On 15 February 2013, the DH outlined its response to a consultation on how the performers list system should be amended to reflect the changes made by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and changes from earlier reviews. The Secretary of State has decided that following the abolition of PCTs in April 2013, performer lists will be transferred over to the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB), which will ensure alignment with the board's responsibility for commissioning NHS primary care services. One national list will replace the current system of separate PCT lists.

The performers list system is a framework that provides primary care organisations in England with powers to manage admission, suspension and removal from their lists of medical, dental and ophthalmic practitioners.

Key changes include:

  • National lists will be rolled out to help information sharing and reduce officialdom
  • The current provisions of "conditional inclusion" and "contingent removal" have been amalgamated and simplified to provide for conditions on inclusion in the list in certain circumstances
  • Amendments have been made to the power to suspend performers on the list and to allow for an immediate suspension in the interests of patient or public safety
  • Performers will need to provide evidence that they have appropriate indemnity or insurance in place to cover their professional practice
  • Performers will be required to notify the NHS CB when they are called before an inquest that is likely to be critical of their conduct
  • Performers will be required to provide appraisal information, if available, when they apply to join a list
  • A new discretionary provision will allow the NHS CB to refuse entry to the list, or remove a performer from the list, in the case of practitioners who have been subject to imprisonment of over six months
  • For GP registrars, there is now a longer period (three months) to make enhanced disclosure and barring service checks, although they will not be required to reapply to join the performers list following completion of their training contract

For the new draft regulations, please click here.