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Friday, 28 July 2006 09:52
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Former president urges GMC remodelling
Sir Donald Irvine a former president of the General Medical Council (GMC) has said it should be disbanded and re-formed because it needs a "convincing fresh start".

Sir Donald Irvine said a line must be drawn following the recent criticisms of the doctors' regulatory body.

Chief Medical Officer for England Sir Liam Donaldson proposes an independent tribunal judges serious complaint.

He suggested the GMC should also be accountable to parliament and face annual questioning.

Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Sir Donald backs the proposals.

But he added: "The recent criticisms of the current GMC will make it virtually impossible for it to make the cultural transformation needed with confidence and conviction, even if it wanted to.

"So a line needs to be drawn. The current council needs to be disbanded and its successor re-formed with members, medical and lay, who can give it a convincing fresh start”.

A government review suggests the General Medical Council be stripped of its powers to adjudicate over doctors.

The plans, which will go out for consultation until the end of November, suggests the GMC investigates complaints but does not make a final decision on guilt or whether further action should be taken.

Doctors will also face regular MoT-style checks to ensure they are fit to work.

Sir Donald said he agreed with Sir Liam that "there is no easy way of defining all high-risk groups in medicine" and "lighter touch regulation would mean that some ongoing risk to patients would have to be accepted by society".

But added: "The strategy is not compatible with the concept of a guarantee to the public of a good doctor for all."

The public must be fully informed as "patients, not doctors, who may be killed or injured by poor doctoring," he said.
   


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