Revalidation is in 'implementation phase', says GMC

Revalidation is now in its 'implementation phase' and should not be held back by a shortage of funding, the GMC has said.

Mr Dickson: Revalidation should go ahead despite less resources
Mr Dickson: Revalidation should go ahead despite less resources

A trust in Northern Ireland recently became the first in the UK to appoint a responsible officer (RO), the senior doctors who will act as a link between local healthcare organisations and the GMC.

In a joint statement of intent, the GMC and the four UK health departments confirmed revalidation will be implemented from ‘late 2012’.

GP revealed this month that RCGP revalidation lead Mike Pringle feared this could slip into 2013.

The statement comes as a GMC report on responses to its revalidation consultation revealed a number of concerns.

The GMC said the vast majority of respondents support the overall approach, but admitted ‘more work needs to be done’ to ensure revalidation works in practice.

Less than half of respondents thought the supporting information proposed for specialty frameworks was practicable or proportionate.

Just 48% agreed with GMC plans for patient and public involvement in ROs’ recommendations and quality assurance.

But two-thirds backed patient involvement through questionnaire feedback and the GMC process for tackling concerns about a doctor’s practice.

Respondents also raised concerns about conflict of interest issues around the appointment of ROs, and called for more safeguards to check RO powers, the GMC said.

The GMC plans to streamline and review revalidation plans to ensure they are feasible, proportionate and cost-effective. It will undertake an analysis of the cost and benefits of the process before it is rolled out.

GMC chief executive Mr Niall Dickson said: ‘We recognise that the health service is heading for choppier waters, with less new resources than it has been used to. ‘That for us is not a reason for not going ahead,’ he said.

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