GPSIs put off by 'PCT accreditation'

The new accreditation system for GPSIs in England will put many GPs off training for a specialty, the GPC has warned.

Dr David Colin-Thome
Dr David Colin-Thome

The system, launched by the DoH earlier this month, aims to bring all GPSIs up to a single national standard (National plan for standard GPSI accreditation - GP, 4 May).

But individual PCTs will make the final decision on whether to accredit GPs in their area. As a result, GPs fear that PCT commissioning, rather than national standards, will count most for GPSI accreditation.

Under the system, GPs must attend an RCGP-approved course and prove their commitment to the specialty and their generalist position, before a panel at the local PCT decides whether the GP and their service should be accredited.

DoH national clinical director of primary care Dr David Colin-Thomé, who was involved in drawing up the plans, admitted that passing GPSI accreditation in one PCT did not mean automatic GPSI status in other PCTs.

‘It's not a portable degree,' he said. ‘We want PCTs to take the responsibility, but often the DoH can provide the framework.'

GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘There is certainly the opportunity for PCTs to do different things as to how they operate it. It's likely to put off significant numbers of GPs from becoming GPSIs.'

At a time when the DoH is shifting work into primary care, he said this was a ‘major barrier' to developing GPSIs to do the work.

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