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GMC revalidation review to recommend changes for 2017

The GMC has launched its own review into revalidation, focusing on doctors’ experiences of revalidation, which will make recommendations for changes during 2017.

The review will draw on the evidence of the operation and impact of revalidation, and will be led by the chair of the GMC’s revalidation advisory board.

It comes after a barrage of criticism from the profession, with the GPC referring to the process as a ‘waste of time’.

Last year, the GMC commissioned an independent organisation to review revalidation – under the name ‘UMbRELLA’ – which is due to publish its interim findings in the spring.

This will feed into the review announced by the GMC today.

A statement from the regulator said: ‘The review will draw on evidence of the operation and impact of revalidation since it was launched in December 2012 and look forward to how it can be improved.

‘The aim will be to produce recommendations for changes during 2017.’

The review by Sir Keith Pearson, the chair of the revalidation advisory board, will focus on:

  • UK wide research into revalidation and appraisal and UK wide surveys completed since the introduction of revalidation
  • Data held by the GMC including breakdowns of revalidation figures and complaints received.
  • Doctors’ experiences of revalidation from previously published reports and interactions between doctors and the GMC’s liaison advisers
  • Available evidence detailing formal and informal feedback from Responsible Officers.
  • Reports on how appraisal and clinical governance are working in each country of the UK
  • Submissions by organisations including the four health departments, the medical Royal Colleges, the BMA, independent sector representatives, NHS England and the systems regulators and improvement bodies
  • Views from patients who have provided feedback to their doctor from available evidence.

In a letter to Pulse last year, Niall Dickson said that interim results from the UMbRELLA 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’.

As part of that review, the GMC launched a survey asking all doctors to ‘help shape the future of revalidation’, with a bulk of the questions focusing on how long doctors take to prepare for their appraisal.

A history of GPs’ criticisms of revalidation

Dr Peter Holden quizzical

Dr Peter Holden quizzical

Dr Peter Holden quizzical

In 2013, GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden warned GPs are now routinely spending more than 40 hours preparing for appraisals in an outspoken attack on revalidation ‘overkill’, calling for the wider BMA to ‘get some balls’ in dealing with the controversial process.

A year later, even CQC chief inspector of primary care Professor Steve Field stuck the boot in, saying he has ‘no confidence at all’ in the ability of the revalidation process after finding cases where there was ‘very little evidence’ that revalidated GPs were staying up to date.

Pulse then revealed in 2015 that fewer than 1% of GPs in England had gone through the remediation process as a result of revalidation in the first year of its implementation - leading the GPC to brand it a ‘waste of time’. 





Readers' comments (17)

  • Since when has Niall Dickson been a "professor" - just a lowly hack innhe?

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  • Thanks for pointing this out - it has been changed

  • The purpose is to find out if a doctor can do the task of diagnosing the cause of a problem and formulating a plan to treat it . Four hours under supervision of an experienced clinician (medically qualified ) whilst seeing patients who haven't been pre-selected such as those seen in an OOH shift . The difficulty arises in deciding what to do with those who don't perform well enough.

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  • We might not be here by 2017...

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  • whatever they have up their sleeve it will be worse than the present process - the clue is 'Professor Steve Field stuck the boot in, saying he has ‘no confidence at all’ in the ability of the revalidation process after finding cases where there was ‘very little evidence’ that revalidated GPs were staying up to date.'

    i'm sure they will find a way to make us more fed up and drown further in bureaucracy. we will probably have to provide more evidence that we are staying up to date - maybe the CPD units are going to be increased to 100?

    juniors run far far away while you can.

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  • Oh boy oh boy there must be tsunami of shit hitting them in the face for them to start talking about changing the process. About frigging time they felt the power of social media oh yeah

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  • I think the process is too easy. GP's should be stoned in the streets by their patients. Then flogged while reciting every article in the lancet over the last 12 months. We can only be safe and effective, spot terrorists, provide marriage guidance and offer brief interventions for every obscure disease out there if we undertake a minimum of 1000 hours of CPD. We should also be working 7 days a week and accept a 50% pay cut. Only then will our masters and the media respect us.

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  • Work to rule!
    Only do the hours you are paid for and the work you are paid for.
    Everything else deserves a big NO.
    Let the GMC and the DOH reflect on that.
    Everyone needs to do it and we need to start breaking the self destructive habit of just doing it anyway as it has got us all nowhere. Whats more, the more doctors take working overtime without pay as normal, the more.pressure will be put on those who value their lives to work without pay.

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  • Please please please get rid of it altogether. I want to come back to General Practice after a few years away and I can't, because I can't seem to find a way to revalidate without spending a year full time in a training practice. I have just lost my Licence to Practice because of it. Such nonsense. I've been offered several part time jobs and lots of locum work but can't do any of it because I'm apparently useles and cast by the wayside due to my lack of revalidation.

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  • Appraisal is a measure of how good you are at preparing for appraisal while reflective learning (eportfolio) is trendy crap, that will be out of fashion before too soon. Hoping for some robust evidence to back up my hunches in make my working life a bit less infuriating.

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  • I do not find appraisal and revalidation daunting. If you can keep on top of it from the beginning it should not be as time consuming as many colleagues make it out to be.
    In my opinion it is a good way of demonstrating what self-learning you have done for the year,what new things you have learned about, and what you found difficult to deal with and how will you manage this in future. You do not have to be very eloquent or depressingly exasperated in order to reflect. Simple and focused sentences should do and hence the fact less than 1% doctors are actually sent for remedial action.
    If you start the whole process with antagonism and negativity, you will find it harder and harder each passing year. I qualified as a GP three years ago and maybe i am more familiar to eportfolos and written reflection than some of the older colleagues, and that might be causing some problem? Whatever the reasons, the appraisal is probably one way of demonstrating competence (agree may not be the best way but there has to be some objective way of proving ongoing competence in the modern World) or else are you guys prepared to go through competency exams?

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