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NHS England clarifies revalidation guidance for GPs working few sessions

GPs who work very few sessions will be asked to submit extra paperwork in their revalidation, under new NHS England guidance.

The BMA welcomed the guidance, which it said provided 'clarity' for the workforce.

Under the new guidance, sessional GPs who work fewer than 40 sessions per year will have to submit a ‘structured reflective template’ (SRT) to demonstrate their continued ability to provide safe care.

This is the first guidance to set a defined threshold for the number of sessions a GP has to have worked without having to submit the SRT.

The guidance said: ‘The purpose of this threshold is to act as a trigger for reflection and discussion about the scope, circumstances and personal development goals consistent with inclusion.

‘It is explicitly not to be viewed as a pass or fail for the doctor but rather as a prompt for the reflective discussion outlined above to take place during annual appraisal.’

The SRT will ask GPs to reflect on nine criteria, including previous experience, overlap in relevant experience from a different role and whether the low volume of work was consistent through out the year or whether significant breaks were taken.

According to the guidance, GPs that raise concerns in light of this reflection could face, ‘withdrawal from the Medical Performers List with the consideration of options for future re-entry including the refresher scheme by the portfolio route’.

In a blog post for the BMA, Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, deputy chair of the BMA’s GP Committee, said the new system ‘will provide a much-needed boost to our beleaguered workforce and provide everyone with clarity’.

He said: ‘This will provide the system, the public, the appraiser and the GP with assurance that they continue to practice safely and will remove the burden of anxiety and doubt from the many hard working and able GPs who choose to work lower numbers of clinical sessions, recognising that many also carry out other roles alongside this retained clinical commitment.’

The GMC said last year that it intended to simplify revalidation in line with recommendations from the Pearson review, which had made a range of recommendations including on how to reduce the related workload.

Meanwhile, a three-year GMC review of revalidation found the process ‘may not necessarily improve professional practice’, while some doctors ‘identified potentially negative impacts’.

Readers' comments (7)

  • “a much needed boost to our beleaguered workforce”?
    I can’t even begin to comprehend the thought process behind this beauty.
    Possibly he means a much needed boost to paperwork?; to colleagues packing it in?; to appraisers finally drowning under bureaucracy?

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  • That's less than 1 session a week?
    2 sessions a week for 20 weeks
    4 sessions for 10 weeks
    3 sessions for 13 weeks + 1 more
    5 sessions for 8 weeks
    6 sessions for 7 weeks
    7 sessions for 6 weeks
    8 sessions for 5 weeks
    Sorry just working out what I need to do to avoid the extra paperwork!

    .... but why make hurdles when you already have a recruitment and retention problem
    ...unless of course you need to maintain the battlements on your ivory tower?

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  • So the option of staying on the performers list or jacking it in fully is more obvious.
    Excellent work on retention fully espoused by the BMA lackeys!

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  • Just so stupid. As if a simply and arbitrary time red line ensures competence.

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  • This confirms my suspicion that ANY form of part time work/locuming after retirement is now totally out of the question
    Your loss not mine!

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  • great. The chap who saves our skin from time to time when someone is off sick is barred from working. We all know he is getting on a bit so we support and keep an eye on him. Thanks guys.

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  • BMA welcomes even more pointless bureaucratic obstructionism inflicted on their members. Why is anyone daft enough to pay BMA subs?

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