Patient Safety :: The General Medical Council puts patient safety first in 2007, UK

The General Medical Council has today published its key aims and objectives for 2007.

The Business Plan 2007 commits to five core aims which centre around ensuring that medical regulation meets the demands of today, and is sufficiently flexible to continue to grow and meet the demands of tomorrow.

In 2006, we responded to the Department of Health consultation on Sir Liam Donaldson’s report, Good doctors, safer patients, and to the Department’s own review of nonmedical healthcare professions. The GMC awaits Ministers’ decisions on the way forward.

Speaking about the year ahead, Chief Executive of the GMC, Finlay Scott said:

?This is an ambitious programme of work, which we strongly believe will bring real benefits for patients.We relish the challenge and are excited about what we can achieve in 2007.?

The Business Plan details how the GMC will conduct its day-to-day business to achieve the core aims of:

– Enhancing confidence in doctors by continuing to improve our capacity for supporting excellence and best value in medical regulation;
– Delivering effective, patient-centred regulation by engaging fully with those who use or benefit from our services to ensure their views are properly represented;
– Supporting patient-centred care by maintaining an accessible, accurate, and up-to-date Medical Register, and by improving further the quality and scope of the information it contains;
– Enabling doctors to deliver high quality care to patients by making best use of our responsibility for setting standards for doctors and co-ordinating all stages of medical education;
– Enhancing patient safety by improving further the procedures for dealing with doctors whose fitness to practise may be impaired.

Planned work for 2007 includes:

– Working with the Department of Health to put in place a programme of reform to ensure a regulatory system that is fit for purpose into the foreseeable future.
– Continuing to work closely with European and international regulators on issues which affect patient safety, and publish a European Action Plan for 2007 on how we will do this.
– Developing our website and publications in order to reach new audiences, including interactive measures such as consultations, online polling, and podcasting.
– Increasing public awareness of the information held on the Medical Register and how it can be accessed.
– Involving patients, the public, doctors, and other healthcare professionals with the development of new guidance on consent.
– Producing accessible materials, such as videocasts, which will clarify our complaints procedures to a public audience.

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