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GMC revalidation consultation unearths ‘die-hard’ GP opposition

By Gareth Iacobucci

Exclusive: The GMC has admitted that some 'die-hard' GPs will never be won round on the benefits of revalidation, but says it is confident of winning the hearts and minds of the majority of the profession.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson told Pulse the regulator had received a steady stream of responses to its consultation on revalidation, which ends next week, that has asked the profession for its feedback on how to implement the process.

The GMC said it has received over 400 written responses so far, the majority from individual doctors, but anticipated more before the June 4 deadline, with larger bodies including the BMA still to submit their feedback on the proposals.

Mr Dickson said he expected the main areas of concern among respondents to focus on the NHS's ability to have a proper system in place to facilitate the process, and on ensuring that it is not overly bureaucractic.

He said that while he felt there was broad support for the principle of revalidation, there was still a way to go before the GMC has successfully achieved its aim of ‘winning the profession's hearts and minds'.

‘We are pleased with the level of engagement. We're moving in the right direction, but there's a way to go,' he said.

‘There are a number of doctors who are very enthusiastic about this, there are a number who are die-hards and will never be convinced of the merit of this in any way shape or form.'

‘The vast bulk of the profession see the logic of it, still are concerned about whether the GMC and employers organisations are going to get it right in terms of the amount of effort that needs to be put in and the benefit that will be derived from it.

‘It's that middle group we absolutely need to engage with, and make sure that the product we're launching is the right one, and that there aren't genuine concerns about it.'

He added: ‘Whatever we have will not be perfect. This thing will develop over time, and we need to make sure it is good enough to get going, and we don't let perfection be the enemy of the good enough.'

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson