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GPs urged to report PCOs over appraisal failures

By Gareth Iacobucci

The RCGP has told GPs they must report primary care organisations that are not carrying out appraisals to ensure their safe passage to revalidation.

Professor Steve Field, chair of the college, warned GPs would require five full appraisals to be successfully revalidated, and it was therefore essential they took responsibility for ensuring PCOs engaged with the process.

His comments came at the launch of the most detailed RCGP document yet on the college's proposals for revalidation - which will be piloted from later this year.

He said: ‘GPs should write to the chief executive of the PCT, to the LMC and to us at the college. I believe in belts and braces, and if we all know, we can work with them to help. You can't be revalidated unless you've had five appraisals.'

Professor Field also expressed concern at the ‘patchy' quality of appraisals: ‘We're sending a letter to SHAs and PCOs reminding them of their duty to do appraisals. I've also met the secretary of state in the last fortnight to say we remain concerned.'

Aside from appraisals, GPs' portfolios will have to include evidence from personal development plans with set goals, multi-source feedback from practice colleagues and patients, two full-cycle clinical audits, and at least five significant-event audits.

They will also have to submit descriptions of any cause for concern or formal complaints raised against them, and achieve 250 learning credits over a five-year period, a minimum of 50 a year.

GPs are now expected to begin putting portfolios together, with the college working towards a timetable that would see the first GPs revalidating in 2010/2011.

Professor Steve Field, RCGP chair, told Alan Johnson at a recent meeting of concern over PCOs getting lax on appraisals. Steve Field

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