Good medical practice

Domain 2: Safety and quality

Contribute to and comply with systems to protect patients


You must take part in systems of quality assurance and quality improvement to promote patient safety. This includes:

  1. taking part in regular reviews and audits of your own work and that of your team, responding constructively to the outcomes, taking steps to address any problems and carrying out further training where necessary
  2. regularly reflecting on your standards of practice and the care you provide
  3. reviewing patient feedback where it is available.

To help keep patients safe you must:

  1. contribute to confidential inquiries
  2. contribute to adverse event recognition
  3. report adverse incidents involving medical devices that put or have the potential to put the safety of a patient, or another person, at risk
  4. report suspected adverse drug reactions
  5. respond to requests from organisations monitoring public health. When providing information for these purposes you should still respect patients’ confidentiality.14 

Respond to risks to safety


You must promote and encourage a culture that allows all staff to raise concerns openly and safely.3 15


You must take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort is or may be seriously compromised.

  1. If a patient is not receiving basic care to meet their needs, you must immediately tell someone who is in a position to act straight away.
  2. If patients are at risk because of inadequate premises, equipment13 or other resources, policies or systems, you should put the matter right if that is possible. You must raise your concern in line with our guidance 15 and your workplace policy. You should also make a record of the steps you have taken.
  3. If you have concerns that a colleague may not be fit to practise and may be putting patients at risk, you must ask for advice from a colleague, your defence body or us. If you are still concerned you must report this, in line with our guidance and your workplace policy, and make a record of the steps you have taken.15 16

Follow the guidance in paragraph 23c if the risk arises from an adverse incident involving a medical device.


Maintaining boundaries (2013) GMC, London


You must offer help if emergencies arise in clinical settings or in the community, taking account of your own safety, your competence and the availability of other options for care.


Whether or not you have vulnerable17  adults or children and young people as patients, you should consider their needs and welfare and offer them help if you think their rights have been abused or denied.18 19


Some patients are likely to be more vulnerable than others because of their illness, disability or frailty or because of their current circumstances, such as bereavement or redundancy. You should treat children and young people under 18 years as vulnerable. Vulnerability can be temporary or permanent.

Risks posed by your health


If you know or suspect that you have a serious condition that you could pass on to patients, or if your judgement or performance could be affected by a condition or its treatment, you must consult a suitably qualified colleague. You must follow their advice about any changes to your practice they consider necessary. You must not rely on your own assessment of the risk to patients.


You should be immunised against common serious communicable diseases (unless otherwise contraindicated).


You should be registered with a general practitioner outside your family.