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GMC to commission independent review of revalidation

The GMC is to commission an independent review of revalidation to ‘refine the system’ once every doctor has been through it, its chief executive has told Pulse.

In a letter to Pulse, Professor Niall Dickson said that interim results from the evaluation should be available in January 2016 whereupon the GMC would be ‘in a better position to assess the impact of the first wave of revalidation and how it can be improved and developed’.

GP leaders welcomed the review, but said that revalidation continues to be a form of ‘regulatory overkill’.

Professor Dickson was responding to a Pulse story that revealed that only a handful of GPs had been put through remediation following revalidation, raising questions about the utility of the whole scheme.

He said that revalidation was a ‘process’ and not a case of doctors passing or failing.

He wrote: ‘It remains our ambition to work with the profession, employers and patient groups to refine the system once every doctor has been through it.

‘We have commissioned an independent evaluation and after interim results in January 2016, we should all be in a better position to assess the impact of the first wave of revalidation and how it can be improved and developed. ‘

The GPC welcomed the review.

Dr Dean Marshall, the GPC’s lead negotiator for revalidation issues, said: ’While it is sensible to review revalidation, now that we are a couple of years in, it depends on the criteria of the review and whether it includes appraisal which is the issue here.

‘While the GPC supports revalidation GPs have to jump through a lot of hoops for appraisal and the question is whether revalidation is a good use of everyone’s time.’

Dr Marshall also said that that the GPC would be looking closely at how ‘independent’ the review of revalidation actually was.

Meanwhile, Dr Peter Holden, a former GPC negotiator and GP in Matlock, Derbyshire, told Pulse that he hopes that the results of a review of revalidation will be ‘proof’ of what GP have been saying all along – that it is ‘regulatory overkill’.

He claimed that revalidation is one of the many reasons that GPs are leaving the profession.

‘I had a partner who left the profession six years ago aged 53, saying they were not going through the nonsense of revalidation. We are being crushed by regulatory burdens. I resent spending two weekends to get my appraisal completed – this is time that is taking us away from patient care.’

Revalidation was introduced in 2012 in the wake of a series of health scandals. But critics claim that the appraisal system has gone too far, increasing GPs’ workloads and regulatory burdens when the great majority of GPs do not need remediation.

GPs had previously complained that there was mounting evidence that the revalidation process was becoming a bureaucratic nightmare for some GPs.

The GMC promised that the whole process would take only a day to complete, but GP leaders have complained about 70-hour marathons to collect evidence.

Readers' comments (19)

  • If the GMC want to go through my prescribing, referrals, anonymised patient records, talk to staff and colleagues or sit-in and watch me work - no problem.
    However I am not wasting another second of my life on the current appraisal farce.

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  • These are mere words. Independent or not, the outcome will be revalidation has made better doctors and GP's, made them all "reflect" (come we have always done that after every patient, just not put into writing!) and needs to continue with more emphaisis being put on the MSF and PSQ as other people (especially patients). It appears only doctors have to be honest, transparent and full of probity. Not the regulators. But who will police the police?

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  • Anon 11:34 you ask. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    The GMC can be trusted to regulate itself like the doctors. Or not.

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  • All you gp appraisers: shame on you!!! If you had not agreed to be appraisers,the whole appraisal/revalidation fiasco would have collapsed. How much do you earn for each appraisal? How dare you set yourselves up to judge the rest of us! It is no good saying that if gps had not done it,the government would have brought non-gps to do it. If that had been the case,the politicians could not have said that many gps were in favour of it. My last appraisal was a complete waste of time and I refuse to do revalidation. My gp career is ending 5 years prematurely thanks to those stupid idiots at the gmc

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  • GMC - Persecuting Doctors, Pandering to Patients

    - best of it is you get to pay for the privilege of being harassed and bullied with any vexation complaint, and forced out of your career, tarred with guilt, as assumed until proven innocent, unless you go bankrupt first, then no apology or compensation.

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  • If I'm right ,and I suspect I am there will be no GPs to revalidate in 2 years anyway .

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  • As it happens I found the GMC more pragmatic than the RCGP and GP-training COGPED. This institutions inspired much of the current burdensome apparatus. The thing wrong is that appraisals come round too often. Should be every three years, not annual.

    http://gerardbulger.com.au/revalidation.html

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  • How many independent reviews are we going to have? The GMC fees will go up to pay for this and end of it all; it will come to protect the public and let doctors commit suicide.

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  • I absolutely despise the whole revalidation/appraisal system. My recent revalidation was "held up" as I had complaint from a patient who was upset that she had to wait 5 mins in the waiting room to be seen when she turned up late to her appt so i had already called in the patient after her by the time she turned up, she then took up > 20 mins , then complained that I couldn't spend more time with her in her routine 10 mins appt!! Nobody had asked me what had happenned, they just looked at her letter of complaint and held up my revalidation!!!!

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