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The GMC has taken a landmark decision to no longer reveal doctors' registered addresses.

The council has included a registered address for each doctor since first publishing the medical register in 1858.

But following a consultation, it has decided to use GMC reference numbers to identify doctors both in print and online.

Amanda Watson, director of registration and education at the GMC, said the move was in response to 'legitimate concerns' from doctors.

She said: 'We also need to find a better way for patients and others to identify a doctor and have agreed that the GMC reference number provides a much better means to do this accurately.'

Dr Graham Archard, a GP in Christchurch, Dorset, said the move could help protect doctors who had to deal with a malicious patient.

But he added there were benefits from having a practice address registered.

He said: 'If someone has a professional address rather than a home address, it would strike me that it's worthwhile to have that there.'

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