DoH will not fund cost of revalidation

Exclusive - LMCs' hope that DoH will pay for revalidation dashed; GPC prepared to fight.

Dr Laurence Buckman
Dr Laurence Buckman

The DoH has confirmed that it will not fund the annual cost of revalidation, heightening concerns that the profession will have to pay.

A DoH spokeswoman told GP the annual cost of revalidation would be broadly similar to the current appraisal process, so no extra funding would be required.

Currently, GMS partners receive 26p per patient in their global sum to reimburse them for the time and costs of appraising themselves and salaried GPs. Locums and PMS GPs receive various amounts depending on their primary care organisation (PCO).

But GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman told GP he was prepared to fight for a higher fee should the annual 'enhanced appraisal' be more burdensome.

GPs at June's national LMCs conference demanded that revalidation is 'fully funded and resourced' by the DoH.

Additional work towards enhanced appraisal will include surveys of patients and colleagues and earning learning credits.

Dr Di Jelley, a GP and clinical lead for appraisal in NHS North of Tyne, predicted that enhanced appraisal may not be much more time-consuming than appraisal, but could mean more costly training courses for GPs.

Dr Buckman's biggest concern is how the 'remediation' of doctors identified as struggling during revalidation would be paid for, which the RCGP expects to be the mostly costly aspect of revalidation.

'Who pays for a doctor to be remediated?' said Dr Buckman. 'The state, the profession, or the individual?'

If individual GPs are left to pay, it could cause an exodus from the profession, he warned.

Charging the whole profession, through a rise in GMC fees, would mean 'GPs dipping in their own pockets to pay for others,' said Dr Buckman.

PCOs have enough in their allocations to pay for revalidation, but not remediation, he said.

A DoH spokeswoman said there had been no decision on who would pay for remediation but work was ongoing at a 'local level'. A GMC spokeswoman said it was unlikely to be heavily involved in remediation.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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