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GMC claims ‘huge support’ from GPs for streamlined revalidation plans

By Gareth Iacobucci

The GMC has claimed that its latest plans for revalidation have received overwhelming backing from GPs, and insisted this week that a scaled-back version of the controversial scheme 'is going to happen'.

The Council recently pledged to ‘simplify and streamline' its proposals to revalidate doctors following the Government's demand for a scheme that will reduce the bureaucratic burden on GPs' shoulders.

And ahead of the full report on its consultation on the process, due to be published on 18 October, the GMC yesterday claimed it had received 'huge support' from both doctors and patients.

The Council's chief executive Niall Dickson said the results of the survey supported the notion that revalidation would still go ahead, and said the GMC would soon set out a timeline for implementation following the conclusion of the consultation.

He said: ‘The positive responses to our consultation demonstrate continuing support for revalidation. We have listened carefully and we will review our proposals in light of the feedback. The final plans have to be simple and straightforward and will continue to involve doctors and employers to ensure revalidation works for them.'

He added: ‘There will always be those that think it isn't going to happen. But the evidence is very strong that it is going to happen. We are on the road, the train has left the station, and we were genuinely surprised and pleased with the volume of response to our consultation.'

But he acknowledged that ‘there are still concerns is ensuring that the model that we go with is sufficiently straightforward and streamlined that it is simple for doctors to use and yet it's robust, and is not just a tick box exercise.'

Mr Dickson said the Government had demonstrated its ‘clear commitment to revalidation' by agreeing to press ahead with the appointment of responsible officers, who are expected to be in place across the UK from January 2011.

And he attempted to reassure GPs that their fears over potential conflicts of interest with responsible officers were based on misunderstandings over the new role.

He said: ‘The idea that responsible officers could pick on 'X' and say "I'm not going to revalidate you because I don't like the cut of your jib" is not going to happen.'

‘Any officer that did that would find that their fitness to practise would also be called into question because that would be misuse of their role and function.'

Niall Dickson: 'The positive responses to our consultation demonstrate continuing support for revalidation' Niall Dickson: 'The positive responses to our consultation demonstrate continuing support for revalidation'