GMC gives approval for revalidation to start this year

GMC chairman Professor Sir Peter Rubin is writing to the health secretary for England to recommend the roll-out of revalidation across the UK.

Professor Rubin: writing to Jeremy Hunt
Professor Rubin: writing to Jeremy Hunt

'This is a truly historic moment,' he said at a press briefing following a GMC Council meeting yesterday.

‘Council has given its approval to my writing to the health secretary to recommend that he commences the legislation so that revalidation can begin,' he said.

Following the GMC’s letter, revalidation can begin in December this year, provided it receives the go ahead from health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who will approve revalidation across the UK.

The GMC's letter  follows a recommendation from the UK's Revalidation Programme Board (UKRPB), which wrote to Professor Sir Rubin to confirm that all four countries were ready to support the introduction of revalidation later this year.

The GMC said it would expect the health secretary to reply within the next few weeks.

Between December 2012 and March 2013 it is expected that responsible officers - the doctors responsible for making revalidation recommendations locally – and other medical leaders will go through the revalidation process.

Between April 2013 and March 2014 it is expected that 20% of doctors on the GMC register will be revalidated.

The rest of the medical workforce will then be revalidated in the following five years, with the majority of doctors being revalidated by the end of March 2016.

How doctors will be allocated their revalidation date will be decided locally.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson admitted that the revalidation process wasn’t ‘perfect’. But, he said: ‘We’re confident that it will work well enough to begin with.’

He went on to admit that there was still work to be done around locums gathering multi-source feedback from colleagues, a vital part of appraisal.

Last week the BMA gave its approval for revalidation, after it was revealed that the NHS Commissioning Board would fund remediation for GPs in England. Elsewhere in the UK funding for remediation has yet to be agreed.

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