Responding to warnings from the BMA, GMC chairman Professor Peter Rubin said that all four UK countries would be ready to begin revalidation by the end of the year.
In a letter to BMA Scotland chairman Dr Brian Keighley, Professor Rubin said: ‘We are absolutely committed to the introduction of revalidation and to ensuring that all four countries in the UK and are ready to support its implementation.’
He also addressed concerns about multi-source feedback (MSF) questionnaires, and advice that GPs should gain feedback from 15 colleagues and 35 patients - something the GPC has said is impractical.
Responding to criticisms in a letter from BMA Northern Ireland chairman Dr Paul Darragh, Professor Rubin argued that many doctors were already participating in a similar process.
‘As you mention, although colleague and patient feedback systems are not yet in place widely across designated bodies in Northern Ireland, there are some doctors in some organisations who have already participated in processes involving feedback from patients or colleagues, or both. This is a good start.’
Professor Rubin also likened MSF to information gathered for the QOF, in the letter to Dr Keighley.
He wrote: ‘There are many doctors across all four countries and in both primary and secondary care who regularly seek feedback from patients and colleagues and are very familiar and comfortable with the process.
‘Indeed patient feedback through the QOF is something that many GPs are very familiar and comfortable with,’ he said.
Professor Rubin argued that MSF was not designed to be a ‘judgmental tool’ but was intended to provide doctors with information about their practice.
‘We see this kind of feedback as simply another development and we think being prescriptive in relation to particular tools is not helpful or necessary,’ he said.