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Staggered revalidation rollout could attract ‘wrong sort of doctor’ to some areas, NHS bosses warn

By Gareth Iacobucci

A phase-by-phase rollout of revalidation could lead to some parts of the country attracting ‘the wrong sort of doctor', acccording to a warning from NHS Employers.

In its response to the GMC's consultation on revalidation, which ended last week, NHS Employers said a gradual rollout could see poorly performing doctors gravitating towards areas where there is ‘poorer control over regulatory requirements', which could create ‘pockets of weaker performance'.

Bosses also warned that a staggered introduction of the scheme may place too much emphasis on those doctors that are already highly supervised, such as trainees, rather than ‘more difficult areas' such as single-handed GPs.

The fears have emerged following the Government's decision to delay the rollout of revalidation by extending pilots until 2012, due to concerns about the cost and logistics of the current proposals.

NHS Employers said it was concerned that the process could become overly costly and bureaucratic for managers, and warned it could become a ‘tick box' exercise.

The organisation also expressed concern at the potential administration costs of patient questionnaires, and advised that the RCGP's list of standards for CPD were ‘too onerous and gold plated'.

It said: ‘The aim should be to have a straightforward, low-resource process that ensures doctors are fit to carry out the roles required of them.'

‘There is a fear that if it is over complicated it will not be done, but simply be seen to be done.'

Gill Belford, director of core services at NHS Employers, said: ‘NHS organisations are keen to support revalidation. However, it is clearly essential that the approach does not over-burden employers financially or administratively.'

‘Current financial restraints in the NHS suggest that the time is right to review the ‘depth' of data and process required for revalidation'.

NHS managers are the latest group to raise concerns over the revalidation rollout NHS managers are the latest group to raise concerns over the revalidation rollout