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Warning over revalidation

The GMC will face 'considerable challenges' in implementing revalidation, the regulators' watchdog has warned.

The role played by GMC affiliates – who will monitor GPs' performance at local level – will be 'crucial to the new system', concluded the Council for Healthcare and Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) in its 2006/7 performance review of the GMC.The CHRE said that affiliates would need to command the confidence of patients and the public, that they should be appointed using 'clear criteria' and work within a 'clear framework of accountability'. A GMC spokesperson said: 'GMC affiliates are a very new concept and much work needs to be done ahead of piloting this approach. 'We are in early-stage discussions with the Department of Health and our stakeholders about implementation.' Under plans set out in February's regulation white paper, a GMC affiliate will be appointed in each English strategic health authority area to tackle concerns about GPs' performance at local level. The scheme is designed to enable less serious disciplinary or performance issues to be dealt with more quickly at a local level.The performance review also found that the GMC was responding to demands for increased transparency in fitness-to-practise cases and had begun work on an integrated approach to complaints handling.It added that the quality of outcomes from fitness-to-practise hearings had improved, with no GMC cases having been referred to the High Court in the year covered by the review.

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