In a press release published on 15 July 2010, the General Medical Council (GMC) announced that Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Thorpe, Deputy Chair of the Family Justice Council, and Lord Justice of Appeal, will chair a working group to produce new guidance for doctors involved in child protection.

The working group will:  

  • review the content of relevant GMC guidance against significant developments regarding doctors' roles in child protection;  
  • identify and consider any guidelines that other organisations have published on issues related to doctors in child protection work and how this might inform or complement GMC guidance;  
  • engage with a range of experts on the challenges and practical difficulties doctors face undertaking child protection work, and to seek the views of key interested parties;  
  • decide the scope and structure of new guidance, taking account of other GMC guidance;  
  • recommend a draft of the guidance to the GMC;  
  • oversee and analyse the outcome of a formal consultation exercise; and  
  • consider and advise on ways in which the new guidance could be disseminated, promoted, and used, and its impact evaluated.

The group has been asked to produce the new guidance by the end of 2011, and will begin the process by issuing a call for evidence this summer.