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NHS England to withdraw funding for GP appraisal tool

Exclusive NHS England is to withdraw funding for a GP appraisal tool that was previously paid for by PCTs, Pulse has learnt.

GPs were provided with funding for the toolkit from Clarity Informatics – which costs £50 per doctor – by many PCTs after the health bodies had been tasked with implementing appraisals.

But NHS England told Pulse it took the decision that central funding of appraisal was no longer appropriate, and it would not renew an agreement with Clarity.  

GPC negotiators criticised the decision, saying that engaging with appraisal is a contractual requirement and GPs should receive funding support.

It comes after the RCGP announced last year that it was no longer going to provide a free toolkit for GPs, and it was going to launch a new tool launched alongside Clarity in September, which was to incur a charge.

Many PCTs had funded the original Clarity toolkit in the past, and the agreements had continued until recently.

However, Dr Dean Marshall, a member of the GPC executive committee, said that GPs in Essex, Liverpool and Thames Valley were being told that funding was to be withdrawn.

He said: ‘Clearly, we’re not happy about this. Every doctor has to engage in appraisal as part of their contract and NHS England should be funding a toolkit to help them to do so. In Scotland they have one which is free to GPs.’

Dr Marshall added: ‘We’re making our views clear to NHS England.’

The Clarity system costs £50 per doctor. GPs have historically been appraised annually, and since 2012 the appraisal process has been used to inform revalidation, which takes place once every five years.

The RCGP said in September that Clarity would ‘enable us to provide members with a sustainable and continuously improving system’ and that the partnership would allow the college’s clinical expertise to inform the design of the product.

An NHS England spokesperson told Pulse that the NHS Revalidation Support Team MAG (Medical Appraisal Guide) model appraisal form remains free on the NHS England home page.

Readers' comments (36)

  • back to bits of paper then.

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  • No funding->no GPs to do appraisal.

    NHS England might be so "cocky" that they believe that being a GP is "an honour"...It is about as much an "honour" as being waterboarded.

    Trouble is these "cocky devils" have a teflon ego-despite the evidence of appalling incompetence.

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  • Such funding decisions should not be subject to the various incumbents' whims. If the decision has been made that funding is appropriate, that funding should be protected and renewed unless the requirements (in this case for appraisal) change. Please can we have a degree of consistency so that we, at least, are able to adequately plan for the future?

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  • Down with THE DAILY NUTTER, a "criminally insane" rag aimed at intimidating GPs on behalf of tory chums.

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  • ‘We’re making our views clear to NHS England.’

    Ooohhh..I'm sure they are quivering in their boots!

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  • 4.22pm....referring to NHS England? how dare you

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  • John Glasspool

    Yes, use paper. It is allowed. I always did.

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  • STOP appraisal!

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  • I'm leaving the country after qualifying because of this appraisal malarkey

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  • We use something locally called a MAG form. It's an editable PDF document for storing it all including previous years. As far as I'm aware it's free (I at least don't pay for it) and very easy to use. We ditched clarity a few years ago.

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