BMA warns revalidation plans are 'expensive and disproportionate'

The BMA has lambasted the GMC's current proposals for revalidation.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson: 'very pleased' with the BMA response (Photograph: Rob Clayton)
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson: 'very pleased' with the BMA response (Photograph: Rob Clayton)

Members told the association the plans feel ‘threatening and disproportionate.'

The doctors' union has distanced itself absolutely from the current plans but says that it supports the principle of revalidation.

Current plans describe ‘excellence as a doctor' rather than what is needed to maintain registration, the BMA says in its response to the GMC's consultation document Revalidation: The way ahead.

The failure to cost the plans is ‘fundamental', the BMA says. The proposals will be expensive and ‘in the current financial climate' costs risk falling fall on individual doctors.

‘If appropriate resources cannot be clearly identified, the content and complexity of the revalidation process will have to be scaled back accordingly or, in the worst case, abandoned.'

The plans risk pre-empting the outcomes of pilots and should only be introduced after the trials have finished, been evaluated and led to ‘workable proposals'.

‘The current revalidation model appears disproportionate and may turn out to be far too expensive and complicated a means of protecting patients from a tiny minority of unsafe doctors,' the BMA says.

The association says that recertification standards are too complex and unrealistic. Plans for Responsible Officers risk ‘serious and multiple' conflicts of interest, it adds.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said he was 'very pleased' with the BMA response.

'The BMA's commitment to the principle of revalidation is clear, and throughout the course of their response document they agree with numerous proposals that they "consider to be sensible and workable". Overall they welcome our proposals .

'We have to get the model right but revalidation is the way forward,' he added.

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