Niall Dickson explains the decision to update the GMC’s strapline

Today, we have changed our strapline to Working with doctors Working for patients.

For almost 10 years, we have used Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice. But times have changed and so have we.

To be effective, we need to understand the challenges and pressures facing frontline doctors.

It is not enough to react when things go wrong – whenever we can, we need to identify risks to prevent harm before it has occurred.

Likewise it is not enough just to step in when something goes wrong with a doctor’s practice, our ambition needs to be to support a system that enables every doctor to reflect on their practice and to strive continually to improve it.

And of course this all changes our relationship not only with the profession but with other organisations that work with and alongside them.

That means we need closer relationships with those who train and employ or otherwise support doctors.

To reflect this, we have begun to transform the way we work. Our teams across the UK now work closely with patients, doctors, employers and other key interest groups. Our education teams are now linked up with different parts of the UK. We are now holding meetings with doctors who are involved in our fitness to practise procedures.

And we are working more closely than ever with regulators of both systems and other professionals, sharing information and analysing our data in new ways.

Our old strapline did not reflect any of this, and perhaps even more importantly it did not include anything about those who matter most – patients.

Thus, from today, we are introducing a new strapline that makes it clear what we are doing and why we are doing it. It also shows that we do not work in isolation, but are part of the wider effort to improve the quality of healthcare.

It is of course easy to overstate what a strapline can do – at best it should make clear what we do and why we do it. We know it only makes sense if we live by it – that is what we will strive to do.