Good Doctors, Safer Patients
On 14 July 2006, Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, published his report on the regulation of medical professionals, Good Doctors, Safer Patients. This report followed the final results from the Shipman Inquiry and lays out a series of proposals to strengthen the regulation of doctors in order to protect the safety of patients. The report concludes with forty-four recommendations that form the basis of the subsequent White Paper: Trust, Assurance and Safety.
The Royal College of Surgeons of England responded to the Healthcare Professional Regulation Consultation about the report. The College was broadly supportive of the proposals, but stresses that to achieve effective implementation many of the reforms will need to be properly piloted and tested, with realistic timeframes and funding.
In February 2007 the government published a White Paper: Trust, Assurance and Safety - The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century.
The White Paper set out a series of recommendations for the regulation of the medical profession, based on the recommendations in the Chief Medical Officer's report: Good doctors, safer patients. The College produced a Summary of the White Paper.
The White Paper set out proposals for the introduction of a system of revalidation of medical professionals.
Tackling concerns at a local level
The White Paper included proposals to establish more effective mechanisms to resolve problems at a local level, through strengthening the role of medical directors and introducing a new system of GMC Affiliates operating at regional level and national level in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The White Paper proposed changes to the system of appraisal within the NHS in England, as part of the proposed revalidation process.
Following the publication of the White Paper the Chief Medical Officer for England set up a working party to discuss the principles and challenges of implementing revalidation. The working party published their report Medical Revalidation – Principles and Next Steps in July 2008.
The College submitted a response to the CMOs report which broadly welcomed the proposals but identified particular concerns with the involvement of the College within the process.
The GMC consulted on revalidation from 01 March 2010 until 4 June 2010. The consultation covered four themes:
- How revalidation will work
- What doctors and employers need to do
- How patients will be involved
- How and when revalidation will be introduced
The GMC has published the response to the consultation.