GMC says new rules will speed up hearings

The GMC has introduced a new set of rules that it claims will speed up fitness to practise hearings.

GMC: new rules will mean quicker hearings
GMC: new rules will mean quicker hearings

Most of the 15 changes, which include removing the need to read out written allegations at the start of a hearing, come into effect today.

The regulator said it has also improved arrangements for witnesses to submit evidence by video or telephone. It said witnesses will now be told in advance if they need to give evidence in person.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘We are determined to create a modern, efficient and fair system which protects patients but does not get bogged down in outdated, unnecessary and time consuming procedures.

‘These new rules will help us to deliver a quicker, simpler and less stressful system for doctors, complainants and witnesses. There is more to do but this is another significant milestone in our reform programme.’

Two further changes, which the GMC was unable to confirm at this time, will come into effect on 5 June and 3 July.

Last month, Mr Dickson said that the GMC was receiving a ‘year on year’ increase in complaints about doctors.

He said the regulator was investigating the reasons behind this, but that there was no evidence that this was due to decreasing standards of patient care.

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