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Jeremy Hunt today announced the introduction of "revalidation" for doctors on 3rd December 2012 in what has been heralded by Niall Dickson Chief Executive of the GMC as " a historic moment. This is the biggest change in medical regulation for more than 150 years".Revalidation will require doctors to show they meet clinical standards and that they have kept up to date with advances in their field. Their appraisals (which doctors have already been used to undergoing) will include feedback from patients and colleagues. Every five years the GMC will be sent a report on whether they should keep their registration. The BMA have been largely welcoming to the changes but have cautioned against revalidation unnecessarily adding to the levels of bureaucracy already prevalent in the NHS. For more details on revalidation go to http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/revalidation.asp . John Williams commented

"Article 8 of the ECHR provides for a fundamental human right of respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. This includes qualifications. It will be interesting to see how tribunals who have to consider whether the revalidation process and whether a doctor's licence should be removed balance the protection of patients and the public against a doctors rights under article 8. Doctors are already amongst the most heavily regulated of professionals in the country, if not the world. Doctors are likely to have to spend a lot of time on recording revalidation, the process of revalidation is likely to add significantly to time and cost of regulation by the GMC and the hard pressed defence organisations, the MDU and the MPS, will have to meet the cost of challenges brought by doctors whose careers are under threat. Whilst it may be the case that there are already many appraisers in place, this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of extra cost. Ultimately we as consumers of healthcare and tax payers will have to fund the extra cost of all doctors having to continually prove themselves. Time spent filling in forms is not time spent treating patients."