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GMC to freeze all fees next year

The GMC has announced that it is freezing all its fees from April 2017 to March 2018.

This means that the annual retention fee will be frozen at £425, the fee for medical school graduates to be provisionally registered will be frozen at £90 and the fee for the first year of full registration will remain at £200.

This follows fee increases in recent years, from £390 in 2014-15 to £420 in 2015-16 and £425 in 2016-17.

Charlie Massey, the GMC’s new chief executive, said: ‘Health services across the UK and the professionals working within them are dealing with one of the toughest financial situations on record. Against this challenging backdrop it’s essential that we keep our registration fees for doctors as low as possible.’

The news comes as comes as the GMC is consulting on its fitness to practise procedure to streamline it and reduce the impact on doctors.

The GMC also aims to save up to £6 million a year by 2018, with measures including relocating 130 posts to Manchester from London and reforming its pension scheme for staff.

It is also looking to generate additional income in several ways, for example charging for some of its services internationally.

Mr Massey said: ‘The measures that we have taken this year mean that we can freeze our registration fees in 2017.

‘I am determined that the GMC will continue to exercise discipline in the way that it manages the income from its fees, stretching them as far as they will go to make sure the organisation remains in strong financial health while continuing to improve our services for doctors and patients.’

This follows the opposite move from the CQC, which is proposing a 76% increase in fees next year.

Under the proposals the fee for an average-sized GP practice with 5,001-10,000 patients will increase by almost £2,000, to £4,500. The CQC is consulting on the fee increases until 11 January 2017 and the new fees would be in force on 1 April 2017.