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Can we afford revalidation?

So GMC believes it has GPs' backing on revalidation. I beg to differ.

Ideally we need a survey by an independent third party. Have we fully understood the consequences of revalidation to make an informed decision?

The coalition Government seems keen on measuring outcomes. We have heard estimates that 5-14% of GPs will fail revalidation. There are 55,000 GPs registered to practise in the UK. So taking the low estimate of 5%, 2,750 GPs will lose their licence. What is the impact on those GPs who fail to tick boxes satisfactorily? Do we have remediation? What support is available (financially, emotionally, professionally)? How do GPs support their families after being told to stop practising with immediate effect? Mortgage payments need to be made. Children need to be fed.

What are the implications for patients? The average GP is responsible for a list of up to 2,000 patients. That's 5.5 million people in the UK who will suddenly not have their own GP. I have witnessed chaos in a surgery when two GPs suddenly ceased working. Is the public ready for that on a huge scale? Suddenly GPs will be working overtime to cover for suspended colleagues, adding to stress and workload. Mistakes are more likely.

GPs approaching retirement may question whether they need to continue practising or face the ignominy of being struck off in revalidation for failing a paper assignment.

For society in general, the financial impact on the UK would be up to £156m each year.

The nation must comprehend the impact of revalidation on all doctors, all patients and our nation's economy for the price of one Shipman.

Response to: GMC claims 'huge support' from GPs for streamlined revalidation plans

From Dr Una Coales, Stockwell, south London

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