A Doctor’s Duty of Care When Attending a Football Game

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Joint Statement by the FSEM and BASEM

When the medical team, at any level of football, are requested to attend a player by the referee, it is their absolute duty of care to attend and assess the player. This is governed by standards of medical practice issued by the General Medical Council (GMC). A club official should have no say in this matter and the stage of the game has no relevance on the decisions of the medical team acting within the GMC code of practice. To discourage a doctor’s duty of care to an athlete shows a disregard for player welfare and good medical practice. It is important that all responsible bodies continue to engage with the medical profession in order to establish this principal across all levels of the game.

Both organisations are supportive of the statement made by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) with regard to physiotherapists attending football games.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) was launched in 2006 to represent and set standards for Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctors in the UK. The FSEM is an intercollegiate faculty of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
  • The British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM) was founded in 1953 and is the largest multidisciplinary sports medicine organisation in the UK representing both doctors and allied professionals such as physiotherapists and sports scientists.
  • There are 105 Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctors on the GMC specialist register (September 2015).
  • The FSEM not only sets standards but oversees research, training, curriculum and assessment of SEM Doctors, including providing revalidation services.
  • BASEM provides support and education to all healthcare professionals involved in the care of athletes and individuals undertaking, or aspiring to undertake, regular physical activity at all levels.
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctors work in a variety of musculoskeletal and exercise medicine services across NHS primary and secondary care. They also work within sports from the ‘grass routes’ level up to supporting international teams and athletes.
  • The specialty has a large scale application in improving the musculoskeletal and physical health of the general public through exercise advice and prescription. Further information about the specialty can be found at and


For further enquiries contact Beth Cameron, PR & Communications for the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Email:, Tel: 0131 527 3498, Mobile: 07551903702.