New action plan to improve revalidation published
Over half of all doctors in training say they work beyond their rostered hours at least weekly, and more than a fifth claim working patterns regularly leave them short of sleep, according to the General Medical Council’s (GMC) national training surveys.
The GMC has today (Tuesday 4 July 2017) published the initial findings from its annual UK-wide surveys of more than 53,000 doctors in training and over 24,000 senior doctors who act as trainers.
"Revalidation is integral to assuring patients that we regularly confirm that a doctor remains fit to practise. Our focus now is continuing to work with other organisations, getting their feedback and input, as we act on commitments set out in this plan."
GMC Chief Executive
It details work the GMC and others will do to improve medical revalidation, making it a more positive and meaningful experience for doctors, responsible officers, patients and everyone involved.
It includes commitments, by March 2018, to:
- Provide clearer guidance for doctors and responsible officers on what is required from them for revalidation.
- Support and strengthen processes for doctors working in multiple settings, in particular across the NHS and private practice. This includes making sure appraisal covers a doctor’s whole scope of practice, that organisations are sharing relevant information, and clarifying how designated bodies are expected to support doctors.
- Offer more specific advice on how doctors should gather representative feedback from colleagues, including how those colleagues should be selected, making sure this is as robust and helpful as possible.
- Identify how to make the patient feedback process easier and more valuable, seeking feedback from doctors and patients.
- Create a simple and accessible way to explain the purpose and benefits of revalidation to patients.
- Develop a proportionate way to monitor revalidation on an ongoing basis, to make sure it continues to meet its objectives.
In addition, medical royal colleges and faculties will update their guidance on revalidation, to clarify what are GMC requirements and what are their own recommendations for best practice.
Also, the Department of Health in England will lead a review of the Responsible Officer Regulations, with a view to establishing a connection to a designated body for some groups of doctors that don’t ordinarily have one and making sure only organisations with robust governance arrangements are able to oversee a doctor’s revalidation.
GMC Chief Executive, Charlie Massey, said:
‘A lot of work has been going on in the months since the publication of and our initial response, both by the GMC and other organisations with roles in the revalidation process. We’ve held discussions with representatives of doctors, patients and other bodies who deliver revalidation across the UK, focusing on the key actions required to make improvements, without adding additional cost or burden. This plan, and the commitments in it, is the result of that initial joint work.
‘But it’s just the beginning, and it’s vital now that we maintain the momentum. We need the continued commitment from a wide range of organisations to make revalidation a better experience for doctors, especially at a time when they are under ever-increasing pressure.
‘Revalidation is integral to assuring patients that we regularly confirm that a doctor remains fit to practise. Our focus now is continuing to work with other organisations, getting their feedback and input, as we act on commitments set out in this plan.’
The Revalidation Oversight Group – successor to the Revalidation Advisory Board – is chaired by GMC Chief Executive Charlie Massey and includes representatives of all four UK health departments, the BMA, training bodies and employer and patient representatives.