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Health Select Committee Report (Revalidation of Doctors)

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 29 March 2011

I have today laid before Parliament the Government’s response (Cm 8028) to the House of Commons Health Select Committee’s report “Revalidation of Doctors: Fourth Report of Session 2010-11” which was published on 8 February 2011.

Patients and the public have the right to expect that the doctors who care for them are up to date and fit to practise. This is why this Government are supporting the work of the General Medical Council and other partners to design and properly test a proportionate and streamlined system for revalidation that is right for the profession, the health sector, patients and the public. Revalidation, if implemented sensitively and effectively, is something that will support all doctors in their innate professional desire to improve their practice still further.

We have made clear our commitment to revalidation and have pressed ahead with the responsible officer regulations which came into force on 1 January 2011. Responsible officers will play a key role in supporting doctors to improve the quality of care they provide and in ensuring that prompt action is taken to protect patients where concerns arise about the practice of individual doctors.

The Government welcome this report by the Health Select Committee. The next year of testing revalidation will help develop a clearer understanding of the costs, benefits and practicalities of implementation so that it can be paced in a way that is affordable, supports high-quality care and makes effective use of doctors’ time while providing assurance to patients and the public.

Copies of the Government’s response are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.