Revalidation is '98% sure to go ahead'

RCGP revalidation lead Professor Mike Pringle says he is '98 per cent confident' revalidation will go ahead under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Professor Pringle: commitment is there (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
Professor Pringle: commitment is there (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

His comments came after the GMC revealed plans to simplify the revalidation appraisal process and review the amount of supporting evidence doctors are required to produce.

Professor Pringle said commitment 'was there' from health secretary Andrew Lansley. But he said: 'Until the final green light is given I can't be absolutely sure. But I am 98 per cent confident. I am pretty certain that it will go ahead.'

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said the council plans to review how much supporting information will be required for each specialty.

Doctors may only be required to provide multi-source feedback from colleagues once rather than twice every five years.

Professor Pringle said he 'strongly' supported the GMC's decision.

RCGP revalidation pilots have highlighted that doctors have to do a significant amount of extra work for the colleague surveys, he said.

The RCGP is also looking 'very seriously' at cutting the number of patient surveys required for revalidation from two every five years to one.

'Those are the areas we need to look at to see if we can simplify them to ensure it involves the least amount of work and effort,' said Professor Pringle.

Fewer patient and colleague surveys would also reduce doctors' costs, he added.

Pilot schemes had shown much of the other material required for appraisal was easily available to doctors with 'very little extra effort', he said. 'The lesson we have learned is we are on the right track. It's very doable. A lot of the doctors had the information that we are asking for.'

Meanwhile, Professor Pringle welcomed a statement from Mr Lansley's that regulations for responsible officers would go before parliament 'shortly'.

He said the legislation was likely to allow responsible officers to transfer to GP consortia once PCTs were scrapped under plans set out in the White Paper Liberating the NHS.

 Click here to view health White Paper 2010 news and analysis

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