last updated:22/11/2017 @ 10:06 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

Introduction Part 2

This document sets down standards of good practice for occupational physicians and interprets the GMC’s guidelines in the context of occupational medical practice.  However, our recommendations on standards do not over-ride those set out in GMC documentation, and this should also be consulted. (Other valuable sources of advice include Guidance on Ethics for Occupational Physicians, elements of which have been incorporated into the document and SEQOHS: Occupational Health Service Standards, which set standards of good practice for occupational health services.)

As in the GMC’s guidelines, we focus mainly on the clinical obligations of doctors to their patients, rather than their professional and managerial obligations to employers or third parties. Doctors must make care of the individual patient their first concern.  However, the effective discharge of care in the occupational context requires good communication and collaboration with managers and other healthcare and allied professionals.  Professional codes of ethics and occupational physicians’ terms of employment reflect dual responsibilities to employers and workers. Thus, where appropriate, mention is made of good practice in the interface with managers. Finally, many occupational physicians manage occupational health services, and for them we provide good practice guidelines modelled on the supplementary guidance from the GMC, entitled Leadership and Management for Doctors.

We anticipate these guidelines will be of interest not only to occupational physicians but also to appraisers, managers, workers and their representatives, other health care and occupational health professionals, health and safety advisers and the general public.  Because there is a great deal of variation between occupational physicians in the content of their work, the relevance of each guideline to their personal practice may vary.  We recommend that account be taken of this in any formal appraisal of performance that draws upon this document for guidance, as well as in procedures used to support medical revalidation.