GMC Pledges To Simplify Revalidation And Lessen Doctor Workload

23rd July 2017

On 20th July 2017, the General Medical Council (GMC) has outlined its plan on how it will implement Sir Keith Pearson’s recommendations for the next steps of taking revalidation processes forward, to make revalidation a more positive and meaningful experience for doctors, responsible officers, patients and everyone involved.

Previously Sir Keith Pearson, the chair of Health Education England had made a number of recommendations to work with patient groups to make revalidation processes more transparent and accessible for patients, as well as setting an earlier revalidation date for newly licensed doctors.

The new plan has been agreed by the newly established Revalidation Oversight Group, which includes representatives of stakeholder organisations across the UK, as well as the GMC.

Under the plans, by March 2018 the GMC will:

  • Create a simple and accessible way to explain the purpose and benefits of revalidation to patients.
  • Recognise how to make the patient feedback process easier and more valuable, seeking feedback from doctors and patients.
  • Develop a proportionate way to monitor revalidation on an ongoing basis, to make sure it continues to meet its objectives.
  • Provide clearer guidance for doctors and responsible officers on what is required from them for revalidation.
  • Offer more precise advice on how doctors should gather representative feedback from colleagues, including how those colleagues should be selected, ensuring this is as robust and helpful as possible.
  • Support and strengthen processes for doctors working in multiple settings, in particular across the National Health Service (NHS) and private practice. This includes making sure appraisal covers a doctor’s whole scope of practice, that organisations are sharing related information, and clarifying how chosen bodies are expected to support doctors.

The chair of the BMA, British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that BMA agreed with the principle of revalidation, and that the GMC was right to take action on Sir Keith’s recommendation. BMA see this action plan as an opportunity to reduce the burden that revalidation imposes on doctors.

The Chief executive of GMC, Charlie Massey said that the Revalidation is integral to ensuring patients that GMC regularly confirm that a doctor remains fit to practise. Now, the focus of GMC is continuing to work with other organisations, getting their feedback and input, as we act on commitments set out in this plan.

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