With the General Medical Council (GMC) set to introduce revalidation at the end of this year, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) are divided on whether GPs should take part in enhanced appraisals to prepare for the launch.
Under the new regulation regime, licensed doctors will be required to undergo regular appraisals and maintain a portfolio of supporting information to show that they continue to meet the required principles and values.
Based on this evidence, a recommendation will be made to the GMC, normally every five years, regarding whether the doctor is fit to practice and so should have their licence revalidated.
According to the RCGP validation lead, Professor Mike Pringle, GPs should use this year’s appraisal process to get ready for validation. However, the GPC has advised doctors against participating in enhanced appraisals until it becomes clear who will fund the costs of remediation for doctors who fail to have their licence revalidated.
Indeed, following a report by the Department of Health showing that “nearly 50 percent of PCTs may ask a doctor to make a financial contribution and a third reported they sometimes expected doctors to meet the entire cost” for current remedial work, a survey of 200 GPs found that over two-thirds (68 percent) felt they should not be required to pay.
According to Dr Laurence Buckmann, GPC chairman, forcing GPs to fund these costs would result in many early retirements.
Talks to resolve these issues are ongoing and we will, of course, keep you updated with the latest developments.