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GPs could be given three months notice of revalidation

GPs will be given at least three months notice of their revalidation submission being due, under plans tabled by the GMC.

The proposal for doctors to receive a ‘minimum notice period of three months' of their revalidation is part of a raft of regulations featured in a new GMC consultation paper. The GMC said that the three month threshold will given them the power to ‘revalidate promptly' where it is in the wider public interest, but said that in most cases GPs will ‘know the due date much earlier.'

Under the draft regulations the GMC will also be handed the power to force early revalidation on doctors where risks to patient safety have been identified.

The GMC said the ability to ‘vary the revalidation period' could also be used to bring forward revalidation dates for GPs who wish to be revalidated before taking a break from practice. The three month notice period would still apply.

The GMC launched its revalidation consultation was launched alongside a consultation on CPD guidance with the regulator. In poll findings included in the CPD consultation paper 72% of doctors said they were able to access appropriate learning but the GMC raised concerns that doctors in rural areas struggle to access CPD and warned that ‘many doctors…had to arrange and pay for CPD out of their own pocket and on their own time', particularly locums.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘We hope that these consultations will shape the best possible systems to support every doctor's professional development.

‘The priority for us is making sure that our guidance on CPD and regulations on revalidation are flexible and straightforward enough to improve patient care and work well for every doctor.'