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Tom Brake asks local children for their views on GPs

December 14, 2006 4:21 PM

Tom Brake has backed the launch of a consultation by the General Medical Council (GMC) which aims to discover the views of children and young people on the roles and responsibilities of doctors.

The consultation, on the GMC's draft Children's Guidance, launched on 15 November 2006, will run until 23 February 2007 and includes an online questionnaire aimed specifically at children and young people under 18. This can be found at https://gmc.e-consultation.net/yourdoctor. To say 'thank you', the GMC will be giving away iPod nanos to two winners under 18 who answer all the questions. Adults should respond online at https://gmc.e-consultation.net/gmcchildren.

The guidance covers a wide range of issues including: confidentiality; assessing a young person's ability to make decisions about their treatment; child protection; sexual activity and contraception; access to medical records, and research involving children.

It reminds all doctors that they must safeguard and protect the health and well being of children and young people. It will also help doctors who treat children to work with them and their parents to make decisions that are in their best interests and that are ethical and lawful. The document will also be useful for social workers, teachers and everyone with an interest in children's welfare.

Tom Brake stated that "This is a great chance for young people to have their say on doctors and their responsibilities. I urge all local people, especially children and young people, to complete the online questionnaires to ensure that the Children's Guidance is an accurate reflection of their views."

Jane O'Brien, Head of Standards and Ethics at the GMC says:

"We are looking forward to hearing from all those who wish to respond to the consultation, including children and young people - our dedicated children's portal should make it easy for children to let us know what they think.

"Our new guidance sets out the principles of good practice for all doctors, not just those who routinely see children and young people as their patients. A doctor's failure to follow these new standards will put their registration with the GMC at risk."

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