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‘Streamlined revalidation pilots’ launch

The final phase of revalidation pilots has been launched with a ‘streamlined and simplified' process, amid concerns that England is lagging behind Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on appraisal rates.

The final round of pilots run by the NHS Revalidation Support Team (RST) launched on the 1 October. GPs working for the RST said the new pilots, which will run in nine pilot areas, had ‘streamlined' and simplified the revalidation process for doctors after acting on feedback from GPs involved in previous pilots.

A Pulse investigation into the revalidation pathfinder pilots run earlier this year found that GPs felt the process was ‘unworkable' and were overwhelmed by the workload involved. At the time Pulse revealed the RST would abandon the much-maligned ‘IT revalidation toolkit' used in the earlier pilots in favour of a new system, now revealed to be an interactive PDF appraisal form.

Dr Nick Lyons, Programme Director for Testing and Piloting at the RST and a GP in Wareham, Dorset, said: ‘We are working closely with the medical community to ensure we have a revalidation system that is efficient, streamlined and supports high quality care.'

'Participants in the pilot will have a very real opportunity to help shape the future of revalidation by providing their feedback.'

The new pilots launched as GMC board papers revealed England is lagging behind Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on appraisals.

The GMC's Revalidation Programme Update paper, presented to the GMC Council last week, highlights ‘high rates of appraisal in primary care' in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. However, the paper reports that England has ‘variable' appraisal rates in primary and secondary care.

The NHS RST said it will be publishing a report on England's readiness for revalidation later this month.

Dr Maurice Conlon, Communications and Engagement Director at the RST and a GP in Birmingham, said: ‘We look forward to publishing the first snapshot of readiness across England in the next couple of weeks. Each country within the UK will have its own individual circumstances in relation to readiness for revalidation. The RST is working closely with the GMC and other partners to ensure the four countries remain in step to achieve readiness by late 2012.'

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