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NI GP shortage grows

GPs have rejected proposals for knowledge tests, videos of consultations and health checks on doctors to be included as part of revalidation evidence.

But most GPs would welcome patient surveys and clinical governance data being added to revalidation, Pulse's survey finds.

The five measures were all recommended by Shipman Inquiry chair Dame Janet Smith as ways to toughen up the revalidation process.

The RCGP has also called for the inclusion of knowledge tests, but 57 per cent of GPs said they did not support the idea. A further 73 per cent also rejected the idea of videoed consultations.

Three-quarters of GPs said medical examinations of doctors should not be included, although there was less objection to this from GPs aged 65 and over.

Patient surveys were, however, acceptable to more than two-thirds of GPs.

Use of clinical governance data was also acceptable to 77 per cent, though older doctors were less comfortable with its inclusion than younger GPs.

GPC deputy chair Dr Laurence Buckman said knowledge tests were 'almost valueless' as they did not accurately measure ability and health checks were an intrusion on doctors' privacy.

But he said videoed consultations could be useful as long as they were analysed according to strict standards.

He added doctors generally do not mind patient surveys being used. 'They do make criticisms but they wouldn't say a GP was a menace or should be struck off.'

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