Doctors need more time to absorb new guidance says MDU

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has said doctors need more time to digest new guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC) on Good Medical Practice which comes into effect on 30 January.

The GMC’s ‘more detailed guidance’ (MDG) was published this week alongside the updated version of its ethical standards Good Medical Practice.

The MDG covers a range of important topics including maintaining personal and professional boundaries, social media, ending a professional relationship with a patient and producing witness statements.

The MDU said it understands the need for a comprehensive update given the revisions made to Good Medical Practice, but insisted it would be a challenge for doctors to read and absorb the guidance on top of caring for patients.

Research into the revised Good Medical Practice conducted by the MDU earlier this year found that only half (49%) of respondents were confident that they would have time to fully absorb the new standards before they are implemented.

MDU head of advisory services Dr Udvitha Nandasoma said: We are pleased to see that the more detailed guidance related to Good Medical Practice has been published. It is our belief that doctors know how important the guidance is and as such it is concerning that they feel they have insufficient time to absorb this and the new MDGs over the busy winter period.’