Draft legislation paving the way for GPs to join the GMC’s specialist register will not be consulted on until ‘later this year’.

GP Online reported that proposals to replace the specialist and GP registers with a single register were published by the government last March in a consultation document. The consultation – which also outlined recommendations to speed up fitness to practise decisions – confirmed that specialist status including being a GP would be reflected through ‘an annotation to the register’.

The GMC previously indicated that the proposals, if approved, could be passed in legislation by spring this year – and that it would hold its own consultation before these reforms were introduced.

However, a DHSC spokesperson confirmed that the process will now take place ‘later this year’. They said: ‘The government remains committed to delivering parity between GP and specialist medical registration in the UK.

‘We are planning to consult on draft legislation later this year which will reform the legislative framework of the GMC and will enable these changes to be delivered.’

The GMC confirmed that it will make the appropriate changes when it is granted new legislative powers, but that it cannot act before this happens.

GPs expressed concern that plans to add them to the specialist register had stalled – arguing that  parity of esteem with other medical disciplines could bring more respect for the profession and a much-needed boost to recruitment and retention.

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