GMC to be stripped of power to adjudicate

The GMC's regulatory powers will be cut back and its membership radically overhauled under the CMO's plans.

In a report last week, Sir Liam Donaldson said that members of the council should be appointed independently by the Public Appointments Commission rather than be elected by doctors.

The organisation should be accountable to parliament and produce an annual report, opening it to public and parliamentary scrutiny, he said.

Under the plans, the GMC will be responsible for investigating and assessing serious fitness-to-practise cases, but independent panels comprising legal, medical and lay representatives will conduct adjudication.

Responsibility for setting the curriculum for medical students will pass to the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB).

Practising healthcare professionals trained by the GMC will be appointed as local 'affiliates' who will deal with all but the most contentious cases. Each affiliate will be paired with a trained member of the public.

Affiliates will be able to deal with low-level fitness-to-practise cases and add 'recorded concerns' to a doctor's record.

Standards for generic medical practice will be set by the GMC in association with the PMETB.


  • Revalidation in two parts.
  • Relicensing depends on performance in toughened-up appraisal and local complaints.
  • Recertification if GP passes knowledge tests, and undergoes clinical audit and observation of practice.
  • GPs must prove competence every five years.
  • Suspension and retraining in the event of failure.

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