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Published: 06/01/2005, Volume II5, No. 5937 Page 21

Joyce Robins, co-director, Patient Concern

The reaction of the General Medical Council to the recommendations of the Shipman report epitomises everything we are told has long disappeared from the medical profession: arrogance, complacency and an unwillingness to listen to and learn from others.

Dame Janet Smith's report dismisses the planned revalidation system as incapable of measuring fitness to continue practising. She also points out that the original - and far better - scheme was abandoned Yet the GMC continues to trumpet its weak and unsatisfactory replacement as the world's most radical patient safety development.

It was obvious from the days that I participated in the inquiry that the GMC has a long way to go in its reforms before it can lay claim to be protecting patients. Yet it smugly persists in the belief that it has done all that is necessary.

Surely the organisation would enhance its prospects of long-term survival by showing a little humility, taking Dame Janet's criticisms on board and promising to put things right? As it is, it seems bent on selfdestruction.