Exclusive: GMC chief warns against cut-price revalidation

Abandoning revalidation because of financial difficulties would be the wrong thing to do and a step backward for the profession, the chief executive of the GMC has warned.

Mr Dickson: embrace equality
Mr Dickson: embrace equality

In an exclusive interview with GP newspaper, Niall Dickson said he believed the system was safe despite funding concerns.

Senior DoH and RCGP figures suggested last year that the credit crunch could put the roll-out of revalidation at risk (GP, 13 November 2009).

Mr Dickson admitted financial problems are providing the 'temptation' to say revalidation is too costly or too difficult.

But he said: 'My response is, if we use the fact that there are squeezes on budgets to remove something that ensures quality of care, that is a bad thing to do.

'This is the time to embrace the quality agenda. This is the wrong time to move in the opposite direction, which I think an abandonment of revalidation would mean.

'This is not about ticking boxes. Are we or are we not committed to having good clinical governance in place?' he added.

Mr Dickson also warned that revalidation should not be watered down because of financial constraints.

'Would we move to a situation where doctors have a five-minute chat with an appraiser?' he asked. 'No, because that would be a waste of time and money.

'We have to have something that actually works and provides a level of assurance.'

Mr Dickson said there was 'absolute commitment' from political parties, the GMC and its partners to take revalidation forward.

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