last updated:29/11/2017 @ 10:17 am

Good Occupational Medical Practice 2017

To emphasise that occupational physicians share many obligations in common with other doctors, the original words and passages of Good Medical Practice (displayed in black), and selected abstracts from supplementary guidelines of the GMC (displayed in red), are retained and presented. Where appropriate, extra commentary, written specifically by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, then follows in a distinguishing (blue) typeface.
ForewordIntroductionDomain 1: Knowledge, skills and performanceDomain 2: Safety and qualityDomain 3: Communication, partnership and teamworkDomain 4: Maintaining trustAfterword

Continuity and coordination of care

Continuity and coordination of care

  1. You must contribute to the safe transfer of patients between healthcare providers and between health and social care providers. This means you must:
  1. share all relevant information with colleagues involved in your patients’ care within and outside the team, including when you hand over care as you go off duty, and when you delegate care or refer patients to other health or social care providers5. 10.
  2. check, where practical, that a named clinician or team has taken over responsibility when your role in providing a patient’s care has ended. This may be particularly important for patients with impaired capacity or who are vulnerable for other reasons.
  1. When you do not provide your patients’ care yourself, for example when you are off duty, or you delegate the care of a patient to a colleague, you must be satisfied that the person providing care has the appropriate qualifications, skills and experience to provide safe care for the patient.5.

Occupational health services may be multi-disciplinary.  Other professionals may include occupational health nurses, physiotherapists, counsellors and safety advisors. In delegating within the team, occupational physicians are still responsible for the overall occupational medical care of the patient. You must only delegate professional tasks to those who are specifically trained and competent to perform the task in question.

 In referring a patient, as well as providing relevant clinical details, you should include pertinent details of the working environment, occupational exposures and work requirements.  The reason for referral should be made clear, as should the nature of the information requested in the report. Generally the responsibility for advising employers on fitness for work resides with the occupational physician.

Occupational physicians only occasionally belong to a clinical team that has assumed 24 hour or out of hour responsibility for patient care or is involved in transfer of medical care. However, if you belong to such a team the obligations of paragraph 41 will arise, as they may in relation to the effective provision of first aiders in the workplace. More commonly there is a need for appropriate sharing of health information between professionals.