Work collaboratively with colleagues to maintain or improve patient care
- You must work collaboratively with colleagues, respecting their skills and contributions.1.
It is in patients’ best interests for one doctor, usually a general practitioner (GP), to be fully informed and responsible for maintaining continuity of a patient’s medical care. As an occupational physician, you should support this role by, for example:
- keeping colleagues well informed when sharing the clinical and occupational health care of workers;
- referring the worker back to their own GP for matters of general medical care;
- ensuring that their GP is informed when you request a specialist’s opinion;
- ensuring, with the worker’s informed consent, that their GP is given any information you hold that is necessary for their continuing care.
Except in emergencies or when it is impracticable, you should inform the GP before starting any treatment. If you do not tell the worker’s GP, before or after providing such treatment, you will be responsible for providing or arranging after care which is necessary until another doctor agrees to take over. In general, you should not prescribe for a worker, nor refer them to a specialist for treatment (as opposed to an opinion) when this would be the normal responsibility of the patient’s GP. You should offer only the drugs and treatments that need to be given in the occupational health department or under its control.