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How to avoid annual appraisal and other top tips

Blimey, I know this story’s a week old, but it’s taken me that long to recover from this stat: ‘The NHS Revalidation Support Team says over 90% of GPs had participated in an annual appraisal in 2011/12.’

That is stunning. Annual appraisal has been a contractual obligation for around eight (long, tedious, when do I retire exactly?) years. And yet, somehow, nearly one in 10 of us managed to sidestep the process last year. I demand to know who these GPs are. I want to know where they practice. And most of all, I want to know how they did it.

Because these people are heroes. That ticking you can hear is the revalidation time bomb about to blow up in our faces, and these appraisal dodgers can teach us how to detonate it. Pulse editor, I demand a ‘Ten top tips’ article written by these courageous and cunning GPs on ‘How to avoid appraisal, revalidation, and all those other pain-in the arse initiatives’. Better still, one top tip – I’m in a hurry and have poor concentration skills.

In the meantime, I remain in awe of these rebels, these shining stars of the revolution. They deserve our thanks; they deserve the spotlight of celebrity. Name and acclaim them.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield