Health Secretary formally opens GMC assessment centre

Health Secretary Sajid Javid visited the General Medical Council (GMC) offices in central Manchester to formally open its temporary Clinical Assessment Centre.

He was given a tour of the facility, which is used to assess the skills of overseas-qualified doctors who want to work in the UK, while in Manchester for the Conservative Party Conference.

The temporary centre, at the GMC’s 3 Hardman Street base in Spinningfields, began operating earlier this year. It was set up was to complement the GMC’s existing Manchester test centre, bringing the regulator’s overall testing capacity back to pre-Covid levels.

Doctors who qualified outside the UK and EEA attend the centre for a rigorous practical skills test. They must pass the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) exam before they are able to join the medical register and get a licence to practise medicine in the UK.

Sajid Javid had a hands-on tour of the test circuit, meeting GMC staff, examiners and role players who act as patients during the exams. He also met the GMC’s acting Chair, Professor Dame Carrie MacEwen, and Chief Executive Charlie Massey.