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.

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