The proposed amendments to the GMC’s guidance for doctors, “Good Medical Practice”, appear to support the Government’s drive to reduce the number of people away from work due to long-term sickness.

The new guidance states: “You must support patients in caring for themselves to empower them to improve and maintain their health. This may include encouraging patients, including those with long-term conditions, to stay in or return to employment or other purposeful activity…”. Some debate is likely to follow on whether this is simply putting into a code what doctors do already, or whether it will make doctors seem more like an agent of the state when suggesting patients return to work. The guidance can be found here.