Low approval for revalidation plans

REVALIDATION is more time-consuming and is not likely to improve patient care, according to some GPs taking part in an independent evaluation.

GPs involved in pilot programmes reported spending 50 per cent more time on appraisals while less than half (43 per cent) expected revalidation to improve quality of care or patient safety (44 per cent).

There was also scepticism over revalidation’s ability to reduce practice problems with only 19 per cent saying they expected the full roll-out of revalidation to cut clinical negligence claims, 26 per cent saying it would cut fitness to practise cases and 18 per cent saying it would cut complaints.

GPs rated the new appraisal scheme as worse than previous systems in nine out of 12 indicators, including improvements in delivery of care and identifying potential dangers to patients. More than 2,000 doctors who took part in pilots were surveyed.

In contrast to opinions from GPs, the report found that 96 per cent of organisations involved in the revalidation pilots expected revalidation to lead to improved quality of care, 82 per cent expected it to lead to improved patient safety and 80 per cent expected it to improve the patient experience.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley described the results as "encouraging".

He said: "It is essential that we work together with the medical community to have a revalidation system that is efficient, streamlined and supports high quality care. This will provide confidence to patients, doctors and the public."

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson added: "We have already streamlined the system following earlier feedback from the pilots, and this report will give us further insight as we prepare for roll out."

Appraisals will be piloted for another year and findings will be used to inform the Medical Appraisal Guide, which will provide guidance for medical appraisal.

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