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Consultants under scrutiny in new plan


23 July, 2008  

UK doctors face having their licenses removed if they are found to be under performing in new annual assessment to be brought in by the Chief Medical Officer.

Hospital consultants, GPs and private practitioners will also have to renew their licences every five years under plans to be announced by Sir Liam Donaldson.

He will call for senior doctors to assess others who are practising in their area to ensure they are not putting patients at risk. Patients will also be asked for their feedback during the assessment process.

Sir Liam’s report, Medical Revalidation: Principle and Next Steps, will also suggest steps to ensure that doctors keep up to date with medical advances.

The annual assessments will look at prescribing habits, adequate assessment of a patient’s condition and any personal issues which might affect their work, like a problem with drugs of alcohol.

Harold Shipman, the GP who murdered at least 215 victims by giving lethal morphine injections between 1975 and 1998, was addicted to the painkiller pethidine and was convicted of prescribing it for personal use.

The report is expected to say that regular assessment would raise standards among the 150,000 doctors practising in Britain rather than being a way to discipline those who cause concern.

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