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GMC and BMA disagree over revalidation roll-out

By Gareth Iacobucci

The General Medical Council and the British Medical Association are at loggerheads over which areas should be first to rollout revalidation.

The GMC want revalidation to be rolled out wherever local systems are ready and the BMA wants to focus on areas with the most problems.

GMC chair Professor Peter Rubin said the Council would take careful heed of the BMA's ‘perfectly rational' view, which is expected to form part of its response to the GMCs consultation on revalidation, which closes on June 4.

‘There was much with which we agreed. The main area of disagreement is about where we start,' he said.

‘We are of the view that we should start where the systems are ready, incrementally. The BMA say we should start where we believe there are more problems.'

News of the divergence in opinion came as the GMC published new figures showing that the number of doctors appearing before fitness-to-practise panels increased by a third in the past year, suggesting that the screw is being tightened on GPs' performance ahead of revalidation.

The figures show that there were 270 Fitness to Practise hearings in 2009, compared with 204 in 2008.

There has also been a surge in the number of doctors being struck off at fitness to practise panel hearings, with 68 doctors erased in 2009 compared to 42 in 2008.

GMC chair Professor Peter Rubin