My honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Ben Bradshaw ) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
A consultation paper has been issued which asks for comments and views on a draft Section 60 order which makes a number of changes to the Medical Act 1983 and to the General and Specialist Medical Practice (Education, Training and Qualifications) Order 2003. The changes proposed in the draft order would implement two of the reforms set out in the White Paper: Trust Assurance and Safety—The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century. The draft order also provides an additional route to the specialist register for NHS consultants. All amendments relate to the functions of the General Medical Council (GMC).
The changes will take place under an order made under Section 60 of the Health Act 1999. That section provides for the amendment of Acts of Parliament and secondary legislation related to the regulation of healthcare professions, by means of an Order in Council subject to affirmative resolution parliamentary procedures.
Matters relating to these amendments are reserved to the UK Parliament. The draft order will cover three reforms as follows:
The transfer of the statutory functions of oversight of medical education from the Education Committee of the GMC to the Council of the GMC with amendments to the Medical Act 1983 to give effect to that transfer.
Licence to Practise and Revalidation
The Medical Act 1983 (Amendment) Order 2002 put in Part 3A of the Medical Act. However Part 3A of the Medical Act has not yet been fully brought into force. Part 3A provides for the GMC to make regulations for the issue and withdrawal of licences to practise and for the revalidation of medical practitioners. This Section 60 order would amend provisions relating to revalidation in the 1983 Medical Act to put in place a legislative framework that will support the commencement of revalidation, including the early piloting of the revalidation process. The provisions relating to licences to practise will then be commenced allowing the GMC to begin to issue such licences and enabling revalidation pilots to commence.
Amendments to the General and Specialist Medical Practice (Education, Training and Qualifications) Order 2003 to allow the GMC to provide a mechanism to enable consultants who did not apply for inclusion in the specialist register at the time it was established to make a late application to the GMC. This will reinstate the powers the GMC previously had prior to September 2005.
This is an open consultation and we welcome all views and comments.
The document has been placed in the Library and copies are available to honourable Members from the Vote Office. It can also be seen at www.dh.gov.uk/Consultations/liveconsultations/fs/en. Responses can be submitted via the website, or by email to Professionalregulations2@dh.gsi.gov.uk.
Responses may also be sent to: Consultation on the Medical Profession (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2008, Department of Health, Room 2N12, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UE.