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GMC pledges to simplify revalidation and reduce doctor workload

The GMC has said it will push ahead with implementing changes to revalidation, in line with recommendations published earlier this year.

The review, led by revalidation programme board chair Sir Keith Pearson, made a range of recommendations including on how to reduce the related workload.

One suggestion had including pre-populating revalidation feedback by allowing this to be collected from patients after every doctor interaction.

Sir Keith had also recommended revalidation would be renamed 'relicensing', as this would be more meaningful to patients; tracking impact of revalidation; making sure managers were not using revalidation to push local performance targets; and looking closer at responsible officer conflicts of interest.

In response, the GMC said it will consult doctors and patients to 'identify how to make the patient feedback process easier and more valuable', by March next year.

By the same deadline, the GMC said it will:

  • provide doctors and responsible officers with 'clearer guidance' on what is required of them for revalidation;
  • offer 'more specific advice' on how doctors should gather colleague feedback, including how to select the colleagues; and
  • improve the revalidation process for doctors working across different settings, including the NHS and private practice, so that it 'covers a doctor's whole scope of practice'.

It also said it would come up with a simpler explanation of revalidation to patients and develop a 'proportionate way' to monitor revalidation to ensure it does what it is supposed to do.

The medical royal colleges will also be updating their revalidation guidance to clarify the GMC's requirements as well as their own recommendations, the GMC added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health will review rules for who should revalidate locums and other doctors who do not have an obivous responsbile officer.

GMC chair Charley Massey said: 'We’ve held discussions with representatives of doctors, patients and other bodies who deliver revalidation across the UK, focusing on the key actions required to make improvements, without adding additional cost or burden. This plan, and the commitments in it, is the result of that initial joint work.

‘But it’s just the beginning, and it’s vital now that we maintain the momentum. We need the continued commitment from a wide range of organisations to make revalidation a better experience for doctors, especially at a time when they are under ever-increasing pressure.

‘Revalidation is integral to assuring patients that we regularly confirm that a doctor remains fit to practise. Our focus now is continuing to work with other organisations, getting their feedback and input, as we act on commitments set out in this plan.’

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that the BMA 'supports the principle of revalidation', adding: 'We see this action plan as an opportunity to reduce the burden that revalidation imposes on doctors.

'In particular, we want to see implementation of the recommendation from Sir Keith Pearson’s review that local organisations should not use revalidation as a lever to achieve objectives beyond the GMC’s revalidation requirements.

’We also agree with Sir Keith that doctors should be able to challenge decisions they feel are unfair.

Dr Nagpaul added that the BMA will 'continue to press the GMC and other bodies about the actions needed to relieve the unnecessary burden that revalidation can sometimes place on doctors'.

The GMC's revalidation 'action plan'

  1. Making revalidation more accessible to patients and the public.
  2. Reducing burdens and improving the appraisal experience for doctors.
  3. Strengthening assurance where doctors work in multiple locations.
  4. Reducing the number of doctors without a connection.
  5. Tracking the impact of revalidation
  6. Supporting improved local governance.

Source: Taking Revalidation Forward Action Plan

Readers' comments (38)

  • Any feed back should not be anonymous.If it is anything like NHS choices all the clients who have an axe to grind complain, satisfied punter dont feeback we should be able to counter complaints and defend ourselves.the woul be like being put in the stocks until we were killed by being stoned to death by baying crowd.

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  • Have you read "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson.

    There is a lot of it about you know at the top of any organisation.

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  • End of the line?

    In the beginning was the Plan.

    And then came the Assumptions.

    And the Assumptions were without form.

    And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.

    And they spoke among themselves, saying, "It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh."

    And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, "It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odour thereof."

    And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying, "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."

    And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying, "It is a vessel of fertiliser, and none may abide its strength."

    And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another, "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."

    And the Directors then went onto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, "It promotes growth and is very powerful."

    And the Vice Presidents went unto the President, saying unto him, "This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigour of the company; with powerful effects."

    And the President looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good.

    And the Plan became Policy.

    This is How Shit Happens.

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  • End of the line?

    The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major U.S. research university. The element, tentatively named administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.
    Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occurred in less than a second.

    Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increases after each reorganization.

    Research at other laboratories indicates that administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. It can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

    Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.
    ..... Beware High concentrations adminstratum found in appraisal and revalidation... stifling all productivity

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  • AlanAlmond

    The comments section contains some of the most entertaining writing in PULSE. Keep it up folks. You've all got me hooked.

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  • In a mostly dictatorial organisation, humour is the last thing left...
    Colleagues, you should look around as foreign GMC works: they are there to help, to organise social meetings as well as educational ones...
    I had a dream: appeased friendly GMC, caring for members, working hard to continuously improve the quality of its members not by repression, but by education...Free access to the building for members... with free coffee machine...

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  • The GMC revalidation convinced me to retire, get off the register and leave a profession I really enjoyed. This is why we are so short of doctors! Why is the BMA so frightened of the GMC? The news proposals are cynical rubbish. The GMC, paid for entirely by doctors, despises us and has the gall to claim charitable status. Dreadful.

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  • I wonder if anyone has done any research on drs who have retired / emigrated due to heavy handed, grossly over-the-top and inept GMC regulation? If there aren't enough drs because of this surely then this would be a further patient saftey issue?

    Current research suggests that not only is there a lack of evidence base behind what the GMC does but the GMC is a threat to patient safety:

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