GPC seeks appraisal deadline extension after website shutdown

GPs should have their 31 March appraisal deadlines extended after the NHS appraisal website was taken offline because of its vulnerability to hackers, according to the GPC.

Dr Buckman requested more time for GPs with their appraisal deadlines
Dr Buckman requested more time for GPs with their appraisal deadlines

Healthcare Republic reported on Wednesday that the DoH had taken the action because it was ‘not sufficiently robust to withstand modern day hacking'.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman wrote to primary care minister Mike O'Brien: ‘We would be grateful if you could write to PCTs and hospital trusts to request that they are as flexible as possible with their appraisal deadlines.'

'In normal circumstances, all GPs are expected to have completed their NHS appraisals by 31 March each year. However, the fact that many GPs will have to re-arrange their appraisal, potentially with a backlog occurring after this period, means that it is likely that many GPs will be unable to meet this deadline.'

The letter adds that the GPC hopes that any extra costs to appraisers and appraisees caused by this problem are met in full.

Dr Buckman adds: ‘I would therefore ask that it be ensured that the toolkit is not relaunched until the full security of doctors' data can be assured.'

A DoH spokesperson said on Thursday: ‘We have written out to PCTs today setting out that the DoH would not expect doctors to be penalised because they are unable to complete their appraisal due to the temporary unavailability of the toolkit.

‘PCTs and employing organisations will want to consider any funding implications on a case by case basis.'

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