The GMC has met all of our 24 Standards of Good Regulation this year.
Guidance and standards: stakeholder views/experiences are taken into account
The GMC conducted several public consultations on new or revised guidance, including on the duty of candour, cosmetic procedures and confidentiality. It also published advice on topical issues, for example, responding to cases of female genital mutilation and how doctors can support transgender patients. The GMC revised wording of its guidance for supporting transgender patients following feedback from the British Medical Association (BMA) demonstrating its engagement with stakeholders when developing its guidance and standards.
Education and training: patient/service-user safety is prioritised
The Standards the GMC uses to approve postgraduate medical education curricula and programmes of assessment are now over 10 years old, so the GMC has started a project to review them and make sure that they are up-to-date and take account of the latest developments in postgraduate training and assessment. As part of this project, the GMC has already engaged with various stakeholders; identified areas of concern from its own internal review of postgraduate medical curricula; and commissioned expert advice. It also held a public consultation on the new draft Standards which closed in October 2016.
Registration: everyone can easily access information about registrants
Since 30 January 2016 more information is now available on its online register. This reflects the GMC’s research findings into what national and international regulators make available, the public interest and the changes made in the GMC’s functions. A further consultation on additional proposed changes to the register closed in October 2016.
Registration: the process is fair, efficient, transparent, secure and continuously improving
The GMC has worked with experts and partners to develop a model for the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). The MLA will aim to reduce variation and inconsistency by introducing a common threshold for safe practice that those seeking entry to the UK medical register would have to meet. The GMC has visited all of the UK medical schools to discuss its proposals, met with the UK’s four Governments, held a series of workshops with GMC associates and other experts, and met with key stakeholders. In the model developed for consultation, applicants would be assessed on their applied knowledge and clinical and professional skills. The GMC plans to investigate, test and pilot the MLA between 2018 and 2021, and expects full implementation from 2022.
Fitness to practise: cases are dealt with as quickly as possible and any delays do not result in harm/potential harm
We were concerned last year about the overall length of time taken to conclude cases from the receipt of a complaint to the final fitness to practise hearing decision. As the overall timeframe increased this year, we decided to carry out a targeted review. We remain concerned about the GMC’s overall fitness to practise timeframe but have accepted its explanation that the increase in the timeframe has been a result of it closing increased numbers of older cases. On the basis that greater numbers of its older cases are being concluded, there have been significant reductions in timescales for dealing with less complex cases and satisfaction that the GMC is taking active steps to progress and monitor cases, we have decided the GMC has met this Standard.