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Health Committee's Report on the General Medical Council (Government Response)

Volume 559: debated on Monday 25 February 2013

We have today laid before Parliament the “Government response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee’s report of Session 2012-13: 2012 accountability hearing with the General Medical Council” (Cm 8520).

This Government welcome the Health Select Committee recommendations contained in this report, and would like to thank the Committee for its work.

The Government’s Command Paper, “Enabling Excellence” (Cm 8008), published in February 2011, sets out a comprehensive strategy for ensuring that professional regulation systems are robust and made it clear that the Government would like to see more effective accountability for the health professions regulatory bodies. We have taken forward the recommendations made in this report and its predecessor and the changes to the Responsible Officer regulations, subject to parliamentary approval, will be introduced in April 2013. The Government plan to consult on giving new powers to the General Medical Council to check the language skills of all doctors, through amendment to the Medical Act.

It is right that the independent bodies responsible for ensuring public protection through the regulation of healthcare professionals are held to account effectively by Parliament.

Copies of the Government’s response are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office. The report is also available at: www.dh.gov.uk/health/2013/02/hsc-response/.