This site is intended for health professionals only

Doctors to report knife-crime injuries to police

28 September 2009

Share this article

Knife-crime injuries will be reported to police by doctors, under new guidelines to be launched by the General Medical Council.

The proposals will mean a patient’s personal details can be passed on, including incidents involving children with apparently accidental cuts.

Doctors are currently only allowed to pass on information about patients with gunshot wounds to the police.

They will be required to ask patients if they will talk to police, and warn them of the consequences of staying quiet. If they believe a serious crime has been committed, or the patient is at risk, they may give details to police.

Under the news guidelines, set to come into effect on 12 October, doctors will also be given the power to overrule patients with inherited conditions, allowing them to speak to family members, even if it is against the patient’s wishes.

Dr Henrietta Campbell, who led the GMC’s working group, said: “We are not asking doctors to force patients to speak to the police, but we are asking them to pass on information which will help the police to help protect patients, the public and staff from risks of serious harm.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

General Medical Council