Oct 19 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
DOCTORS’ skills are to be reassessed every year to ensure they are fit to practise, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.
At present, doctors can go for their entire career without facing any formal assessment of their competency.
But from December this year, doctors will be assessed to see if they are fit to stay on the medical register, Mr Hunt said.
The General Medical Council (GMC) said the move was the “biggest change” in medical regulation for 150 years.
The new system will mean that problems with doctors are flagged earlier, the GMC said.
The assessment will take the form of an annual appraisal and a more comprehensive meeting every five years.
Doctors will be expected to demonstrate they meet clinical standards and have kept up to speed with the latest developments in their field. Appraisals will include feedback from patients and colleagues.
Mr Hunt said: “We want to have the best survival rates in Europe for the major killer diseases.
“Doctors save lives every day and making sure they are up to speed with the latest treatments and technologies will help them save even more. This is why a proper system of revalidation is so important.”
All doctors in the UK with a licence to practise will be linked to a “designated body” which will be responsible for conducting the appraisal.
Every five years a “responsible officer” – who is in charge of the appraisals – will send a recommendation to the GMC on whether each doctor should be revalidated.