Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors lose power to regulate their profession

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 22 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:389
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The General Medical Council will lose the right to decide whether doctors' misconduct makes them unfit to practise in the biggest shake-up of medical regulation in the United Kingdom for 100 years.

    The GMC will continue to set standards and investigate allegations of serious misconduct by doctors, but the right to adjudicate will pass to a separate body, probably an independent tribunal with legal, lay, and medical members.

    The reform is outlined in a white paper on the regulation of doctors issued this week by the Department of Health. The paper envisages a smaller GMC, with equal numbers of lay and medical members, ending the era of professionally led regulation. Members of the GMC and the other health professions' regulatory councils will be independently appointed by the Appointments Commission “to dispel the perception that councils are overly sympathetic to the professionals they regulate.”

    The GMC will have statutory responsibility for the oversight of education. GMC boards will cover undergraduate education and continuing professional development, and …

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