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Nearly 8,000 doctors face being struck off

GMC says doctors who refuse to provide information on revalidation are at risk

Mark Gould

Friday, 27 September 2013

Nearly 8,000 doctors face having their licence to practise removed because they have failed to respond to repeated GMC requests to provide information concerning their revalidation.

The GMC wrote to 54,000 doctors last year as part of its Make Your Connection campaign, asking them to confirm their designated body - the organisation that will help them to revalidate.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: "Some 7,818 doctors who have not yet responded will receive a final notice letter this week, advising them that they have 28 days to either confirm their designated body or tell the GMC they do not have one. If they fail to respond the GMC will have to take steps to remove their licence to practise."

Doctors have a duty under the GMC’s Licence to Practise and Revalidation Regulations to provide information to support their revalidation and the GMC says it has written to these doctors several times asking them to get in touch - most recently in January 2013, when all doctors were given their revalidation date.

Over 50% of the doctors written to have overseas addresses and almost 15% are over the age of 65, which may mean they are not currently working in the UK.

Doctors who are no longer practising in the UK can retain registration with the GMC but do not require a licence to practise, however if they wish to keep their licence they must revalidate.

BMA council GMC working party chair Brian Keighley said the GMC had been publicising the need for doctors to get in touch about their designated bodies for some time.

He acknowledged that some doctors might not have been in contact because they were unwell or abroad but he insisted: "It is clear that this issue will not go away. The BMA supports these efforts and would urge all doctors who have not yet contacted the GMC to do so urgently lest their licence to practise is put at risk."

Mr Dickson, said that in general revalidation has started well with more than 18,500 doctors revalidated. He said: "We know that doctors are busy and some may have found it difficult to come back to us with the information we have asked for. We also know that many of the doctors who have not responded are working overseas or have retired so may have chosen not to respond.

"For those doctors who want to keep practising in the UK, they must get back to us so we can help them with their revalidation. We have a dedicated team ready and waiting to help - all they need to do is call us."

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