§ Mr. Crausby
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the arrangements for the accountability of general practitioners; and to whom they are accountable. 
§ Mr. Denham
General practitioners provide medical services to patients under statutory arrangements with a health authority. They are accountable to the health authority for the proper discharge of their obligations under their National Health Service terms of service set out in the National Health Service (General Medical Services) Regulations 1992. General practitioners, like all other doctors, are also accountable to the General Medical Council.
We have recently published for consultation "Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients". This contains proposals for preventing, identifying and dealing with 189W poor performance of doctors. Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Library. In addition, the General Medical Council is working towards the introduction of revalidation, to ensure that the continued inclusion of a doctor's name on the Medical Register represents an assurance that the doctor has kept up to date in his or her chosen field of practice and remains fit to practice.