Under revalidation, GPs and all hospital doctors will face annual appraisal by colleagues, patients and senior doctors.
Doctors must eventually hold a licence to practice which will be reviewed and re-issued every five years, known as re-licensing.
‘Responsible officers’ will be senior doctors that will keep checks on doctors in their area in behalf of the GMC.
Licences to practice will be issued to doctors gradually from January 2009. Implementation of revalidation will begin in April 2009, although detail of the standards expected from GPs is still being designed.
Appraisals will be based on the core medical standards in Good Medical Practice for General Practitioners, which the RCGP and GPC are currently developing for revalidation.
It is the first time such a system for doctors has been announced anywhere in the world.
Critics such as the Medical Protection Society have said that the extra regulation of doctors will become ‘intrusive’ and may mean GPs spend less time spent with patients.
DoH on doctor appraisals
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