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Prof Peter Rubin interview

9th June 2010

In an interview for OnMedica, GMC chair Professor Peter Rubin responded to questions from OnMedica members.

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The issue of revalidation was a subject a number of OnMedica members sought to raise with Professor Rubin.

He said that he, like the BMA, was “very committed to revalidation being workable at the front line” and the desire was for it to be as “simple and straightforward as possible” with the appraisal element being a reflective process.

Answering concerns that a robust evidence base was lacking for revalidation, both for reducing malpractice and increasing quality of care, he said the key was a pragmatic and incremental approach.

“We want a pragmatic approach to begin with and an incremental development of the revalidation and appraisal process,” he said.

He ruled out a knowledge test for doctors and said that revalidation would be a process that “looks at how the doctor is performing in practice and one that finds out whether they are keeping up to date.”

In response to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley indicating his intension to extend the piloting period for revalidation for a further year, Professor Rubin said this was a positive affirmation that the new government was committed to revalidation.

On the issue of PCT pressure on GPs to reduce referral rates, he said the GMC position was simple: that a doctor must always act in the best interests of the patient.

Concerns were raised about patient safety and quality of care suffering as a result of budgetary cuts.

Professor Rubin said financial challenges could often be addressed by a creative approach to how an organisation was run but he stressed that despite the current economic climate and the issues raised by it, the GMC would always be there as the regulator “to ensure that high standards are maintained.”

 

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