The principles

  1. Patient safety is paramount when deciding whether to share information about doctors. Other considerations are maintaining public confidence in the medical profession and supporting doctors’ health or wellbeing.
  2. Doctors have a professional duty, set out in Good medical practice, to be honest and trustworthy in all communications with patients and colleagues. This includes being honest about their current roles and any restrictions on their practice.
  3. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, a doctor should be made aware when information about them is being shared.
  4. Information about doctors must be securely stored and handled, in line with the law and respecting the privacy of individual doctors.
  5. Individuals who have governance responsibility for doctors working in any setting have a duty to share any information of note about a doctor with that doctor’s responsible officer.
  6. Responsible officers1 should act as hubs, receiving information about the practice of their connected doctors and sharing this with appropriate individuals in other places where the doctor works.

1 All references to responsible officer should be taken to include suitable persons approved by the GMC.