GMC sets out rules for flu pandemic

Doctors can work outside their normal field of practice during a flu pandemic, new GMC guidance states.

The pandemic guidance comes into force once the CMO announces a UK Level 3 alert, meaning there is a new virus outbreak after sustained human-to-human transmission.

In a pandemic the GMC 'strongly encourages' retired and non-working doctors to go back to work if asked. The council would have powers to rapidly re-register retired doctors.

The right to work outside one's normal field of practice would also apply to doctors treating patients with conditions other than flu, Pandemic Influenza: Good Medical Practice - Responsibilities of Doctors in a National Pandemic says.

Performance review and attending educational events would be put on hold.

In a pandemic, doctors will be expected to follow Good Medical Practice where 'practical'.

The stricture to avoid treating family and friends would be temporarily lifted. But doctors should still not treat themselves.

prisca.middlemiss@haymarket.com

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