General Medical Council
Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice
18 Dec 2012
Professor Sir Peter Rubin, Chair of the General Medical Council (GMC), became the first doctor to revalidate today.
Speaking of his revalidation, Professor Rubin, who is a Consultant Physician and Professor of Therapeutics at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
‘I am delighted to be the first doctor in the UK to revalidate. This is the biggest change to medical regulation since the GMC was established in 1858 and change always brings some uncertainty to those it affects.
'However, to my medical colleagues I’d say that in this age of transparency our patients will expect nothing less. I’ve had a number of patient and colleague feedbacks over the last few years and they’ve been helpful – partly in reaffirming all the things I do well and also in identifying what I can do better; none of us is perfect. For the vast majority of doctors, revalidation will be about improving still further their high standards of practice.’
Revalidation – a new system of checks on doctors - is run by the General Medical Council (GMC) and means the UK's 230,000 licensed doctors are now legally required to show they are keeping up to date and are fit to practise.
The decision to revalidate Professor Rubin’s licence was made following a positive recommendation from his responsible officer to the GMC. Responsible officers can make a positive recommendation when they are satisfied that the doctor is participating in an annual appraisal process based on the GMC's core guidance, Good Medical Practice, has collected and reflected on the supporting information required by the GMC, including feedback from patients and colleagues and that there are no concerns about the doctor's fitness to practise.
The UK is the first country in the world to introduce such a system across its whole healthcare system, covering GPs, hospital doctors, locums and those working in the independent sector. To keep their licence to practise, doctors will be required to revalidate on a regular basis, usually every five years.
Professor Sir Peter Rubin graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery qualification from Oxford University in 1974 and became fully registered with the GMC in 1975. He entered the specialist register in 1996 with general internal medicine and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics listed as his specialties.
The GMC wrote to 13,000 doctors on 3 December, telling them when they will revalidate. The rest of the UK’s licensed doctors will be written to by the end of January 2013.
Based on plans developed by the four UK countries, we expect to revalidate:
The General Medical Council is the independent regulator of the UK's 250,000 doctors.
Our job is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.
We do this by managing entry to the medical register and setting the educational standards for all UK doctors through medical schools and postgraduate education and training. We also determine the principles and values that underpin good medical practice and we take firm but fair action where those standards have not been met. This role and the powers to do it are given to us by Parliament through the 1983 Medical Act.
We are not here to protect the medical profession - their interests are protected by others. Our job is to protect patients. We are independent of government and the profession and accountable to Parliament.
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