Anger over appraisals as revalidation begins

PCTs are placing unfair restrictions on GP appraisals, GP leaders have warned, as the first doctors begin to receive dates for revalidation.

Dr Dean Marshall: evidence of restrictions on appraisal (photo: Pete Hill)

GPC revalidation lead Dr Dean Marshall said PCTs were still placing restrictions on GP appraisal, despite GPs repeatedly raising concerns about regional variation.

'There is definitely evidence of PCTs trying to be restrictive,' he said. 'We're doing a lot of supporting GPs and LMCs on this.'

Devon LMC chairman Dr Andrew Sant said NHS Devon, Plymouth and Torbay had limited the appraisal toolkits GPs were allowed to use to three options. This left GPs who had bought other GMC-approved toolkits in effect 'paying twice' to be able to pool appraisal evidence correctly, he said.

A PCT spokesman said the range of toolkits allowed could be reviewed in future.

Newcastle & North Tyneside LMC chief executive Dr George Rae said he was concerned about a 'potential movement towards' PCTs placing unfair requirements on GPs to complete high levels of child protection training. 'We don't want to make it such that GPs are having to jump through hoops,' he said.

Meanwhile GPs are beginning to be put forward for the first wave of revalidation, which will run from December 2012 to March 2013. The GMC has previously said it expected 'only responsible officers (ROs) and some medical leaders' to revalidate in the first wave.

But Cambridgeshire LMC's newsletter reported 'some surprise' at the discovery that all LMC members and all appraisers had been chosen 'without their consent or knowledge'.

Likewise in Gloucestershire, the LMC revealed that all of its members, appraisers and clinical commissioning group (CCG) GPs had been put forward for the first wave.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said he had been put forward due to his role as a GP appraiser. 'Locally, all appraisers have been invited to put themselves forward, as have CCG leaders. There are also some volunteers; the members of my practice are going to be in the first wave,' Dr Vautrey said.

Other GP leaders will also be revalidated early. RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada said: 'I will be presenting my evidence for revalidation early next year and hope to be able to help test the system.'

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