Lords approve legal framework for revalidation

The House of Lords has passed regulations to allow PCTs to appoint responsible officers (ROs), the senior doctors who will lead revalidation.

Baroness Thornton: concerns that the regulations say PCTs and SHAs should appoints ROs, depsite their imminent abolition (Photograph: Dept of Health)
Baroness Thornton: concerns that the regulations say PCTs and SHAs should appoints ROs, depsite their imminent abolition (Photograph: Dept of Health)

The regulations were approved despite fears they would not be fit for purpose in a reformed NHS.

Labour peer Baroness Thornton raised concerns that the regulations say PCTs and SHAs should appoint ROs, despite their imminent abolition.

She also asked how the DoH would ensure revalidation advice from ROs did not become 'tools of managers and trust management agendas'.

Meanwhile, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a crossbench peer, said requiring ROs to have five years' experience as doctors was insufficient. 'It is not until someone has been practising for about 15 years that they have accrued enough wisdom to be able to take on what will be a very onerous and potentially important role,' she warned.

But Liberal Democrat peer Lord Alderdice warned that further delays in passing the regulations could hold revalidation back until 2014 or 2015.

Health minister Lord Howe agreed it was vital to introduce the RO role now. 'Medical leadership and stability are needed if organisations are going to be ready for revalidation when it starts,' he said.

'The regulations will in due course need to reflect the changes in NHS architecture, should those be agreed by parliament,' he added. 'We will consult on options for responsible officers in primary care.'

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