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GPs will be required to collect annual patient feedback under GMC plans

GPs will have to collect patient feedback every year instead of every five years, under new proposals from the GMC designed to reduce the burden on GPs.

Published today, the GMC's consultation document recommends GPs increase the frequency with which they collect feedback, despite acknowledging the continued pressures GPs currently face. 

The GMC also proposes GPs should reflect on unsolicited feedback, and suggests that they no longer need to use the structured questionnaire.

The consultation details proposed changes to the guidance on collecting patient feedback, and will run until 23 July.

The GMC said the more regular patient feedback would allow doctors to 'pick up any issues to address in a timely way', while recognising the pressure GPs face, claiming it does not want to 'increase the administrative burden of feedback collection.'

The proposed new guidance says: 'Annually you must reflect on sources of patient feedback that are available to you. Depending on your practice this could include: spontaneous or unplanned feedback (such as comments, cards, and letters), feedback on your team or the service you provide.'

This replaces the current guidance, which states that GPs need to collect structured feedback every revalidation cycle through a structured questionnaire. 

However, the regulator is also proposing that structured questionnaires should be taken out of circulation as they contains too many tick boxes and not enough space for comments. Instead, feedback will be based on broader questions, such as asking how well they were assessed and how well they felt listened to.

It says: 'We no longer require doctors to use questionnaires structured around Good medical practice, giving them freedom to use other methods and allowing patients to comment on what matters to them.'

The GMC consultation document consists of 14 questions including the key principles doctors need to consider when reflecting on patient feedback for revalidation, and how to implement such principles.

It also suggests that the feedback process should be as accessible as possible by considering patients with communication or learning difficulties, and not just relying on structured questionnaires.

GMC director of registration and revalidation Una Lane said existing processes make conducting patient feedback ‘harder than it should be'.

She said: ‘Patient feedback is among the most useful information doctors can get for their learning and reflection. But at a time when the profession is under such pressure it shouldn’t be a burden, and we know existing processes can make it more difficult than it should be.

‘We want doctors, employers and patients to get involved in our consultation and help shape the way feedback works in the future, which we hope will ultimately help improve patient care.’

RCGP medical director of revalidation Dr Susi Caesar said: ‘Meaningful patient feedback promotes doctors’ professional development and helps create quality improvements in the care we provide. All doctors should get involved in this consultation and be part of the changes that work better for us.’

The consultation follows on from independent reviews of revalidation, such as Sir Keith Pearson’s 2017 review of medical revalidation and a 2018 report from the UK Medical Revalidation collaboration (UMbRELLA), which concluded the necessity for further improvement to the process for collecting feedback.

Last year, a Pulse survey completed by 870 GPs revealed that GPs spend an average of 55 hours a year on the revalidation process.

Back in 2017, the GMC said that patients should give feedback after every interaction, which would go straight into their revalidation portfolio.

Readers' comments (44)

  • And how does this reduce the burden on GPs seems the exact opposite.How does this fit in with GDPR.

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  • Patient satisfaction is not a reliable indicator of high quality patient care. It’s an indicator that the expectation of the patient was modified, satisfied or both.

    It is as much reliant upon the performance of factors outside of my control than it is of what I say or do within the consultation.

    EMIS not working? Poor feedback.
    Pharmacy haven’t got the medication prescribed? Poor feedback.
    Haven’t got the hospital correspondence? Poor feedback.
    Can’t prescribe the OTC medication? Poor feedback. Patient walks in, demands to be seen for convenience and is booked at a more reasonable time as scant resources are already thin? Poor feedback.

    All of the above are real world examples that I’ve experienced.

    Just keep that in mind before tears are shed over throw-away comments or grudge-banter.

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  • Will this also be rolled out to hospital consultants?

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  • Oh Dear retirement retirement looking more rosy every day

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  • Cant see why people with learning and communication difficulties would find being asked to write a free text feedback any easier than a rating scale , just producing a scale with smiley faces instead of numbers would be more likely to get a response..otherwise I see no claim of benefit from any of the above tinkering whatsoever.

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  • Hahaha looking to reduce burden on GP hahaha we will get feedback for every sick note, antibiotic, controlled drug refused. It is also good for GMC to get feedback on its performance by doctors-that is very appropriate and we should demand it. Brilliant wow.

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  • Oh dear, GMC really has no idea of what its like on the coal face. Suggest some of those Drs try full time practice for 1 year. Really subjective assessment like these are a waste of tax payers money.

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  • THE GMC ARE OVERPAID AND "MIS-USING TAXPAYERS MONEY" ON "HAIR-BRAINED SCHEMES" TO JUSTIFY THEIR OWN "GREEDY EXISTENCE".

