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GMC surveys doctors on consent guidance

The GMC has launched a survey of doctors to canvass opinions on consent guidance ahead of an update.

The regulator said the guidance, published in 2008, needed updating following ’shifts in the legal, policy and workplace environments’.

The GMC said this comes as ’doctors are telling us that increasing pressures and demands on their practice can make it difficult to seek and record a patient’s consent in line with our guidance and the law’.

The survey is asking for opinions on the content and format of the current advice, with a deadline of 9 January 2017.

The GMC will work with a task group to redraft the guidance in 2017, with a view to launching a public consultation on changes towards the end of the year.

This follows a Supreme Court judgement last year (Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board), which decided that the amount of information given about risks of any particular procedure should be from the patient’s point of view (if the doctor believed the patient would find the information significant), rather than in reference to a body of medical opinion.