For GPs this means the primary care organisation that manages the performers list: a PCT in England, a health board in Scotland and Wales and a health and social care board in Northern Ireland.
The Make Your Connection campaign, due to last all year, was launched yesterday and will also contact the 16,000 doctors who have a non-UK registered address.
So far, the GMC has information on the designated bodies of 200,000 doctors and aims to get the ‘revalidation process’ underway by the end of the year. Its chief executive Niall Dickson said this does not mean doctors will be revalidated by the end of the year, adding: ‘We never intended this to be a big bang.’
Doctors are reminded they do not need to do anything until the GMC sends them an information pack through the post. Once this is received doctors will then have need to confirm their designated body on the GMC website.
Mr Dickson said: ‘The Make Your Connection campaign marks the start of an important next phase as we prepare to deliver revalidation. For most doctors, the organisation in which they spend most or all of their practice is most likely to be the organisation that will provide them with their regular appraisal and will therefore help them to revalidate.’
If a doctor believes they don’t have a designated body, the GMC will advise them on this later in the year. Reminder phases are also planned as part of the campaign.
There are 719 designated bodies across the UK which includes NHS bodies, independent sector providers, the Independent Doctors’ Federation, three faculties, postgraduate deaneries, the armed forces and 51 locum agencies.
Every designated body has a responsible officer (RO) who will make a recommendation to the GMC, usually every five years, that each doctor is up to date, fit to practise and should be revalidated. ROs are due to confirm their lists of doctors over the summer.
GMC chairman Professor Peter Rubin said revalidation will not be a complicated process. He added: ‘What we are talking about is not rocket science. It is all very simple stuff. One thing that is clear as a doctor and also going out and meeting doctors is that this doesn’t need to be complicated.
‘It will be, if anything, a little different from what they are doing now. For them it won’t be a big step into the unknown.
‘We are very positive. And we think we are now in a stable place because of the piloting.’
At the time of going to press a GMC spokeswoman was unable to reveal how much the campaign was due to cost.