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GP Specialist Register proposals

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive and Registrar of the GMC, said:

‘Since 2004 the GP Register and (since 1997) the Specialist Register have provided assurance to patients, employers and the profession that a doctor has achieved the standards, knowledge and skills required to practise safely at a senior level.

‘GPs make a huge and vital contribution to healthcare in the UK, providing expert care and treatment to millions of patients every year. We accept the recent arguments made by the BMA and RCGP that a single advanced register – for both specialists and GPs – would make this expertise much clearer. Making such a change would support our work to make the entire medical register more helpful and informative for the millions of patients, employers and doctors who use it every year.

‘Expanding the Specialist Register to include General Practice would however require the UK Parliament to update the Medical Act, the piece of legislation which determines our powers and the scope of the medical register, and the decision to make such a change rests with the four UK governments. We have told the BMA and RCGP that we would positively consider a request from all four to explore and develop this proposal further – perhaps as part of the wider reforms to the regulation of UK health care professionals which we expect the Department of Health to consult on shortly in partnership with the devolved administrations.’