
48  You must treat patients fairly and with respect whatever their life 
choices and beliefs.
49  You must work in partnership with patients, sharing with them the 
information they will need to make decisions about their care,15 
including:
 
a  their condition, its likely progression and the options for treatment,  
 
including associated risks and uncertainties
 
b  the progress of their care, and your role and responsibilities in  
 
the team 
16 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
 
c  who is responsible for each aspect of patient care, and how  
 
information is shared within teams and among those who will be  
 
providing their care 
 
d  any other information patients need if they are asked to agree to be  
 
involved in teaching or research.9 
50  You must treat information about patients as confidential. This includes 
after a patient has died.10
51  You must support patients in caring for themselves to empower them to 
improve and maintain their health. This may, for example, include:
 
a  advising patients on the effects of their life choices and lifestyle on  
 
their health and well-being 
 
b  supporting patients to make lifestyle changes where appropriate. 
52  You must explain to patients if you have a conscientious objection 
to a particular procedure. You must tell them about their right to 
see another doctor and make sure they have enough information to 
exercise that right. In providing this information you must not imply or 
express disapproval of the patient’s lifestyle, choices or beliefs. If it is 
not practical for a patient to arrange to see another doctor, you must 
make sure that arrangements are made for another suitably qualified 
colleague to take over your role.17
General Medical Council | 17

Good medical practice
Domain 4: Maintaining trust
Show respect for patients
53  You must not use your professional position to pursue a sexual or 
improper emotional relationship with a patient or someone close to 
them.12
54  You must not express your personal beliefs (including political, religious 
and moral beliefs) to patients in ways that exploit their vulnerability or 
are likely to cause them distress.17
55  You must be open and honest with patients if things go wrong. If a 
patient under your care has suffered harm or distress, you should:
 
a  put matters right (if that is possible)
 
b  offer an apology
 
c  explain fully and promptly what has happened and the likely  
 
short-term and long-term effects. 
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Good medical practice
Treat patients and colleagues fairly and without 
discrimination
56  You must give priority to patients on the basis of their clinical need if 
these decisions are within your power. If inadequate resources, policies 
or systems prevent you from doing this, and patient safety, dignity or 
comfort may be seriously compromised, you must follow the guidance 
in paragraph 25b (see page 11).
57  The investigations or treatment you provide or arrange must be based 
on the assessment you and your patient make of their needs and 
priorities, and on your clinical judgement about the likely effectiveness 
of the treatment options. You must not refuse or delay treatment 
because you believe that a patient’s actions or lifestyle have contributed 
to their condition.
58  You must not deny treatment to patients because their medical 
condition may put you at risk. If a patient poses a risk to your health or 
safety, you should take all available steps to minimise the risk before 
providing treatment or making other suitable alternative arrangements 
for providing treatment.
General Medical Council | 19

Good medical practice
59  You must not unfairly discriminate against patients or colleagues by 
allowing your personal views* to affect your professional relationships or 
the treatment you provide or arrange. You should challenge colleagues 
if their behaviour does not comply with this guidance, and follow the 
guidance in paragraph 25c (see page 11) if the behaviour amounts to 
abuse or denial of a patient’s or colleague’s rights.
60  You must consider and respond to the needs of disabled patients and 
should make reasonable adjustments† to your practice so they can 
receive care to meet their needs. 
61  You must respond promptly, fully and honestly to complaints and 
apologise when appropriate. You must not allow a patient’s complaint 
to adversely affect the care or treatment you provide or arrange.
62  You should end a professional relationship with a patient only when 
the breakdown of trust between you and the patient means you cannot 
provide good clinical care to the patient.18
63  You must make sure you have adequate insurance or indemnity cover so 
that your patients will not be disadvantaged if they make a claim about 
the clinical care you have provided in the UK. 
*  This includes your views about a patient’s or colleague’s lifestyle, culture or their social or economic status, as well  
  as the characteristics protected by legislation: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, marriage and civil  
  partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
†  ‘Reasonable adjustments’ does not only mean changes to the physical environment. It can include, for example, being  
  flexible about appointment time or length, and making arrangements for those with communication difficulties such  
  as impaired hearing. For more information see the EHRC website (www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance). 
20 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
64  If someone you have contact with in your professional role asks for your 
registered name and/or GMC reference number, you must give this 
information to them.
Act with honesty and integrity
Honesty
65  You must make sure that your conduct justifies your patients’ trust in 
you and the public’s trust in the profession. 
66  You must always be honest about your experience, qualifications and 
current role.
67  You must act with honesty and integrity when designing, organising 
or carrying out research, and follow national research governance 
guidelines and our guidance.2
Communicating information
68  You must be honest and trustworthy in all your communication with 
patients and colleagues. This means you must make clear the limits 
of your knowledge and make reasonable checks to make sure any 
information you give is accurate. 
General Medical Council | 21

