'Anti-GP bias' in revalidation survey

Surveys used in revalidation may be biased against GPs and may not accurately reflect their performance, research commissioned by the GMC has found.

Mr Dickson: 'care needed' (Photograph: C Renton)
Mr Dickson: 'care needed' (Photograph: C Renton)

Researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, which carried out the research, found that specific groups of doctors fared worse in patient and colleague feedback surveys.

Worse patient feedback scores were associated with factors including doctors being trained outside Europe.

Colleague feedback was worse for doctors including those trained outside the UK and south Asia; doctors working as a locum, as a GP or psychiatrist; and for those with few colleagues reporting frequent contact with them.

The researchers warned 'caution is necessary when considering patient and colleague feedback regarding doctors' professionalism'.

Study lead Professor John Campbell said until the results of all doctors' patient and colleague surveys are analysed a comprehensive view of their potential benefits and concerns cannot be obtained.

He said colleague surveys were an important element of revalidation. 'What we have is a developing story which will lead to a more robust questionnaire process in time,' he said.

'The main message from our findings is one of caution - that the public, the regulator and the medical profession must be careful about how the results of such questionnaires are used.'

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson agreed that the research shows the results of patient and colleague surveys should be 'treated with care'.

He said: 'Being aware of how patients and colleagues view your practice is important for every doctor but it is only one part of the supporting information that doctors will bring to their appraisals.

'It will be considered alongside all the other information about a doctor's practice and is not something which you can "pass" or "fail".

'It assesses an individual doctor's strengths and areas for development to help them improve their practice - it is not a way of comparing doctors with one another.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

The government must scrap its high-risk ‘rule of six’ and introduce more stringent...

Average GP practice list tops 9,000 after 30% rise in seven years

Average GP practice list tops 9,000 after 30% rise in seven years

The average GP practice list has risen beyond 9,000 patients for the first time after...

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

Medical Protection's Dr Clare Devlin offers advice on how GPs should respond to parents...

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on COVID-19 risk assessments unless practices are guaranteed...

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs leading primary care networks (PCNs) have called for the partial suspension of...

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

The government has raised the UK's COVID-19 alert level to four amid reports that...