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Taking Revalidation Forward

Independent chair of the revalidation advisory board, Sir Keith Pearson has published a review of the impact of revalidation named Taking revalidation forward: Improving the process of relicensing for doctors.

In December 2012, Revalidation was introduced and till now almost all licensed doctors have been through the revalidation process. Revalidation is the process where licensed doctors are required to demonstrate that they are up-to-date and fit to practice medicine. Revalidation aims to give assurance that individual doctors are not just qualified, but safe.

Sir Keith’s overall impression is that revalidation has settled well and is rolling as expected thanks to the medical profession and those leading revalidation both locally and nationally.

Here are list of some significant benefits listed on the report:

  • Regular supported consideration, including feedback from patients and colleagues, is starting to drive change in doctors' practice.
  • Revalidation has ensured that annual whole practice appraisal is now taking place.
  • Revalidation has strengthened clinical governance within healthcare organisations, supporting them to find poorly performing doctors, and support improvement.

The report concludes a number of recommendations to the GMC, healthcare organisations, and health departments to work together to progress aspects of revalidation for the advantage of both patients and doctors.

Following are some recommendations aimed at healthcare organisations and their boards:

  • Continuing work to increase the quality and consistency of appraisals and ensure that the process is correctly resourced.
  • Working with local patients groups to advertise and promote procedures for assuring that doctors are up to date and fit to practise.
  • Studying ways to make it simpler for doctors to gather and reflect upon supporting information for their appraisal, such as through better IT systems or investment in administrative support.
  • Ensuring that efficient methods are in place for quality assurance of local appraisal and revalidation decisions, including opportunities for doctors to deliver feedback and challenge evaluations.
  • Assuring that revalidation is not used as a way to deliver trust objectives beyond the GMC’s revalidation requirements.

Responding to Sir Keith Pearson’s review, Taking revalidation forward, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, Charlie Massey said that the Revalidation has embedded the system of annual appraisals for doctors, and is vital to ensuring patients that a doctor’s fitness to practise is checked regularly, but it is significant that GMC learn and improve the process so all doctors find it as a positive experience.

Chief Executive of NHS Employers, Danny Mortimer welcomed the Sir Keith Pearson’s report and its recommendations and said it is very important that revalidation goes beyond compliance to provide assurance to the patients, public, doctors, parliament and employing organisations.

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