Almost 2,900 GPs have been revalidated across the UK since April, the GMC has said, at the same time as announcing it has begun an evaluation into how the system has been rolled out.
The regulator has approved recommendations for revalidation for 7,663 doctors since the scheme was introduced in April and, of these, 2,897 were GPs. It also announced that it has begun work on how to evaluate the system as it rolls out.
GP leaders said it was ‘positive’ that so many doctors have been revalidated, but the process remains ‘inconsistent’ across the country.
The GMC said that it hopes to revalidate 30,000 doctors by the end of this year.It stated: ‘The UK is the first country in the world to introduce revalidation across its whole healthcare system, covering GPs, hospital doctors, locums and those working in the independent sector. The GMC has already begun work on how to evaluate the system as it rolls out.’
So far, 2,538 GPs have been revalidated in England, compared with 194 in Scotland, 80 in Northern Ireland and 85 in Wales.
The regulator also confirmed it has deferred the revalidation of 833 all doctors from 3 December 2012 to 3 June 2013, as Pulse reported last month.
Dr Chand Nagpaul, a GPC negotiator, said the figures were ‘encouraging’ but added: ‘It’s early days and while it is certainly positive that so many doctors have been revalidated, we need to keep a close watch on the whole process as it unfolds. We are not in a place to be complacent or to say that the system is working well.
‘We remain concerned at the number of GPs that have had their revalidation deferred and there are also differences in the criteria being used to approve revalidation meaning that revalidation is inconsistent around the country.’
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘After years of debate and planning we are now on the road with revalidation and delighted with the way it is working so far.
‘The success of the first six months is a significant achievement for the doctors who have revalidated and the organisations they work for. We hope the doctors have found it useful to reflect on their practice and to get feedback for both patients and colleagues. For some doctors this will be a big change but most should already have been having appraisals and reflecting on their practice throughout their careers.’