It has been confirmed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that the GMC’s power to appeal fitness to practise decisions will be removed in 2023.

DHSC set out its revised timetable for the implementation of long-awaited regulatory reform for doctors, with changes now not due to be implemented until 2024 at the earliest.  However, it confirm that it would prioritise legislation to remove the GMC’s power to appeal fitness to practise decisions in 2023, alongside legislation that will bring physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AA’s) into statutory regulation.

A DHSC spokesperson confirmed to Pulse that the Government will consult on draft legislation which it aims to lay in 2023.

Meanwhile, the GMC said that once the right to appeal is removed, it will work with the Professional Standards Authority to understand how it will ensure continued oversight of tribunal decisions which do not sufficiently protect the public or confidence in the medical profession.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are not opposed to the decision to remove our right of appeal, and it is now the Government’s decision when and how to implement these changes.

‘Until our right of appeal is removed we have a legal obligation to continue exercising it, in order to protect the public.’

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