Licence to practise at risk for nearly 8,000 doctors
The General Medical Council (GMC) have warned over 7,800 doctors that they have 28 days in which to provide information for their revalidation if they are to avoid their licence to practise being put at risk.
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.
The final notices, which are issued under Regulation 6(9) of the GMC’s Licence to Practise and Revalidation Regulations, require doctors to provide information which the GMC requests to assist in determining how and when to revalidate doctors.
The 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 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.
Those who have not responded to GMC requests for information need to visit GMC Online to confirm their designated body. If they do not already have an account they will need to set one up.
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of General Medical Council, said:
‘Revalidation has started well – so far we have revalidated more than 18,500 doctors. To help doctors, we are committed to keeping in close contact with them, particularly in these early days.
‘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.’
Doctors who have not set up a GMC Online account will need to do so by going to www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/information_for_doctors/gmconlinehelp.asp, where they will need to verify certain information such as their date of birth and the email address whihc the GMC holds for them. The process should take only around three minutes following which they will receive a system-generated password which they can amend to something more memorable by logging in and changing it. Once this is done they are ready to use GMC Online.