No need for 360-degree checks yet, RCGP says

RCGP says current tools for 360-degree evaluation of GPs are below par and should not be used.

Professor Mike Pringle (Photograph:David Solomons)

GPs amassing evidence for their e-portfolio in advance of revalidation need not include 360-degree feedback yet, the college's revalidation lead has advised.

Only the GMC multi-source feedback (MSF) questionnaire has so far been passed as suitable and the RCGP has serious reservations about its current form.

Until more questionnaires have been designed that map to the GMC's standards, there is no need for GPs outside pilots to do MSF, says Professor Mike Pringle.

'We are not advising GPs to rush out and do an MSF. It will not be needed until year two of the full five-year cycle.'

The college says the last question in the current GMC 360-degree questionnaire is 'not useful'. It asks: 'Do you believe that this doctor is fit to practise?'

Gwent GP Dr Mike Griffiths, an appraiser for the Wales deanery, said the GMC tool was still 'way off'.

'It asks very, very direct questions. It is exceedingly judgmental and too many responses are required. I have nothing against multi-source feedback handled appropriately but this tool is still way off,' he said.

All other surveys failed in a review by the RCGP. Now suppliers are developing new questionnaires.

A 360-degree survey for sessional GPs is being developed at the RCGP's test site in Scotland.

'Our intention is to provide the marketplace with a number of suppliers of systems that meet the GMC's requirements,' Professor Pringle said.

The RCGP is overseeing the development of 360-degree questionnaires but the GMC will finally sanction the approved models.

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