Good medical practice
69  When communicating publicly, including speaking to or writing in the 
media, you must maintain patient confidentiality. You should remember 
when using social media that communications intended for friends or 
family may become more widely available.10, 19 
70  When advertising your services, you must make sure the information 
you publish is factual and can be checked, and does not exploit patients’ 
vulnerability or lack of medical knowledge. 
71  You must be honest and trustworthy when writing reports, and when 
completing or signing forms, reports and other documents.16 You 
must make sure that any documents you write or sign are not false or 
misleading.
 
a  You must take reasonable steps to check the information is correct.
 
b  You must not deliberately leave out relevant information.
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Good medical practice
Openness and legal or disciplinary proceedings
72  You must be honest and trustworthy when giving evidence to courts 
or tribunals.20 You must make sure that any evidence you give or 
documents you write or sign are not false or misleading.
 
a  You must take reasonable steps to check the information.
 
b  You must not deliberately leave out relevant information.
73  You must cooperate with formal inquiries and complaints procedures 
and must offer all relevant information while following the guidance in 
Confidentiality.
74  You must make clear the limits of your competence and knowledge 
when giving evidence or acting as a witness.20
75  You must tell us without delay if, anywhere in the world:
 
a  you have accepted a caution from the police or been criticised by  
 
an official inquiry 
 
b  you have been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence
 
c  another professional body has made a finding against your  
 
registration as a result of fitness to practise procedures.21
General Medical Council | 23

Good medical practice
76  If you are suspended by an organisation from a medical post, or have 
restrictions placed on your practice, you must, without delay, inform 
any other organisations you carry out medical work for and any patients 
you see independently.
Honesty in financial dealings
77  You must be honest in financial and commercial dealings with patients, 
employers, insurers and other organisations or individuals.22
78  You must not allow any interests you have to affect the way you 
prescribe for, treat, refer or commission services for patients.
79  If you are faced with a conflict of interest, you must be open about the 
conflict, declaring your interest formally, and you should be prepared to 
exclude yourself from decision making.
80  You must not ask for or accept – from patients, colleagues or others – 
any inducement, gift or hospitality that may affect or be seen to affect 
the way you prescribe for, treat or refer patients or commission services 
for patients. You must not offer these inducements.
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Good medical practice
References
1  General Medical Council (2012) Leadership and management for all  
 doctors
 London, GMC
2  General Medical Council (2010) Good practice in research London, 
 GMC
3  General Medical Council (2011) Developing teachers and trainers in  
  undergraduate medical education
 London, GMC
4  General Medical Council (2012) Continuing professional development: 
 

guidance for all doctors London, GMC
5  General Medical Council (2013) Delegation and referral London, GMC
6  General Medical Council (2013) Good practice in prescribing and  
 

managing medicines and devices London, GMC
7  General Medical Council (2010) Treatment and care towards the end of 
  life: good practice in decision making
 London, GMC
8  General Medical Council (2011) Making and using visual and audio  
 

recordings of patients London, GMC
9  General Medical Council (2010) Consent to research London, GMC
10  General Medical Council (2009) Confidentiality London, GMC
11  General Medical Council (2012) Raising and acting on concerns about  
  patient safety
 London, GMC
12  General Medical Council (2013) Maintaining boundaries London, GMC
  n  Intimate examinations and chaperones (paragraphs 47, 25c)
 
