GMC to reform fitness-to-practise procedures

The GMC is to reform its fitness-to-practise procedures to try and reduce the proportion of doctors who end up in hearings.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson (pictured) said he wanted to find the ‘right system’ which does not put doctors through the 'public humiliation' of hearings unnecessarily.

He said: ‘It’s partly about bearing down on cost but it also because, frankly, when you reach the hearing stage everyone has lost out. There must be a better way of reaching an agreement with doctors, whilst still protecting patients.

‘We have no desire or ambition to push doctors through some sort of public humiliation in hearings if we can reach some other way of dealing with it.’

Mr Dickson said a formal document setting out firm proposals of the reforms would be out later this year. This will then be subject to consultation by the profession and patient organisations.

Meanwhile, the GMC said responses to its consultation on revalidation suggest there is strong professional and public support for the scheme.

The GMC said there was a ‘strong backing’ for many of the GMC’s proposals, which include the move to a single, more streamlined process.

A full report on the consultation, which will also include a timetable for revalidation, will be out in October, the GMC said.

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