GP: Duty of Care towards non-patients | QCS

What immediate action should one take when the receptionist informed the practice nurse that an elderly lady who is not a patient of the surgery has collapsed on the pavement in front of the the GP surgery, who required medical action?

Apart from calling for an ambulance, should the clinic bring the lady in and start resuscitation?


Sheila Scott
Answered by Sheila Scott


I was pleased to be able to ask QCS’s GP practice expert contributor Alison Lowerson and this is her response.

Practices have a contractual duty to provide emergency treatment and immediately necessary treatment. There is no definition of immediately necessary treatment in primary medical services contract regulations but is subject to the contractor’s clinical judgement.

As far as Nurses are concerned, the NMC website states; ‘The Code contains the professional standards that registered nurses and midwives must uphold’:

15. Always offer help if an emergency arises in your practice setting or anywhere else.

To achieve this, you must:

15.1 Only act in an emergency within the limits of your knowledge and competence;

15.2 Arrange, wherever possible, for emergency care to be accessed and provided promptly, and;

15.3 Take account of your own safety, the safety of others and the availability of other options for providing care.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes.


About Sheila Scott

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector. 3. Read more

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