GPs should be rated by the public in the same way as users of auction website eBay, according to the president of the General Medical Council.

GPs should be rated by the public in the same way as users of auction website eBay, according to the president of the General Medical Council.

Dr Graeme Catto told a session at the Conservative Party conference that the system - whereby buyers and sellers are encouraged to contribute to a rating system on how happy they were with each other - should be adopted for doctors.

'It would be very simple to translate that and get views on what doctors are doing,' he said. 'If you want to cut down the risks, the risks will be cut down if people know their doctor is well thought of by their peers and patients, and that he provides effective treatment.'

He said such a scheme would allow the GMC to spend more time scrutinising those doctors who received bad results from their patients.

Dr Catto said he would also like to see managers represented on the GMC board. As well as professionals and patients, he said 'commissioners and contractors' should also be involved.

'The organisation should be independent of the Department of Health but accountable to parliament, and independent of any professional group,' he said. 'Maybe we should be thinking about a more balanced GMC.'