GMC president Professor Sir Graeme Catto revealed that the scheme would be introduced in the PCOs that have the most information on the clinicians at work in the area.
Reporting on the progress of revalidation, the GMC recommended it should be more ‘interventionist’ where trusts’ information on doctors is ‘weak or non-existent’.
Colleague and patient questionnaires will be developed to revalidate in such areas.
The revalidation scheme was originally intended to be rolled out sequentially, allocating doctors with a random number to spread the workload out.
The GMC has now agreed to ‘start revalidation where local systems of appraisal and clinical governance are well developed’.
Sir Graeme said: ‘We need some knowledge of what doctors are doing at a local level from trusts, and we need access to that information.
‘Some trusts have got systems of robust clinical governance set up. Information about individual practitioners may be more readily available. We will identify these areas and introduce relicencing and revalidation,’ he added.
Meanwhile, GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey was sceptical of the plan, saying that it might not be workable for a whole area to licence at once.
‘It depends on the finalised arrangement. It seems like common sense to stagger it, but I suppose most people realise their time will come eventually,’ he said.
The GMC is aiming to begin issuing licences by the end of 2008.
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