A review of the List of Registered Medical Practitioners

What were the key findings?

  • The LRMP offers limited information compared with some other jurisdictions.

  • Most stakeholders are keen to see it offer a greater range of information. But although there was a consensus on what some of that extra information should be, there's mixed views and a need for more discussion on other areas.

  • Some stakeholders find the site difficult to use and think the navigation and search function could be improved.

  • While the majority of current users are professional stakeholders. For example doctors, employers and educators. And the register meets many of their needs. It needs to carry more information to meet the needs of patients and the public.

  • The online register has not kept pace with the recent expansion of the GMC's functions. For example, postgraduate education and revalidation).

Why did we commission this research?

The list of registered doctors was first printed in a hard back book in 1859. It is now published online as the List of Medical Registered Practitioners (LRMP). The LRMP is the only up-to-date, public database of all doctors eligible to practise in the UK.

The register today is very similar to the register in 1859. It only provides basic information on doctors. But we know that more and more people are seeking information on doctors. Last year, there were over seven million searches of the online register. This is double the amount of searches compared to this time last year.

Our regulatory functions have also expanded with the introduction of revalidation and responsibility for quality assurance of post graduate education. This means that we hold much more information on doctors.

Exploring how we can make the register more useful and accessible is one our commitments. The findings from this research will help us understand:

  • who uses the online register
  • what we can learn from other registers
  • how it can be made more accessible, relevant and useful for our stakeholders.

What did the research involve?

The research involved:

  • a survey of over 3,000 users of the LRMP
  • two rapid evidence reviews
  • a survey of international regulators
  • interviews with experts and focus groups
  • interviews with patients and the public, doctors, employers and educators.

The findings based on qualitative research, explore the range of views rather than to be representative in a quantitative sense.

Read the report

Full report of our review of the List of Registered Medical Practitioners options for development

Summary report of our review of the List of Registered Medical Practitioners options for development