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18-10-2010 | General practice | Article

GMC sticks to revalidation plans


General Medical Council Revalidation Consultation Response

The General Medical Council (GMC) has announced it will press ahead with revalidation plans, saying the "vast majority" of doctors and their representatives supports the Council's overall approach.

In its official response to consultation on revalidation, the GMC reports that respondents endorsed proposals for each of the core elements. The consultation ran from March to June this year and received nearly one thousand formal responses as well as hearing from over 4000 doctors at a series of events across the UK.

The main proposals on how to set standards for appraisal and monitor continuing professional development, as well as the planned incremental roll-out (set to begin in 2011) all gained support, the GMC says. Nevertheless, the document reveals areas of concern, in particular over patient and colleague feedback and conflicts of interest, which the GMC says it will review in order to refine the proposals.

The British Medical Association (BMA) had called for significant modifications, including to make the process simpler and for pilot schemes to be fully evaluated before roll-out.

BMA Chairman of Council Dr Hamish Meldrum said the GMC's commitment to a "cost-effective, streamlined, flexible, proportionate and meaningful" revalidation system was welcome, but added that the ongoing lack of detail leaves uncertainty, particularly in light of the White Paper proposals.

"We understand the need for a clear path to implementation but this must not be at the expense of ensuring the process is right and has the confidence of doctors. As such, it is essential that the extended pilots in England are fully evaluated and any issues adequately addressed as part of the 'test of readiness', and before any possible launch later in 2012," he said.

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Caroline Price