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

Joint Statement by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK (FSEM) and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (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.

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Position statements published by the FSEM (UK) are quick reference or information documents for the Sport and Exercise Medicine and healthcare community. They can include up to ten short points of clinical relevance and are designed to be useful short reference documents.

The FSEM (UK) will publish updates to its official position statements as and when new information is available. The current versions will appear on the website, including the date published, and will supersede and replace prior versions. FSEM UK does not circulate or endorse out of date versions of its position statements.

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©Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK – A Doctor’s Duty of Care When Attending a Football Game Published September 2015 to be reviewed September 2018