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13. Marketing and Advertising

13.1 SCoR, within its Code of Professional Conduct10 allows for the practice of independent practitioners advertising their services provided that any advertisement conforms to the British Codes of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion. To achieve the standard, the following criteria apply:

  • advertisements should not be false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, self-laudatory, unfair or sensational
  • advertisements should be dignified and professionally restrained.

13.2 The health care practitioner/patient relationship is important, therefore due regard should be paid to the maintenance of the highest ethical standards in any advertising. Direct appeals to patients, either face to face or over the telephone, should be avoided. It is undesirable to use too many abbreviations which can be confusing to patients and clients. Comparative claims with other practitioners should not be made in respect of superiority of skills, equipment and/or facilities.  The term ‘specialist’ should be restricted to those who have a defined specialist skill. While it may be correct and proper for Independent Practitioners to be able to publicise their service and practice, they should act in a restrained and professional manner at all times.

Further information can be obtained from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) at www.asa.org.uk/asa/codes

13.3 Independent Practitioners who are registered with a regulatory body such as the HCPC or NMC must also comply with their requirements.

13.4 It is important that claims made about the performance of specific imaging modalities or methods for screening for various types of pathology are accurate (see also section 12.3, Referrals, for National Screening Committee advice). 

(All links in above text accessed 28/1/14)

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