JUST under 8,000 doctors have been informed that their licence to practise is at risk having not responded to GMC requests to provide information for revalidation.
Last year the GMC wrote to 54,000 doctors as part of its Make your connection campaign, asking them to confirm their designated body - the organisation that will help them to revalidate. Some 7,818 doctors have not yet responded and will receive a final notice letter this week, advising them that they have 28 days to either confirm their designated body or tell the GMC they do not have one. If they fail to respond the GMC will take steps to remove their licence to practise.
In a statement the GMC said: "Doctors have a duty under the GMC’s Licence to Practise and Revalidation Regulations to provide information to support their revalidation. The GMC has written to these doctors several times asking them to get in touch - most recently in January 2013, when all doctors were given their revalidation date.
"Over 50 per cent of the doctors written to have overseas addresses and almost 15 per cent are over the age of 65, which may mean they are not currently working in the UK. Doctors who are no longer practising in the UK can retain registration with the GMC but do not require a licence to practise, however if they wish to keep their licence they must revalidate."
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the GMC, said: "Revalidation has started well - so far we have revalidated more than 18,500 doctors. To help doctors, we are committed to keeping in close contact with them, particularly in these early days.
"We know that doctors are busy and some may have found it difficult to come back to us with the information we have asked for. We also know that many of the doctors who have not responded are working overseas or have retired so may have chosen not to respond.
"For those doctors who want to keep practising in the UK, they must get back to us so we can help them with their revalidation. We have a dedicated team ready and waiting to help - all they need to do is call us."
Doctors who have not responded to GMC requests for information should visit GMC Online (www.gmc-uk.org/gmconline) to confirm their designated body or phone 0161 923 6277 (or +44 161 923 6277 from outside the UK).