Raising and acting on concerns about patient safety came into effect on Monday. It prevents doctors from entering into contracts or agreements that seek to stop them raising concerns about poor quality care.
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘Our guidance makes clear that doctors have a duty to act when they believe patient safety is at risk, or when a patient’s care or dignity is being compromised.
‘The guidance explains when doctors need to raise concerns and advises on the help and support available to them, including how to tackle any barriers that they may face.’
The guidance prevents GPs from signing contracts which would stop them from raising concerns about professional regulators such as the GMC and the Care Quality Commission.
It also prevents doctors in management roles, such as GPs involved in clinical commissioning groups, from promoting such contracts or encouraging other doctors to sign them.
The guidance has been sent to all doctors on the medical register.