Working with doctors Working for patients

Establish and maintain partnerships with patients

46. You must be polite and considerate.

47. You must treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity and privacy.16

48. You must treat patients fairly and with respect whatever their life choices and beliefs.

49. You must work in partnership with patients, sharing with them the information they will need to make decisions about their care,21 including:

a. their condition, its likely progression and the options for treatment, including associated risks and uncertainties

b. the progress of their care, and your role and responsibilities in the team

c. who is responsible for each aspect of patient care, and how information is shared within teams and among those who will be providing their care

d. any other information patients need if they are asked to agree to be involved in teaching or research.12

50. You must treat information about patients as confidential. This includes after a patient has died.14

51. You must support patients in caring for themselves to empower them to improve and maintain their health. This may, for example, include:

a. advising patients on the effects of their life choices and lifestyle on their health and well-being

b. supporting patients to make lifestyle changes where appropriate.

52. You must explain to patients if you have a conscientious objection to a particular procedure. You must tell them about their right to see another doctor and make sure they have enough information to exercise that right. In providing this information you must not imply or express disapproval of the patient’s lifestyle, choices or beliefs. If it is not practical for a patient to arrange to see another doctor, you must make sure that arrangements are made for another suitably qualified colleague to take over your role.23