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Copperfield wonders if the delays over GP appraisals after the NHS appraisals tool-kit was shut down could have a silver lining

Copperfield wonders if the delays over GP appraisals after the NHS appraisals tool-kit was shut down could have a silver lining

I've been surprised at the general wailing and gnashing of teeth that has greeted the news about the NHS appraisal toolkit having a spanner in its works. The way people are going on, you'd think it actually mattered. It doesn't.

As far as I'm concerned, appraisal is one of the most expensive, self indulgent, brain-dead wastes of premium GP time that has been invented, and God knows there's been a few.

I utterly loathe having to ‘demonstrate' that I'm acting like a professional, particularly when I have to do it in such an unprofessional, patronising, pathetic way.

Appraisal is supposed to be formative, but the only thing it forms in me is the opinion that its advocates should be horsewhipped.

So. The computer geeks trying to sort out the ‘security breach' – definitely not a leak of any of my ‘significant' events', because I haven't got any – say it'll take three weeks.

Well, one thing is certain in the world of the cyber-help desk: if a computing issue is going to be cured in x weeks, it won't be, usually because the software designed to cure the glitch in the original software has a glitch in it, requiring a further bit of software etc until the whole thing disappears up whatever computers have for an arse. I don't actually understand that much about this stuff, but I think you get the drift.

Anyway, good. Because, as far as I'm concerned, they can take as long as they like. Then someone will say, heck, let's just skip appraisals this year, and we'll all smile and mumble, ‘OK'. And someone else will notice that doing so has saved much time, money and not killed that many patients.

At which point we'll all agree to quietly let the appraisal process wither on the vine. In so doing, revalidation would be put out of its – and our – misery. Joy.

Or, to put it another way, I've got a tip for the NHS appraisal toolkit e-wrench monkeys. Have you tried turning it off – and leaving it off?

Copperfield wonders if the closure of the NHS appraisals tool-kit could have a silver lining

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