Reforming regulation

GMC Statement

31 Oct 2017

Our Chief Executive, Charlie Massey, has welcomed the government's consultation on the future of regulation.

The Department of Health has launched the consultation in order to gather views on what changes need to be made to the way doctors, nurses and other healthcare professions are regulated in the UK. It is hoped that reforms will make the process of professional regulation more efficient and ultimately deliver better protection for patients.

Charlie Massey said: 'We very much welcome this consultation and the government’s recognition that the current legislation is not fit for a 21st century health service.

'As it stands the legal framework is too prescriptive and makes many of our processes slow, inflexible and heavy-handed. We have done what we can to modernise the way that we work, such as reducing the number of unnecessary investigations, but the current law is a roadblock preventing further improvements.

'What we need is legislation that allows us to be swift and efficient in carrying out or primary duty – keeping patients safe – while reducing the burden on doctors.

'We hope the government will act on their commitment and introduce legislation that is fit for purpose as soon as possible.'   

Read more about how legislative reform could help us improve the way we work.

Notes to editors

The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.

  • We decide which doctors are qualified to work here and we oversee UK medical education and training.
  • We set the standards that doctors need to follow, and make sure that they continue to meet these standards throughout their careers.
  • We take action when we believe a doctor may be putting the safety of patients, or the public's confidence in doctors, at risk.

We are not here to protect doctors - their interests are protected by others. Our job is to protect the public.

We are independent of government and the medical profession and accountable to Parliament. Our powers are given to us by Parliament through the Medical Act 1983.

We are a registered charity (number 1089278 with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and number SC037750 with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), we have to show that our aims are for public benefit.

The GMC Media Relations Office can be contacted on 020 7189 5454, email

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