New rules to speed up GMC hearings

A SERIES of measures aimed at speeding up GMC fitness to practise hearings have been introduced.

Written allegations will no longer be read out at the start of a hearing and it will be easier for witnesses to give evidence by video or telephone. Witnesses will also be told in advance if they need to give evidence in person.

The changes are part of an ambitious programme of reform from the General Medical Council. It began last year with the launch of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) which now runs all fitness to practise hearings.

A total of 15 new rules have been announced by the GMC in a bid to create a “modern, efficient and fair system” that meets the needs of doctors, patients and the public.

Chief executive Niall Dickson said: “These new rules will help us to deliver a quicker, simpler and less stressful system for doctors, complainants and witnesses. There is more to do but this is another significant milestone in our reform programme.”

The GMC and MPTS are also seeking a number of changes to the Medical Act to further improve fitness to practise work. Subject to a Department of Health consultation, the GMC hopes to have the power to appeal MPTS decisions.