Doctors are to have their skills reassessed every year to ensure they are fit to practise, the General Medical Council said.

At present, doctors can work their entire career without facing any formal assessment of their competency.

This would take the form of an annual appraisal, to begin this December, and a more comprehensive meeting every five years.

Doctors will be expected to meet clinical standards and have kept up to speed with the latest developments in their field, while appraisals will include feedback from patients and colleagues.