The General Medical Council (GMC) has confirmed it “remains on track” to introduce revalidation in late 2012, despite MP fears of delays.
In July last year, the Health Select Committee urged the regulator to “accelerate its work” with medical royal colleges as it feared the “considerable amount of work left to do” could impede the GMC’s ability to implement revalidation during the proposed time frame.
“The GMC clearly has a considerable amount of work to undertake between now and the implementation of revalidation in 2012,” said the committee.
“Although we agree that all disciplines will not have developed their standards to an advanced level by that date, the GMC needs to accelerate its work with the medical royal colleges to further refine the standards for revalidation in specialist areas and to ensure that the process is meaningful to clinicians and transparent to the public.”
In response, the GMC said revalidation “remains the regulator’s number one priority” and it is “determined and on track” to introduce a revalidation system by late 2012.
The committee’s report Annual accountability hearings: responses and further issues 2010 – 2012 has called upon the GMC to give “early and public notice if it concludes that delivery of this [revalidation] timetable is at risk” in light of its importance to the quality of patient care.
MPs also criticised the GMC’s systems of appraisal and revalidation as they claim only a minority of the responsible officers tasked with making recommendations about revalidating doctors feel that the process will help with the early identification of doctors with performance issues.
The GMC argued that training programmes will better equip responsible officers on how to identify performance concerns.
“We welcome the committee’s report and their continued strong support for our work on revalidation,” said Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the GMC.
“We share the committee’s commitment to delivering revalidation; patients expect it and we remain on track to introduce it later this year.”