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New duties for doctors to tackle toxic cultures are among proposals put forward for public consultation by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The development of the new draft guidance has been supported by an advisory group headed up by Professor Emma Cave from the Durham Law School, who is an expert in medical law and ethics.

Good medical practice

Over the past nine months, the review has considered data and evidence from feedback, research, reports and inquiries to help inform the new guidance called Good medical practice.

Last updated in 2013, it outlines the professional values, knowledge and behaviours expected of doctors working in the UK and promotes fairness, inclusivity and compassion to support clinicians and protect patients. 

Public consultation

Included for the first time is a duty for doctors to act, or support others to act, if they become aware of workplace bullying, harassment or discrimination, as well as zero tolerance of sexual harassment.

It also has a duty for doctors to use social media responsibly and ‘make reasonable checks’ to avoid misleading anyone with content they post.

The GMC has released the draft guidance for a 12-week public consultation, aiming to get input from patients, clinicians, educators and the public.

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