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We have a chance to tell GMC what we really think of revalidation

From Dr Andrew Brewster, Reading

Imagine if you will, a thought experiment. You find yourself in the rather delicate situation of receiving 360 degree feedback confirming that 68% of your colleagues do not consider you to be a competent GP, and patient feedback stating that 58% of your patients are not happy with the care you have provided.

You have an opportunity to be heard

You make the decision that for the purposes of appraisal, this data would be best represented as 32% of your colleagues think that you are a competent GP and 42% of your patients are  happy with your care.

In your deluded state, you might be quite affronted that your appraiser is critical of your interpretation of this data, and shocked to hear of your appraiser’s concerns that you seem to be worryingly out of touch with reality.

Although this is merely a thought experiment, quite amazingly this is exactly how the GMC have chosen to interpret theinterim data of the UMbRELLA study, an independent qualitative research project commissioned by the GMC to investigate the impact of appraisal and revalidation, following their introduction in 2012 in the wake of Shipman.

I volunteered to take part in the UMbRELLA study in the hope that I would be able to represent the collective pain of the profession as a direct result of this self-serving GMC bureaucratic process; I wanted to use the opportunity of this qualitative research project to express my opinion that the GMC were simply ‘doing harm’ and forcing early retirement of competent GPs who quite understandably where not able to tolerate the stress and futility of the revalidation cycle as it presently stands.

I would urge all Pulse readers for whom this description of appraisals resonates, to take a look at the GMC website to see for themselves the GMC spin, and the comments of all of the doctors who are sick and tired of this process and not willing to put up with it any longer.

If this applies to you, I am writing to inform you that you have a voice. You have an opportunity to be heard. Please make the most of this chance and post your comment on the GMC website here and add to the 330+ unanimously critical posts. One would hope that the GMC has no option but to ‘reflect’ in these circumstances and radically overhaul the appraisal and revalidation process so that it resembles something fit for purpose.


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Readers' comments (7)

  • The GMC are fighting for self-existence. Their primary concern in not the doctor or the patient, but survival. They will never listen or see the reality!

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  • Appraisal is worthless . Assessment should measure if someone can do the job . eg a supervised OOH session. that would work and would only take 4 hours . But nurses and pharmacists can do the job so they should be included .

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  • That is an astonishing bit of spin from the GMC.

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  • The UK’s health regulators are currently unfit for purpose and need to be urgently reformed so they better support healthcare professionals providing services, a new report has claimed.
    According to the report, Rethinking Regulation, published by the Professional Standards Authority, the UK’s current regulators – including the CQC – are too expensive to fund, and are over-complicated.

    PULSE Magazine August 2015...


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  • Revalidation & CQC are, by product of marriage for mutual benefits between RCGP + GMC for survival.At the of "oath of alliance", RCGP , College President,during post Shipman era,convinced then PM, importance of regulation to avoid "future Shipman", knowing that Shipman was a astute clinician, but a personality disorder.In doing so, both "institutions" as well as "individuals involved" were beneficiary, at cost of "primary care". Jobs for some and work for others !! Appraisal based on tick boxes is utter, waste of precious clinical time of hard working GPs.

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  • It would be interesting to hear individual stories from the doctors who have 'failed' revalidation i.e. have been deferred or referred to the GMC for non-engagement. In a recent regional meeting there were some outrageous tales from individuals about their appraisals, let alone the doctors that have had troubles. There also appears to be a wide regional variations in rules for revalidation.

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  • Well said Dr Brewster! Since we thrashed out the rules of revalidation, it is now nothing like the original proposals and certainly not following the good idea of bringing marginal clinicians back into line. The present process is punitive and unacceptable because it has distorted the whole concept and made it a playground for abuse of good clinicians who are leaving the profession in droves.

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