BMA backs GMC commitment to reduce burden of revalidation on doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today published its plan on how it will implement Sir Keith Pearson’s recommendations for the next steps of taking revalidation processes forward.

Revalidation is the process by which doctors regularly demonstrate that they are up to date with modern techniques and practices. Sir Keith had previously made a number of recommendations to work with patient groups to make revalidation processes more transparent and accessible for patients, as well as setting an earlier revalidation date for newly licensed doctors.

And today, the GMC has confirmed that these points will be acted on as it released its ‘Taking Revalidation Forward Action Plan’ document outlining its next steps for implementing the recommendations.

By March 2018,  the GMC stated that it would develop materials to explain revalidation to patients and the public, and also update guidance for doctors on what they need to do for their revalidation to reduce the burden it placed on medical professionals.

In addition, the regulator will look to develop a proportionate way to monitor revalidation on an ongoing basis, to make sure it continues to meet its objectives.

The GMC will also collaborate with the CQC and NHS England to reduce regulatory burdens on doctors and providers with regards to revalidation.

Doctors group the British Medical Association (BMA) said it agreed with the principle of revalidation, and that the GMC was right to take action on Sir Keith’s recommendation.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “We see this action plan as an opportunity to reduce the burden that revalidation imposes on doctors.

“In particular, we want to see implementation of the recommendation from Sir Keith Pearson’s review that local organisations should not use revalidation as a lever to achieve objectives beyond the GMC’s revalidation requirements.”

Dr Nagpaul added that the association agreed with Sir Keith that doctors should be able to challenge decisions they feel are unfair.

“We will continue to press the GMC and other bodies about the actions needed to relieve the unnecessary burden that revalidation can sometimes place on doctors, in order to ensure the process delivers for patients, doctors and the NHS,” he concluded.

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