General Medical Council

The LMC has developed a relationship with the North West Regional GMC representatives and meets with them to discuss both local and national issues.

The purpose of the General Medical Council (GMC) is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

The law gives the GMC four main functions under the Medical Act 1983:

  • keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors.
  • fostering good medical practice.
  • promoting high standards of medical education and training.
  • dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt.

The General Medical Council is the independent regulator for doctors in the UK. Its statutory purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

They do that by controlling entry to the medical register and setting the standards for medical schools and postgraduate education and training. They also determine the principles and values that underpin good medical practice and take firm but fair action where those standards have not been met.

They have strong and effective legal powers designed to maintain the standards the public have a right to expect of doctors. They are not here to protect the medical profession – their interests are protected by others. Their job is to protect patients. Where any doctor fails to meet those standards, they act to protect patients from harm, if necessary, by removing the doctor from the register and removing their right to practise medicine.

The GMC must be independent of government as the dominant provider of healthcare in the UK; independent of domination by any single group; and be publicly accountable for the discharge of its functions.
Independent, accountable regulation must:

  • Put patient safety first
  • Support good medical practice
  • Promote fairness and equality and value diversity
  • Respect the principles of good regulation: proportionality, accountability, consistency, transparency and targeting

The GMC was established under the Medical Act of 1858.

Over time a range of new legislation has been introduced that defines their powers and responsibilities. Find out more…

Their governing body, the Council, has 12 members of which 6 are doctors and 6 are lay members, all appointed following an independent appointments process.

The GMC publishes a wide range of guidance and advice for doctors, patients and the public and, other healthcare professionals. Find out more…