GPs to show feedback from 15 colleagues in 'unfeasible' GMC revalidation plan

Most GPs will be unable to meet a recommendation for 15 doctors to complete detailed questionnaires about their performance as part of revalidation, GP leaders have warned.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul: 'It will not be possible to have feedback from 15 doctors.' (Photograph: JH Lancy)
Dr Chaand Nagpaul: 'It will not be possible to have feedback from 15 doctors.' (Photograph: JH Lancy)
The GMC has released final versions of patient, colleague and self-assessment questionnaires for use in revalidation from late 2012.

As part of revalidation and appraisal, GPs are expected to seek feedback from colleagues and patients and show they have reflected on that feedback.

The use of the GMC questionnaires is not mandatory, but doctors who use a different feedback tool must ensure it meets GMC standards.

Colleagues are asked to rate GPs on factors including diagnosis, clinical knowledge, treatment, prescribing, time management and medical record-keeping.

Researchers at Exeter University’s Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in Devon, who helped to develop the questionnaires, said that for ‘reliable’ results, a doctor needed to obtain feedback from a minimum of 15 colleagues.

'Not feasible'
GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said this would not be feasible for most GPs.

‘The average practice has three or four GPs. Clearly it will not be possible to have feedback from 15 doctors – there will be very few GPs whose clinical skills will be known to as many as 15 colleagues,’ he warned.

The researchers also call for at least 34 patients to complete questionnaires to review their GP on areas such as politeness and how well they listen.

GPs will also be requested to assess themselves on matters such as clinical knowledge, involving patients and honesty.
Dr Nagpaul said ‘considerable concern’ remained about the workload impact of the process.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘When revalidation comes in, we will be the first nation in the world to req­uire every doctor to obtain feedback from their patients and colleagues in this way.’

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