Revalidation questionnaire must be simpler, says GPC

GMC revalidation questionnaires will leave GPs inundated with paperwork, GPC leaders warned, as they set out a series of unresolved concerns about revalidation.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman called the 26-question revalidation questionnaires for colleague feedback, issued earlier this month by the GMC, a ‘massive paper chasing exercise’. But he said that a model being piloted in Shropshire that asks only three questions would be ‘jolly reasonable’.

Dr Buckman said the GMC revalidation questionnaire was too ‘detailed’ for GPs to answer about doctors in other sectors and warned there could be collusion if a partner asked their employers for feedback. Research on the questionnaire recommends that 15 colleagues complete it - something GPs have warned will be near impossible.

Dr Buckman said: ‘I could tell you what a surgeon’s surgery is like but I don’t know him personally to answer the other questions. If it is a GMC activity you get struck off if you lie.

‘We think there will be quite a lot of doctors spending a lot of time on this.’

He also revealed the GPC’s ongoing key concerns about revalidation, due to begin at the end of 2012, are remediation, sessional doctors gathering feedback and the problems with multi-source feedback.

‘Asking patients for feedback is something we are used to and it is OK. We are not bothered about the patient questionnaire,’ he said. But he added that a recommendation that GPs secure feedback from 35 patients could be difficult.

The GPC also has worries about the pressure on responsible officers (ROs) who could be held liable for revalidating an unfit doctor. GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘If the RO signs off someone who is unsafe and they are found to be wanting in some way that RO is in danger.

‘It is huge pressure on one individual in the local area. We need to know that they are going to be treated exactly the same.’

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