Central to the guidance is a renewed focus on giving patients more of a voice in their treatment. During consultation on the guidance experts warned that it could add five minutes to the average GP consultation (GP, 9 August).
But the GMC said that ‘doctors want to work with patients and encourage them to learn more about their condition so they can make informed decisions about their own care’ and the changes encouraged GPs to do this.
Dr Krishna Korlipara, a member of the working group that redrafted the guidance, admitted the move would ‘accentuate the shortage of doctors’. But he said that the GMC was fulfilling its duty to advocate better practice, and he argued that the changes would benefit doctors and patients.
The guidance also includes new duties for GPs around supporting self-care, maintaining a practice information folder and reporting criminal convictions or findings on registration by other regulatory bodies.
The guidance is available on the GMC’s website and includes a series of links to related guidance held by the GMC, information from other websites, and anonymised case studies.
The principles in ‘Good Medical Practice’ apply to all doctors, and will form a core part of the curriculum for medical students across the country.
The launch signals the start of a year-long programme of work with doctors and patient groups to embed the guidance’s principles.