BMA warns revalidation for GPs unlikely to begin this year

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum has questioned whether revalidation would be able to meet its current timetable and start later this year.

Dr Meldrum: ‘We are sceptical that the climate is right for revalidation to succeed'
Dr Meldrum: ‘We are sceptical that the climate is right for revalidation to succeed'

Dr Meldrum warned in a letter to the DH that the lack of progress on a number of issues affecting revalidation led the BMA to question 'whether the current timetable can be met'.

Dr Meldrum said that following the Health and Social Care Act it was still unclear who would provide the responsible officer function for GPs once PCTs have been abolished, or who would provide the relevant outcomes data on GP performance.

He said it was also unclear whether GPs would be provided with the extra resources and time that they would need to complete the revalidation process.

‘We therefore are sceptical that the climate is right for revalidation to succeed, both in terms of providing assurance to patients but also in being sufficiently robust to identify developmental opportunities for doctors,’ Dr Meldrum said.

In the letter Dr Meldrum also warned the DH that many employers were not ready to support revalidation. He said that PCTs were preparing for revalidation in ‘an inconsistent fashion’, with some implementing requirements that were not based on GMC guidance.

He added that despite general agreement that the proposed arrangements for locum doctors were inadequate, there were still concerns about how locum doctors would be able to gather enough information for revalidation.

Dr Meldrum concluded: ‘All of these issues are fundamental to the successful introduction of revalidation and the lack of progress on them leads us to question whether the current timetable can be met.’

Dr Meldrum said that he intended to raise the issues at a UK Revalidation Programme Board meeting.

A DH spokeswoman said: 'We will respond to Dr Meldrum's letter in due course. We will continue to work with the BMA so we create a revalidation system that is efficient, streamlined and supports high quality care.'

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