    I DEMAND THEIR IMMEDIATE SELF-REFERRAL TO THEMSELVES FOLLOWED BY IMMEDIATE SELF-DISCIPLINE AND FINALLY IMMEDIATE SELF-STRIKING OFF.

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  • GMC spokesperson said " we've thought of this after spending 6 months in 5 star hotels having meetings - do it"
    RCGP spokesperson said "it's really important and stuff and really great we must all do it - thank you GMC"
    BMA spokesperson said " please can I have my OBE now?"

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  • Looking forward to filling in feedback forms about the GMC & BMA....

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  • Can someone (BMA?) please challenge these people in court? They've done no end of damage to the profession which is 5000 GPs short. Feedback actually harms patients and we should force the GMC to stop it by law.

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  • AL "4 TRIES IN ONE GAME" BUNDY

    at 10:23
    I DEMAND THEIR IMMEDIATE SELF-REFERRAL TO THEMSELVES FOLLOWED BY IMMEDIATE SELF-DISCIPLINE AND FINALLY IMMEDIATE SELF-STRIKING OFF.

    Then if per chance the tribunal deems you fit
    Appeal against your own tribunal..

    and also throughout this
    deem yourself guilty until proven innocent
    suspend yourself unpaid pending the full investigation
    and allege that you are guilty for lacking insight

    and do nothing to help if all this makes you feel suicidal
    and know that if you do end yourself that this only confirms yopu were guilty all along

    (business as usual gmc )

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  • Sweet lord in heaven leaving GP training was a good life choice

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  • I would only want to advocate this once I was aware that the GMC had put it in place for themselves as an organisation and as individuals.

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  • AL "4 TRIES IN ONE GAME" BUNDY

    I thought appraisal and re validation was supposed to be a confidential process for the learning and improvement of the doctor

    The GMC seems to have hijacked our personal confidential learning process as a means to
    create a beurocratic burden
    a. the presence or b. the absence of
    can be used as a double edged sword
    either way
    against any doctor unfortunate to become involved with them

    Hang your heads in shame RCGP

    On the one hand
    appraisers advise to enter the bare minimum quota of activity with reflection

    whilst the GMC it seems would like us to enter every possible piece of interaction

    If you fill up your appraisal with every possible item article newspaper pulse article
    magazine article
    patient interaction
    ... appraisers can not be bothered
    to read it all
    and cannot see the wood for the trees

    Any news on making the GMC state funded.
    After all it really does not care about doctors at all..
    and is only providing a public service..
    to ensure the doctors operate on a doormat level





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  • AL "4 TRIES IN ONE GAME" BUNDY

    Will every "gp at hand"
    babylon interaction require feedback ...
    They should insists a feedback element is added to the app..
    The GMC must audit the feedback on a weekly basis

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  • We have decided to reduce your workload...
    by increasing your workload.

    These useless idiots have gone beyond parody.

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  • Where do I get to feedback about the GMC?

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  • "GPs will have to collect patient feedback every year instead of every five years, under new proposals from the GMC designed to reduce the burden on GPs"

    Was Lewis Carroll involved in the consultation?

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  • I think this might be the last straw for many. Just when you thought it could not get any worse.

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  • Cobblers

    I said it many years ago and will say it again.

    Medicine is NOT a popularity contest.

    The GP with unfailingly good feedback is more likely to be the doctor who gives antibiosis for viral infections, sick notes for spurious reasons, letters to the Council, OTC scripts to name but a few.

    The Doc Martins (ITV) of this world would score badly but whom would you rather see if you were genuinely ill?




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  • Don’t they realise that not all our patients are nice, reasonable people? Some are horrible unpleasant people whose “feedback” should be disregarded

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  • Has anybody ever thought of all GP stopping their GMC registration at once and refuse to pay fees? Let GMC struck all GP off lets see what will GMC do ? They possibly cannot struck all GP in country at one go . GMC seems seems to be working in some different world than rest of the GP

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  • lol anyone need any more convincing of voting for a smaller government? For LESS socialism via the state? You give them your tax, this is what they come up with... Angus? Do good? Anyone wanna play devils advocate?

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  • National Hopeless Service

    Dont moan - do the GMC consultation survey now.

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  • Funny how things come around my first CQC inspection they actually suggested (seriously) that feedback was helpful and a box with red/yellow and green counters could be used and checked daily!

    As Cobblers says probably run out of reds!!!

    Really need something mildly inconvenient but non-fatal to get out of this madness on full whack!!

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  • Meanwhile the GMC continues to ignore feedback from Doctors.

