Sick GPs and GP trainees are entitled to a confidential health service. The National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) and General Medical Council (GMC) have agreed that where individual practitioners self-refer to GPH for advice or treatment, they will be assured, where the safety of their patients is not compromised, that their case will be handled on a confidential basis, with no reporting to an external agency.
In those rare cases where a GP patient is not willing to comply with advice on managing their health problem and their condition appears to pose a risk to their patients, GPH will have a responsibility to act. This may be done by advising the employing or contracting organisation to restrict a GP patient’s practice and refer to the GMC, or (very rarely) directly refer them to the GMC. In eight years of running the NHS Practitioner Health Programme this has only been necessary on a handful of occasions.
There may be other situations where there is a statutory duty to breach confidentiality (for example, to the DVLA). However, these are very rare and will only ever be undertaken as a means of last resort. Click here to view the NHS GP Health Service Patient Confidentiality Policy.
GPH has Memoranda of Understanding with the GMC.
Click here to view the memorandum of understanding between the NHS General Practitioner Health Service (GP Health) and the General Medical Council (GMC)