EFFORTS by the GDC to improve performance in its fitness to practise procedures have been recognised by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) in its 2011 performance review.
The CHRE report noted "changes to its established processes, as well as its new processes, policies and systems to enable [the GDC] to become a more effective regulator."
It highlighted a number of measures to improve fitness to practice procedures including a triage system to help identify high-risk cases for fast-tracking, the use of expert clinical advice at a much earlier stage to assess seriousness, seeking health reports in relation to all registrants who have received a criminal conviction or caution for offences involving alcohol or drugs, enhancing the expertise of staff support for fitness to practise committees and the introduction of a new case management system.
But the CHRE notes that further work is needed to improve the timeliness of progression of fitness to practise cases and the quality of decisions.
Chief Executive Evlynne Gilvarry said: "We welcome this report and the acknowledgement of the progress we have made over the past year. We agree with the CHRE on the further measures necessary to increase the rate of progression of fitness to practise cases and to bring about further necessary improvements in the handling of cases."