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GMC launches licensing consultation

By Andrew Bracey

The GMC has launched a three month consultation period on its draft regulations for GP licensing, in preparation for the autumn roll out of revalidation.

The council is urging GPs to make submissions on the proposed arrangements for granting, withdrawing, refusing and restoring licenses to practice.

From this Autumn all practicing doctors will be forced to complete a GMC revalidation process every five years, to demonstrate they are up to date and fit to practise.

GMC Chair Sir Graeme Catto, said licensing would represent a significant change in medical regulation, and the publication of the draft regulations and guidance was first tangible step towards the introduction of revalidation.

‘This consultation will give doctors, employers and others who will be affected by these regulations and guidance the opportunity to say whether they are clear, fair, straightforward and in the public interest,' he said.

But some GPs have warned that the extra scrutiny from revalidation – which will include senior doctors assessing colleagues practicing in their area – could lead to GPs practicing more defensive medicine.

Dr Adam Pringle, a GP in Telford, Shropshire, was sceptical of the consultation period, saying he believed it would make very little difference in addressing doctors' concerns.

"[Licensing and revalidation are] creating a significant amount of work and I have yet to see any evidence that there is anything in it that will reliably set out the competent from the incompetent," he said.

The consultation period will close 21 April with GPs able to complete responses to consultation papers posted on the council's website at:

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