Relicensing roll-out to be based on PCOs

Relicensing will be rolled out first in primary care organisations (PCOs) that have the most information on their clinicians, the GMC has announced.

GMC president Professor Sir Graeme Catto revealed that the scheme would be introduced in 2008 in the PCOs that had the most information on the clinicians at work in the area.

Reporting on the progress of revalidation, the GMC recommended it should be more 'inter-ventionist' where trusts' information on doctors is 'weak or non-existent'.

Colleague and patient questionnaires will be developed to revalidate in such areas.

The revalidation scheme was originally intended to be rolled out sequentially, allocating doctors with a random number to spread the workload out.

The GMC has now agreed to 'start revalidation where local systems of appraisal and clinical governance are developed'.

Sir Graeme said: 'Some trusts have got systems of robust clinical governance set up. Information about individual practitioners may be more readily available. We will identify these areas and introduce relicensing and revalidation.'

Meanwhile, GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey was sceptical of the plan, saying that it might not be workable for a whole area to license at once.

'It depends on the finalised arrangement. It's common sense to stagger it, but I suppose most people realise their time will come eventually,' he said.

The GMC is aiming to begin issuing licences by the end of 2008.

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