High GP appraisal rates fail to prevent revalidation deferral

More than nine out of 10 GPs underwent appraisal in 2012/13 compared with around two thirds of other doctors, but the profession remains marginally more likely to have revalidation deferred.

Appraisal: GPs more likely to have completed appraisal than other doctors
Appraisal: GPs more likely to have completed appraisal than other doctors

A total of 90.3% of GPs in England underwent appraisal in 2012/13, compared with 75% of consultants and 60.7% of specialist doctors in hospitals. The figures appear in Readiness Self-Assessment Report 2012/13, published by the NHS Revalidation Support Team on 25 October.

But revalidation has been deferred for 10.1% of GPs compared with 9.8% of other doctors, latest GMC data show. A total of 979 GPs in the UK have had their revalidation date deferred and 8,678 have been revalidated, as of 14 October.

Both the RCGP and the GPC have called for a standard GP appraisal system to help reduce GP deferrals.

RCGP revalidation lead Professor Nigel Sparrow has warned that confusion over different appraisal systems could be leading responsible officers to take a more cautious approach with GPs than other types of doctor.

GPC revalidation lead Dr Dean Marshall told GP he was shocked at the high GP deferral rate because GPs already faced annual appraisals before revalidation was introduced last December.

NHS England’s deputy medical director Mike Bewick said: ‘Although overall appraisal rates have increased significantly over the past two years, reported appraisal rates for consultants and staff and associate specialists doctors in the acute hospital sector are unacceptable and require urgent attention.

'Every healthcare organisation, responsible officer and doctor has a role to play in improving these rates, with support from regulators and commissioners.’

The report covered 161,453 doctors in England, including 41,872 GPs.

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