GPs warned to ignore 'Facebook flirts'

GPs should ignore 'Facebook flirt' patients who proposition them via the social networking site, medico-legal experts have warned.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) says it has come across a number of cases in which patients have 'attempted to proposition doctors' via the internet.

Doctors may be tempted to respond to patients who make unsolicited messages on social networking websites, if only to politely reject their advances, the MDU says.

But Dr Emma Cuzner, MDU medico-legal adviser, warned: 'The pitfalls posed to doctors using soical networking sites by inadvertently breaching confidentiality or posting unprofessional content, such as photos, have been well documented. But doctors may be less prepared for patients using sites like Facebook to ask them out on a date.

'Some doctors have told the MDU they feel it would be rude not to reply, if only to politely refuse, but given this is not a professional route of communication, any correspondence of this sort would clearly stray outside the doctor/patient relationship.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

‘Warm and kind’ retired Derbyshire GP dies from COVID-19

‘Warm and kind’ retired Derbyshire GP dies from COVID-19

Retired Derbyshire GP Dr Om Prakash Chawla, who was known for his warmth and kindness,...

GPs can learn from pandemic to strengthen relationship with patients, says RCGP chair

GPs can learn from pandemic to strengthen relationship with patients, says RCGP chair

General practice can build on changes to care during the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen...

Surrey GP practice targeted by aggressive anti-vaccination poster

Surrey GP practice targeted by aggressive anti-vaccination poster

Staff at a GP surgery in Surrey have been left completely demoralised after they...

JCVI issues final guidance on phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccination programme

JCVI issues final guidance on phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccination programme

The JCVI has confirmed the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme will...

'Case-by-case' approach to GPs prescribing budesonide for COVID-19

'Case-by-case' approach to GPs prescribing budesonide for COVID-19

Inhaled budesonide is not expected to be routinely prescribed for patients receiving...