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2.3 Protect patients and colleagues from any risk posed by your health

Surgeons have a duty to maintain safe care at all times and not to work in any health state that might impair judgment and/or jeopardise patient safety. You should:

  • Not work when your health is adversely influenced by fatigue, disease, drugs or alcohol.
  • Recognise when your health state might impair judgment or jeopardise patient safety. You should promptly seek independent medical advice and devolve clinical responsibility to an appropriately qualified colleague.
  • Take precautions against the transmission of blood-borne viruses by following established guidelines when operating on high risk patients or in the event of a needlestick injury.
  • Exercise a duty of care in terms of reporting serious communicable disease or health states in yourself or colleagues that might jeopardise safe patient care.
  • Be aware of health and safety regulations with respect to your practice and follow relevant legislation and local guidelines, including local vaccination and immunisation requirements.

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