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Competency 4 – Maintaining relationship with patients: Doctor-patient relationship

Objective: to ensure the appreciation of the professional position of the OH advisor, employer and employees



Good Medical Practice sets out the principles and values on which good practice is founded; these principles together describe medical professionalism in action. The guidance is addressed to doctors, but it is also intended to let the public know what they can expect from doctors. Included within such principles is a doctor’s relationship with patients, which must be maintained and developed for it to be successful. Such a relationship is based on the understanding that the doctor will put the needs of the patient first. Relationships based on openness, trust and good communication are key to working in partnership with patients to address their individual needs.

To fulfil the role in the doctor-patient partnership, the doctor must:

  • be polite, considerate and honest and treat patients with dignity
  • treat each patient as an individual. Respect patients’ privacy and right to confidentiality
  • support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health
  • encourage patients who have knowledge about their condition to use this when they are making decisions about their own care.