Important notice - fraudulent calls

We have become aware that fraudulent calls are being made to members of the public from callers claiming to be from the GMC, asking to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine and health insurance. If you receive one of these calls, please see our notice on action you can take.

Coronavirus information for patients

What can patients expect of their doctor?

Doctors, and the whole healthcare system, continue to be under intense pressure due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

However, doctors are still accountable for the decisions they make. They’re expected to do their best in extraordinary circumstances to deliver good care and follow our guidance. They should treat you with dignity and respect, listen to your concerns and discuss options with you.

Helping you to get the treatment you need

If you need medical help, the health service is there for you. It’s important to continue to attend appointments, unless you’ve been told not to. If you have new health concerns, you can:

If you're advised to go to hospital, it's important to go.

You can play your part to help the NHS by:

  • following the latest UK government advice at GOV.UK
  • being understanding of the pressure on doctors and healthcare staff
  • treating all NHS staff with respect.

Remote consultations and prescribing

You may be offered a phone or video consultation with your GP instead of visiting the surgery. Together with the General Pharmaceutical Council we’ve developed a guide for patients to help you make sure that any medicine, treatment or health advice you get online is safe and right for you.

Whether you’re meeting your doctor face to face, online or on the phone, it’s important that you’re able to effectively communicate what matters most to you about your treatment. You must also be able to understand the information your doctor is giving you about your treatment and options. Doctors must continue to follow our guidance whatever the method of consultation.

COVID-19 vaccines

We know you may have some questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and how they might affect you. We don’t develop or regulate the vaccines, but the following organisations offer advice and information for patients.

You can also get country-specific information about the vaccine rollout from:

Your consent to have the vaccine

Whatever the reason for consulting with your doctor, it’s important that you can have a conversation about your options and can give informed consent for any treatment, including vaccines.

Our guidance on decision making and consent helps doctors give you the information you need. They must check whether you have understood the information, and if you need to know anything else before making a decision.

We’ve also published advice for doctors answering some frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccination programme.