The General Medical Council, which regulates the profession, has been re-constituted with increased non-medical representation. Changes in legislation have allowed lay membership of the Council to be increased from 25 to 40%Health Minister John Hutton said: “This will help to strengthen the vital work of the GMC in public protection. The lay members will have an influential and important role to play in ensuring that further progress is made to modernise professional regulation for the benefit of patients and doctors alike.”
The Council will be made up of 14 lay members and 21 medical members. In addition to Council members, a large number of doctors and members of the public carry out important work on the GMC’s behalf. There are over 150 people from outside the Council who sit on GMC fitness to practise cases; others undertake performance assessments or visits to medical schools. The participation of the public and the profession in GMC work is not confined to the Council. The first meeting of the new Council will be in July 2003.