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Revalidation roll out confirmed

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has given the go ahead to revalidation and has confirmed that roll out will begin in December 2012.

Every doctor practising in the UK will be subject to the regular checks and the new system will be run by the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC will start to tell doctors their first revalidation dates in December and expects most doctors to have revalidated by March 2016. The new system will be based on an annual appraisal and the information doctors will collect about their practice, including feedback from patients, doctors, nurses and other colleagues.

Announcing the scheme, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said: “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.”

Professor Sir Peter Rubin, Chair of the GMC, said: “This is an historic day for patients and for the medical profession. We are confident that the introduction of revalidation will make a major contribution to the quality of care that patients receive and will give them valuable assurance that the doctors who treat them are regularly assessed against our professional standards.”

The British Medical Association (BMA) has also welcomed the decision to proceed with revalidation. BMA Council Chair Dr Mark Porter said: “The BMA has always supported the principle of revalidation – we believe it is important that our patients have confidence that doctors have up-to-date skills and knowledge to be able to offer them the best possible care.“

However, Dr Porter added a caveat: “There is too much bureaucracy in the NHS and so we have to be careful that revalidation does not add to this unnecessarily. The system soon to be rolled out is much better to the one initially put forward. But we still need to ensure consistency across the UK. It is essential that revalidation is reviewed every step of way so that we can be sure that the system works for patients and for doctors.”

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