GPs to face annual competency checks

GPs will now have to go through an annual appraisal process to determine whether they are fit to practise medicine. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said those appraisals will be reviewed every five years, at which point the General Medical Council will decide if any action needs to be taken. The aim is to gradually weed out under-performing doctors, he said.The new system will apply to every doctor, including those who come to practise in the UK from abroad. Mr Hunt said: "It is designed to pick up problems before they happen and will give doctors a chance to bring their skills up to speed. "But if they are not able to do that, the end of the road will be that they will be prevented from practising." Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, described the announcement as "an historic moment" and the "biggest change in medical regulation for more than 150 years". However he stressed that more work would need to be done. "Revalidation is not a panacea," he said. "It is not a magic bullet to guarantee that care is safe or that every doctor is perfect, it will take time to settle in, we will need to evaluate and improve the model." See original article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9619611/1000-bad-doctors-to-be-rooted-out-by-annual-competency-checks.html