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LMCs demand national limit on GP sessions needed for appraisal

GP leaders in Scotland called on the GMC to set a national minimum limit for the number of sessions GPs should work each year before they are eligible to be appraised.

LMCs urged the GMC to put a stop to individual health boards imposing arbitrary limits on when GPs should be appraised and called on the GPC to ‘to discuss the implications this would have for the profession as a whole with the Scottish Government and the GMC’.

At the Scottish LMCs Conference held last Friday in Clydebank, near Glasgow, Dr Brett La Hay from Tayside said any minimum number should be set nationally, to ensure GPs who need to work flexibly do not become excluded from the workforce.

Dr La Hay said: ‘Perhaps there does have to be a minimum number of sessions you need to do if you’re going to work as a GP. But I don’t think that’s something the health board should decide – it’s something the GMC should decide.

‘I think we have to support this motion so that people who are working as GPs can get access to appraisal – it’s the only way we’re going to maintain a workforce that is flexible. Minimum requirements should be decided at a national level, not by individual health boards.’

During the debate, LMC leaders reported GPs could also face being barred from undergoing revalidation for not being ‘clinically active’ enough.

Dr William McAlpine. Ayrshire and Arran LMC secretary, said one GP had successfully completely five appraisals but was told by the responsible officer (RO) he may not be revalidated because he had ‘not been clinically active enough in the past year’.

Deputy chair of the SGPC Dr Andrew Buist urged LMCs to back the motion and said the SGPC was working on a solution.

Dr Buist said: ‘This should be nationally set and that’s why we have already raised this with the national revalidation board for Scotland and they are going to take it to the RO network and GMC to get some national guidance on this.’