GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said the problem had arisen because there was no national agreement in England over how appraisers should be paid, although funding for appraisees is included in global sums.
He warned that any demand for GPs to pay their own appraisers would lead to doubts over the objectivity of their assessment. Dr Meldrum has protested to the DoH.
‘The DoH is in agreement with us that PCTs have an obligation to provide a funded system of appraisal for doctors,’ he said. ‘If we let one PCT get away with this, others may try it — hopefully we can nip it in the bud.’
Meanwhile, BMA Scotland announced last week it had negotiated improvements to contracts for GP appraisers and appraisal advisers, although the changes have yet to be formally ratified by NHS Education for Scotland.
The new deal includes terms and conditions linked to those for hospital career grade doctors, additional holiday entitlement, better access to sick pay and maternity pay provisions, and a link to sessional GP pay scales.