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The waiting game

NHS England 'strongly recommends' suspension of GP appraisals

NHS England has said that it ’strongly recommends’ that appraisals are suspended in a letter sent to GP practices today on its response to coronavirus (Covid-19).

It comes as the GMC yesterday announced that it will defer revalidation for GPs to ‘free up vital time’ on the coronavirus ‘frontline’.

NHS England medical director for primary care Dr Nikki Kanani and director for primary care strategy and NHS contracts Ed Waller said in the letter that this should 'immediately' increase workforce capacity.

They said: We strongly recommend that appraisals are suspended, unless there are exceptional circumstances agreed by both the appraisee and appraiser. This should immediately increase capacity in our workforce by allowing appraisers to return to clinical practice.'

They added that affected appraisals will be regarded as cancelled rather than postponed but that this has 'no impact' on GP's ability to practice 'as normal'.

The letter said: 'Until reinstated, responsible officers should classify appraisals which are affected as ‘approved missed’ appraisals. For clarity, affected appraisals will be regarded as cancelled, not postponed.

'In the meantime, for those doctors where appraisal has been cancelled and a recommendation is due, responsible officers are reminded that they may make a positive recommendation if the required supporting information has otherwise been presented earlier in the doctor’s revalidation cycle.

'At the same time, if needed, doctors can be reassured that deferral is a neutral act and has no impact on their ability to practise as normal.'

Meanwhile, NHS England announced today that the introduction of the structured medication review (SMR) and medicines optimisation service specification will be postponed until October 2020 'in the first instance'.

NHS England will also make a ‘one-off adjustment’ for practices who earn less QOF payments this year as a result of coronavirus activities.

Readers' comments (11)

  • Just Your Average Joe

    Ivory tower stupidity.

    Stop all appraisal and revalidation nonsense for at least 1 year and automatically roll everyone forward 1 year,

    Easy and could be sorted out in a few IT mouse clicks.

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  • And for all these goodies offered to GPs all they want is total triage followed by plague round visits.Bargain not.Safe Not.

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  • While at it make appraisals every three years, with no extras, with a phone call at 18 months. Once a year is too much pointless and time consuming now everyone has been revalidated

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  • Suspension of appraisals seems to continue to be the responsibility of ROs and appraisers, as the GMC seems to be just cancelling the revalidation part of the process (I.e. the non face to face part / their own backroom office work)? Very helpful indeed.

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  • Grrr the way they have worded this infuriates me! Saying despite no appraisal it should not affect the doctor & they can practise as normal. Doh! Appraisals are a new phenomena- we were all doing ok before they were introduced. I trained, qualified & practised happily appraisal free. Hands down the most annoying aspect of my job. It is an unvalidated, time consuming, tick box exercise which should be scrapped. Can’t believe we’re mid pandemic & they are finally “recommending” stopping them. All the bureaucracy should have stopped a month ago end of!

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  • And when they come to reinstate them we should all tell them where to shove it.

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  • NHS England has said that it ’strongly recommends’ that appraisals are suspended.....

    Why not insist?

    When they realise the world will not come to an end because some doctors have not done these pointless box ticking exercises, maybe they can consign appraisial and revalidation to where it belongs... the bin, for ever!

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  • How about stopping appraisals forever.
    It is time wasting and insulting. We are adults and professionals. The patients can always sue us if we mess up. That is a big enough stick we are beaten with I would say.

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  • I could ‘strongly recommend’ various activities to a variety of regulatory agencies but would likely get banned from this site and ignored by those agencies anyway. So the delightful recommendations from those diligent folk at NHSE, remain recommendations until clear legally enforceable directions are issued by those agencies and they must state which parts of the UK & NI they apply to.

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  • Where's Optimus?

    This should immediately increase capacity in our workforce by allowing appraisers to return to clinical practice.'

    Not sure they want to...
    Nice little earner whilst avoiding seeing patients

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