Doctors could soon face action over ‘misleading’ social media posts | UK news

Doctors who share “misleading” information on social media could face regulatory action, according to planned new guidelines.

Posts made on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok are among those that could be scrutinized by the General Medical Council (GMC) if a doctor is reported.

The council is to update its Good Medical Practice guide, seen by some as a modern-day Hippocratic Oath, for the first time in almost a decade.

The latest draft says that doctors must “be honest and trustworthy, make clear the limits of their knowledge [and] make reasonable checks to make sure any information given is not misleading”.

It is the first proposed update to the guidance since 2013 and is being put out for consultation. The document will also make it a doctor’s duty to act if they become aware of workplace bullying, as well as discrimination and sexual harassment.

“Good medical practice is the bedrock that helps guide ethical practice and supports doctors to provide the best possible care in a world of increasingly complex medicine,” said Charlie Massey, chief executive of the GMC.

“This update is intended to be relevant and helpful to medical professionals, and to benefit patients, now and for years ahead. There is a lot of evidence of the damage bad workplace cultures can do to patient safety and, ultimately, to the UK’s ability to retain the healthcare professionals it needs.”

Prof Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: “Good Medical Practice provides the fundamental ethical principles that all doctors in the UK should follow in order to provide patients with the best care possible.

“A lot has changed in medicine in recent years and the pandemic has exacerbated pressures on frontline medical staff.

“It is therefore important to have an opportunity to reflect on the professional values, knowledge and behavior expected of our doctors and surgeons.”

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