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GPs charged £50 for new appraisal toolkit

By Alisdair Stirling

GPs will be charged £50 a year to use the NHS Appraisal Toolkit following the Government's controversial decision in August to scrap funding.

From this month an annual subscription of £50 plus VAT will be charged to cover costs - providing ‘a highly secure system in which to store appraisal data', the provider company, Clarity Informatics, said.

Thousands of GPs had their appraisals disrupted earlier this year when the site was temporarily taken offline after a routine security check found the system could be susceptible to hacking.

The DH has defended the move to pull funding, saying it was in line with white paper policy stating that ‘arrangements for appraisals should be made locally within the NHS'.

From this week only users who simply want to download their data will be exempt from the charge.

Dr Brian Balmer, chief executive of Essex LMCs and chair of the Essex appraisal steering group, said: 'It's a complete mess and there has been no consultation as far as I know. We and the GPC were simply informed that this was to be the case.'

'We're advising everybody to print off their materials, because you may find them gone next time you try to log in. So don't try and get on there in the next few days, it's going to be jammed.

Details of the new website are available here.

GPs are to be charged £50 to use the NHS Appraisal Toolkit GPs are to be charged £50 to use the NHS Appraisal Toolkit

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