Exclusive: GPs reject bid to make them fund remediation

By Abi Rimmer and Susie Sell, 09 January 2012

More than two-thirds of GPs believe doctors who fail revalidation should not be forced to pay for their own remediation, a GP poll has revealed.

Dr Richard Vautrey: 'The idea of GPs paying for their own remediation is unacceptable'

Dr Richard Vautrey: 'The idea of GPs paying for their own remediation is unacceptable'

The GP opinion survey found that 68% of 200 GPs who took part thought doctors should not be forced to pay. 

The finding follows a DH report last month that argued doctors should pay for ‘all or part’ of remediation.

Many respondents to the poll argued that PCTs or the GMC should fund remediation. GP locum Dr Timothy Cantor said: ‘Revalidation is meant to be for the protection of the public. Therefore, the taxpayer should foot the bill.’

But the DH report found that currently ‘nearly 50% of PCTs may ask a doctor to make a financial contribution and a third reported they sometimes expected doctors to meet the entire cost’ of remedial work.

It was ‘uncommon’ for hospital doctors to be expected to pay for their own remediation, the report found. But it concluded: ‘Doctors often fund part or all of their own CPD. It might be reasonable to think therefore that doctors should be expected to fund all or part of their own remediation.’

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman warned that compelling GPs to pay for remediation could force many into early retirement. ‘If the government says doctors will have to foot the bill, you will find a lot of retirements. A lot of GPs will say "I’m not doing this", which would be understandable but unfortunate,’ he said.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey described GPs paying for their own remediation as ‘unacceptable’.

The GPC announced last year that it would block the implementation of revalidation unless the key issue of who will foot the bill for remediation has been resolved.

However, GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said revalidation was not dependent on remediation. ‘If the argument is that revalidation might identify patient safety issues but you haven’t got a good enough thing in place to remediate the doctor, I would say: "Well, not identifying a patient safety issue is not the way forward".’

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