A Department of Health consultation proposing that in future there is one national list of general practice doctors, dentists and ophthalmic practitioners approved to provide NHS primary care services was launched on 19 October 2012.

Currently medical, dental and ophthalmic practitioners may not perform NHS primary care services in England unless they are included on a performers list held by a PCT. The performers list system provides PCTs with powers to manage these performers and protect the public from any that fall below the required standards. Currently, poorly performing doctors who are removed from one list can continue practising in other areas.  

The consultation will consider recommendations made by two reviews that looked at the performers' list system. It discusses the three different options that could be pursued and the option that has been chosen.  

It seeks responses to proposed changes, including:  

  • The introduction of national lists
  • Changes to the “minimum service” that performers on the list will need to perform
  • Changes to suspension powers, including immediate suspension and additional powers at suspension hearings
  • Changes to the requirement to submit criminal records checks  

The closing date for responses to the consultation is 14 December 2012. The 2012 Act requires changes to be made to the National Health Service (Performers Lists) Regulations 2004. From April 2013, the performers lists will become the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board.