Annual assessments for doctors23rd July 2008
Doctors are set to be reviewed on a five-year basis under what is being seen as the biggest change to their regulation in 150 years.
It follows the government’s commitment last year to introduce a system of re-licensing doctors and consultants to test their basic competence as a medic.
The plan for the five-year MOTs for the UK’s 150,000 doctors will be drawn up and consulted upon and pilot schemes introduced over the next 18 months.
Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said there will be two strands to the revalidation process: re-licensing, which will apply to all doctors based on a strengthened annual appraisal process in which patients are likely to have an input; and recertification for the most senior doctors.
The plans are contained in Sir Liam's report, Medical Revalidation: Principle and Next Steps.
He said: "At the moment, we rely on trust - and that is right - but we want to underpin that with more objective evidence."
There have been calls for greater monitoring following the Harold Shipman murders where the GP murdered more than 200 people over a 23-year period.
British Medical Association chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum pointed out that doctors supported the idea in principle and already had an annual appraisal but said the new system would take this a stage further.
He said that it was important for patients to see that doctors were being assessed but that the new system should not become too much of a burden and take them away from their patients.
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