This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Almost 90% of GPs found their appraisal useful for improving patient care

The majority of GPs in England have said their appraisal has contributed to improvements in patient care, according to a new survey.

The report by NHS England found that 88% out of the 13,440 GPs surveyed said their 2018/19 appraisal was 'useful' for improving patient care. 

This comes despite GP leaders, including RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard and Wessex LMCs chief executive Dr Nigel Watson, previously stating that GPs are 'fed up' with the bureaucracy involved with appraisal and revalidation.

GPs have also expressed concerns about appraisals and the use of their reflections since the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case, when it was suggested that the junior doctor's reflections had been used against her in court. 

According to NHS England's latest report, the 'much smaller' amount of negative feedback about appraisals was due to the amount of time spent preparing for them - with GP saying this would be better spent on learning or patient care. 

Key findings from NHS England's medical appraisal report: 

  • 91% of GPs said their appraisal was useful for promoting quality improvement in their work
  • 88% of GPs found their appraisal useful for improving patient care
  • 89% said their appraisal was useful for personal development
  • Between 89% and 92% report that their appraisal was useful for professional development
  • 97% said they were happy with the skills of their appraiser

The report said: 'This feedback provides good evidence that medical appraisal is valued by GPs in England, who report that it made a difference to personal and professional development and patient care.

'It supports anecdotal reports that appraisal supports many doctors with challenges in their professional life at a time of recognised pressure on the workforce and as the NHS embarks on the long-term plan.'

It added: 'Appraisal is therefore making an important contribution along with existing workforce projects and direct support mechanisms such as the GP Health Service. Negative comments mostly refer to the requirements of the process.

'The recent emphasis on minimising the paperwork and maximising the benefit must continue, so the mechanics are not a barrier to doctors gaining the full value of appraisal.'

Commenting on the findings, Dr Deen Mirza, a GP appraiser in London, said: 'While appraisal preparation can take a lot of time, GPs who are struggling with burnout or performance issues can benefit immensely from having a safe space to review their work. We do need to disseminate methods of streamlining appraisal documentation to make the process less laborious.'

Pulse previously revealed GPs spend on average 55 hours a year filling out revalidation paperwork – equivalent to 1,300 full-time GPs working eight sessions a week.

NHS England's acting director for primary care Dr Nikita Kanani told Pulse in February an appraisal and revalidation process was 'under way' to ensure GPs want to remain in the profession and are not put off by the 'complex' system.

Readers' comments (28)

  • Thats because we lie on the feed back anything for an easy life until retirement.Its a waste odf time and soul destroying, why put your head above the parapit to have it shot off by the GMC, especially as you bide your time to jumping ship.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Soft Southern b******s, thanks for that!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • How does it go up the communication chain?
    In the beginning was the plan, and then the specification.

    And the plan was without form, and the specification was void.

    And the darkness was upon the faces of the implementors;
    And they spoke unto their managers, saying: “It is a crock of cow manure, and it stinketh.“

    And their manager went to the second level manager, and he spake unto him, saying: “It is a crock of excrement, and none may abide the odor thereof.“

    And the second level manager went to the third level, and he spake unto him saying: “It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide before it.“

    And the third level went to the division manager, and he spake unto him, saying: “It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.“

    And the division manager went to the assistant vice-president, and he spake unto him, saying: “It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong.“

    And the assistant vice-president went to the vice-president, and he spake unto him, saying: “It promoteth growth and it is very powerful.“

    And the vice-president went before the president and spake unto him, saying: “This powerful new product will promote growth of the company.“

    And the president looked upon the product and saw that “It was good!“

    What lessons can we draw from this funny tale? I am interested to know.

    Thanks for reading and have a great day.

    Reference- ‘Project Planning, Scheduling & Control’ by James P Lewis, Irwin Professional Publishing, Burr Ridge, IL.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • wag the dog

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • make it voluntary
    then those who find it beneficial can continue

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Make it a in house process
    This will avoid the adverse promotion
    by those with pure financial motivations around it

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 'While appraisal preparation can take a lot of time, GPs who are struggling with burnout or performance issues can benefit immensely from having a safe space to review their work

    bawa garba case showed it is
    anything but
    a safe space..


    These rights are often referred to as Miranda rights. ... You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer with you during questioning.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • National Hopeless Service

    FFFFFFF fake news.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Cobblers

    NHSE do you seriously think that that feedback was done of their own free will? Or do you think it might have been a teeny weeny bit under duress given that negative feedback might have kicked back on the doctor?

    I am impressed that 1 in 8 gave negative feedback nevertheless but those might have already planned their departure and felt like giving the two fingered salute to NHSE.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • David Banner

    This is outrageous. Gather a group of GPs together and about the only issue they agree on is the utter uselessness of appraisal. Time for Pulse to run an identical questionnaire to see what the troops REALLY think.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say