General Medical Council | 25

Good medical practice
  n  Maintaining a professional boundary between you and  
   

your patient (paragraph 53)
  n  Sexual behaviour and your duty to report (paragraphs 53, 25c) 
13  General Medical Council (2007) 0–18 years: guidance for all doctors 
  London, GMC
14  General Medical Council (2012) Protecting children and young people: the  
 

responsibilities of all doctors London, GMC
15  General Medical Council (2008) Consent: patients and doctors making  
 

decisions together London, GMC
16  General Medical Council (2012) Writing references London, GMC
17  General Medical Council (2013) Personal beliefs and medical practice 
  London, GMC
18  General Medical Council (2013) Ending your professional relationship with  
  a patient
 London, GMC
19  General Medical Council (2013) Doctors’ use of social media London,  
 GMC
20 General Medical Council (2013) Acting as a witness in legal proceedings 
  London, GMC
21  General Medical Council (2013) Reporting criminal and regulatory  
 

proceedings within and outside the UK London, GMC
22  General Medical Council (2013) Financial and commercial arrangements  
  and conflicts of interest
 London, GMC
26 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
Index
A
    behaviour does not comply  
accepting posts 38
    with guidance 59
accessibility of information 32
  concerns about 24, 25c, 41, 59
adverse drug reactions 23c
  consulting 16d
advertising 70
  discriminating against 59
advice  
  reporting concerns 24
  seeking 25c
  supporting 43
  on lifestyle 51a,b
  working with 35–38
  prompt provision 15b
comfort of patient 25
apology 55b, 61
commercial interests 77
assessment of patients 15a
communicable diseases 29
audit 22a
communication 31–52
  effective 31–34
B
  of information 68–71
basic care 25a
  with public 69
breakdown of trust 62
community, provision of care in  
  emergencies 26
C
compatibility of treatments 16f
care 
competence 1, 7
  basic 25a
  limits of, declaring when giving  
  clinical 16a–g
  evidence 
74
  of those you are close to 16g
  maintenance 9
children 27
  working within limits 14
clinical care 16a–g
complaints 61
clinical judgement 57
  procedures for 73
clinical records 19, 21a–e
conduct 65
collaboration with colleagues 35
confidential inquiries 23a
colleagues 
confidentiality 20, 50, 69, 73
  challenging colleagues whose  
conflict of interest 78, 79
General Medical Council | 27

Good medical practice
conscientious objections 52
E
consent 17
emergencies, provision of care in 26
consideration 46
ending appointments 38
continuing professional  
ending relationships with  
  development 9
  patients 62
continuity of care 44, 45
English language, knowledge of 14.1 
contractual notice 38
equipment, inadequate 25b
cooperation in formal inquiries and  
errors 55a–c
  complaints procedures 73
evidence-based care 16b
coordination of care 44, 45
evidence, giving 74
criminal offence 75b
examination of patient 15a
experience, honesty about 66
D
data protection 20
F
death of patient 50
financial arrangements 77–80
decision making by patients 49a–d
financial interests 77
decision recording 21b
fitness to practise 
delaying treatment 57
  of colleagues 25c
delegation of care 44a, 45
  procedures 75c
dignity 2, 25, 47
form signing 71
disability, quality of life 2
formal inquiries 73
disabled patients 60
discrimination 59
G
distress alleviation 16c
gifts 80
documentation 19
giving evidence in court 72
  honesty and integrity in 71
GMC guidance, familiarity with 3
guidance, keeping up to date  
  with 12
guidelines, familiarity with 11
28 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
 
