GPs' 5-year registration under fire

A NEW process which will require GPs to register to practice every five years has been criticised by a leading city organisation.

The Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh said there was widespread worry about the difficulties the system will bring.

The General Medical Council announced last year that every GP would have to reapply every five years under its Revalidation exercise, rather than just sign up once for the duration of their career.

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It argued that it would bring improved controls on rogue doctors and not keep GPs on the records who had long since ceased to practice, adding that legitimate doctors would have nothing to worry about.

But David Tolley, president of the RCSE, said: "Many doctors and surgeons in particular are expressing serious concerns about the complexity of the process, especially surrounding data collection for the craft specialities.

"A process which, for 99 per cent of doctors, should be simple, achievable and routine is perceived as too complex.

"This resulted in a mixture of emotions from anxiety about whether individual data collection is possible on the scale prescribed, to outright rebellion in some cases.

"Thus, an event which should be straightforward for the vast majority, is about to become entangled in a bureaucratic web which many fear is an opportunity to introduce rigorous performance management through an enhanced appraisal process.

"The process of revalidation must be simpler and affordable, and introduced incrementally."