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'Fight harder for self-regulation'

Professionally-led regulation will be swept away unless the GMC makes a stronger defence of its role, GPs are warning.

GPs say the GMC has not fought hard enough to preserve its position and remains at risk from Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson's review of regulation and revalidation.

GPs also believe the GMC's reform process has not gone far enough and more needs to be done to stop vexatious and inappropriate complaints blighting doctors' careers.

The comments come on the anniversary of Dame Janet Smith's devastating final Shipman Inquiry report.

The report condemned regulation of GPs and the GMC's plans for revalidation, and

triggered Sir Liam's review, which is due early in the new year.

GPs fear the CMO will propose a draconian regime of regulation and an onerous system of revalidation.

Dr John Toby, chair of Nor-thampton PCT and former chair of the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice, said self-regulation would only survive if it had 'more teeth'.

He said: 'The GMC has not fought hard enough so far. The risk is regulation becomes a government process.'

Dr John Cormack, a GP in South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, and former member of the GMC, said the council would have to put up a 'strong fight' or it would be 'undermined and emasculated' by the CMO.

Finlay Scott, chief executive of the GMC, acknowledged the council had to 'engage the confidence and commitment of the profession'. He said: 'It cannot be in the patients' interests if doctors feel oppressed by regulation.'

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