Update to Good Medical Practice

  • Legal Development 29 August 2023 29 August 2023
  • UK & Europe

  • Regulatory risk

The General Medical Council (GMC) has published an updated version of Good Medical Practice, the guidance which sets out the standards by which all doctors in the UK are expected to abide.

Updated Good Medical Practice Guidance

Whether they work in General Practice, an NHS hospital, private clinic, prison healthcare, Urgent Care Centre or any other setting, all doctors will be expected to familiarise themselves with the changes, which come into effect on 30 January 2024. The existing version of Good Medical Practice will remain in force until then. 

All doctors should already be familiar with the key principles of Good Medical Practice, which will remain in place, but the GMC has updated the guidance in order to achieve the following five aims: 

  • Create respectful, fair and compassionate workplaces for colleagues and patients; 
  • Promote patient-centred care; 
  • Tackle discrimination; 
  • Champion fair and inclusive leadership; 
  • Support continuity of care and safe delegation.

The updates to the guidance will be seen by many as a step towards challenging sexual misconduct, bullying and discrimination in the workplace, as well as promoting the patient-centred principles of consent brought into focus by the Montgomery judgment of 2015.  The GMC has also sought to make the guidance (widely referred to in fitness to practise investigations) easier to navigate, with the sections now having clearer headings and an improved structure. However, this is an update, not a fundamental rewriting of the guidance, and the core principles will remain as before.

Clyde & Co’s Healthcare team has a wealth of experience and expertise, in assisting doctors facing any kind of investigation by the GMC. If you require any guidance or support, please contact us on 020 7876 5000. 


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