Good Medical Practice - pandemic influenza

Doctors will play a vital role in helping the country deal with a pandemic.

The Government has agreed a framework of ethical principles, which must inform the provision of health services in a pandemic . Each of the UK Governments is also preparing more detailed guidance which is available on their websites.

To help doctors be clear about what the GMC will regard as good practice during a pandemic, we have prepared a revised version of Good Medical Practice. In this version some of the usual requirements – such as participating in appraisal and performance review - have been lifted. Other requirements, such as the duties to act honestly, are unchanged. In many cases, we have recognised the pressures and restrictions that may accompany a pandemic by adding qualifying clauses to the guidance, recognising that constraints on time and other resources may limit doctors’ ability to provide detailed information or help for patients. Additions to Good Medical Practice 2006 are shown in italics. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the detailed advice and guidelines issued by each of the UK Health Departments.

If you have any comments or suggestions about this guidance please send them to This version of the guidance was published on 2 November 2009.