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GMC appoints head of the King's Fund as chief executive

By Nigel Praities

Chief executive of the King's Fund, Niall Dickson, will take the helm at the General Medical Council from next year.

After spending five years at the influential think-tank – overseeing reports into the care of patients with long-term conditions and NHS commissioning – Mr Dickson will take up the post of chief executive at the GMC from January 2010.

Mr Dickson is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of General Practitioners and was the BBC's Social Affairs Editor.

He has also chaired the Department of Health's group looking at enhancing public confidence in the regulators of healthcare professionals.

GMC chair Professor Peter Rubin welcomed Mr Dickson's appointment, saying: ‘The GMC is leading a major programme of regulatory change for doctors – including the introduction of revalidation.

‘This is a challenging time and Niall Dickson is ideal for the job. He brings a wide understanding of the complex issues involved in delivering top quality healthcare in the UK.

‘As a former broadcaster, he also has a strong record in communications, which will be vital in helping us to engage with doctors, patients and the public about the changes which are coming,' he said.

Mr Dickson will replace Finlay Scott, who has been chief executive of the GMC for 15 years.

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