H
J
health, personal 28
judgement in applying the  
history taking 15a
  guidance 4
honesty 1, 55, 65–67, 68
junior doctors 42
  documentation 71
justification of decisions and  
  financial arrangements 77
  actions 4
  information 68–71
  knowledge 68
K
hospitality 80
keeping up to date 8, 12
knowledge 7–21
I
  honesty about 68
illness, personal 28
  limits 74
immunisation 29
  up to date 1
improper relationships with  
  patients 53
L
improving quality of work 13
language
inadequate resources 56
  English 14.1
indemnity cover 63
  communication needs 32
inducements 80
law 
information 
  acting within 1
  communication 68–71
  keeping up to date with 12
  honesty and integrity 68–71
legal proceedings 72–76
  provision 32
licence to practise 6
  sharing 44a, 49a–d
lifestyle, advising patients  
informing the GMC of criminal  
  about 51a, b
  offences 75b
listening to patients 31
insurance 63
locums 41
integrity 1, 65–80
investigations, prompt provision 15b
General Medical Council | 29

Good medical practice
M
patient safety 
management competence 7
  basic care 25a
media 69
  colleagues 43
medical records 19–21
  delegation 45
mentoring 10, 42
  medical cover 38
monitoring quality of work 13
  promotion of 22a–c
moral beliefs 54
  provision of information 23a–d 
‘must’, definition of 5
  reporting concerns 25a–c
  risk posed by personal illness 28
N
patient transfers 44a
national research governance  
performance 7–21
  guidelines 67
  maintenance 9
  professional 7–13
O
personal behaviour 37, 65
official enquiry 75a
personal beliefs 54
omission of information 71b, 72b
personal health 28–30
openness 72–76
personal risk 58
over-the-counter medications 16f
personal views about patients  
  or colleagues 59
P
police caution 75a
pain alleviation 16c
politeness 46
palliative care 16c
political beliefs 54
partnership, with patient 2, 46–52
premises, inadequate 25b
patient assessment 15a
prescribing 16a, 78
patient feedback 22c
priority 56
patient relationships 1
privacy 2, 47
  ending 62
professional development 7–13
  improper 53
professional skills, keeping up  
  to date 8
30 | General Medical Council 

Good medical practice
professionalism 1–6
reports, written 71
public communication 69
research 17, 67
public health monitoring 23d
resources 18
respect 16e, 36, 48, 53–55
Q
restrictions on medical practice 76
qualifications, honesty about 66
revalidation process 6
quality assurance and  
rights of patient 52
  improvement 22a–c
risk
quality of life 2
  personal 58
quality of work, improvement 13
  posed by personal illness 28
  to patients, reducing 23  
R
  to safety 24–27
record-keeping 19–21
  security 20
S
references 41
safety 22–30
referrals 15c
second opinions 16e
refusal of treatment 57, 58
security of information 69
registration, risk to 6
self-prescribing, patients 16f
regulations, keeping up to date  
self-care 16g
  with 12
serious communicable diseases 29
relationships 
sexual relationships 53
  improper 53
‘should’, definition of 5
  with colleagues 1
significant event recognition and  
  with patients 1, 53
  reporting 23b
relatives, patients’ 33
social care providers 44a, b
religious beliefs 48, 52, 54
social media sites 69
repeat prescriptions 16a
standard of care 15
reporting concerns 24, 25c
standards of practice 22b
General Medical Council | 31

Good medical practice
structured support opportunities 10
V
students 39, 41
valid authority 17
supervision of staff 40
views of patient 15a, 31
suspension 76
volunteers 17
vulnerable groups 27, 44b, 60
T
teaching 7, 17, 39–43
W
teamwork 31–52
witness, acting as 74
terms used in Good medical  
working in partnership with  
 practice 5
  patients 2
training 10, 22a, 39–43
workplace policy 25b,c
treatment 
writing reports 19–21, 71
  delaying 57
  effective 16b
Y
  personal risk and provision of 58
young people 27
  prompt provision 15b
tribunals 72
trust 1, 65, 68
  breakdown 62
  maintenance of 53–80
U
use of resources 18
32 | General Medical Council 

Leadership and management for all doctors
General Medical Council | 33

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Published March 2013 
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