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  • The GMC consultation survey is not anonymised. Who on earth would trust this organisation to not store critical feedback and use it against them subsequently?

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  • The registration process for the consultation survey asks personal questions that I just don’t trust the GMC to hold impartially and in confidence. I’m actually quite surprised at the depth to which my distrust of my regulator has sunken.

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  • Agree anon also quite difficult to register you'd think they don't want us to do it.

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  • Utterly incredible....they state they want to "reduce the burden" on GPs by making the assessments every year instead of every 5 years. Extraordinary!

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  • Very difficult to actually register and complete this consultation. Asks questions about your name email sexuality and religion before you can comment. The questions are either ambiguous or leading, and it’s clear that the decisions are already made and that the ‘consultation’ is nothing of the kind.
    When I made negative comments about appraisal in the Umbrella consultation I was intimidated by emails from the GMC asking me if they could video my (confidential) appraisal to learn more about me. I’m expecting the same treatment for daring to question this latest assault
    It will take hours to collate, upload, reflect and make any sense of the dogs dinner of feedback that they are demanding. At least the current offering is standardised, and measurable
    Hopefully the BMA will send them another strongly worded letter...

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  • Am still waiting got the gmc to get back to me as to how and why they appointed Charlie Massey

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  • GMC director of registration and revalidation Una Lane said existing processes make conducting patient feedback ‘harder than it should be.’
    So too the consultation process!

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  • Copernicus I have given feedback,I have been honest and candid about their proposals so I expect the same treatment as your self.The leopard will not change its spots.Once a bully always a bully.

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  • Consultation My A**. This will be force fed down our throats whatever the outcome of the ‘consultation’!

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  • And why do we need even more patient feedback ? Patients already can complain through the practice directly , NHS choices , ombudsman , NHS england , GMC , iwantgreatcare etc etc and they make full use of all these methods causing enormous stress !!

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  • I really do not see how this makes workload better. I am obviously inflicted by poor insight or poor eyesight.

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  • The GMC have no clue how to improve things for either doctors or patients but need to be seen to be actively doing things.

    This is an example of that

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  • MPPD

    Lewis Carroll [ Charles Dodgson ] was a mathematician and very unlikely to be involved in this Alice's adventures with the GMC

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  • Just Your Average Joe

    GMC - Pandering to patients, while persecuting doctors.

    You pay to be tormented and tortured by them.

    Free at the point of service - should be tax payer funded as they do nothing to help doctors, and run by DOH appointed crony C Massey.

    How is he still in a job, how do we vote him out if the GMC is meant to represent the profession?

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  • |Just Your Average Joe | GP Partner/Principal|02 May 2019 11:00pm

    Since when has the GMC represented us??? No, it is a regulator appointed by the state and hence represents it - supposedly by a mandate from the public. Precisely why the public should be paying for it. The reasons why we have been compelled to pay for it is clear - gutless leaders, and an authoritative state. You want to vote C Massey out? You vote the state out of healthcare. Simples LOL

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  • Its interesting, in industry many of the best / leading companies stopped using KPIs (Key performance indicators) because research showed they were100% altered/ manipulated.... thats right 100%.. because if you didn't you would be seen as falling behind. Customer feedback is only useful in those industries which are trying to capture money paying customers to ensure they give them what they want. It has a much more limited role in our line of work where our job involves declining what we feel to be inappropriate, and we are dealing with all walks of life. An acknowledgment and understanding of this from GMC would be useful....that 'bad' feedback can actually mean the GP is doing their job, but all we get from RCGP in our portfolios is how we must reflect on how to 'improve our performance' in response to negative feedback, which is then in turn used by the legal profession against us... which is one of the many reasons I left General Practice in the UK. We are far too conditioned by the current system and objectors to it are not welcome. I agree with most of the comments above , and mass resignation I still feel is the only pragmatic option left. Why dont we have a statute of limitation by now? At least cut the blood sucking legal profession out of their lucrative fees. It is an absurd system, but then again too many of our leaders in various organisations are doing well out of the current system. We need equity in our profession, not the George Orwell 'some are more equal than others' that we currently have.....Insurance is a lot lower in Australia here and wages higher.... life is generally a lot less stressful down here, theres not much reason for me to come back, I still care about the NHS, and the principle of equality healthcare, but it seems the NHS/the powers that be in the UK don't care about us as a profession......at least thats what their actions convey

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  • Ah excellent. More work. It'll be daily feedback next. Then hourly...

    As previous comments have suggested I am not sure how having glowing 100% positive feedback is ever a good thing - the GP who pleases everyone isn't doing their job correctly IMHO.

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