In an attempt to ensure that medical revalidation is more positive and meaningful for doctors, the General Medical Council has released an action plan of six major commitments.
These milestones are to be delivered by March 2018, in the ongoing effort to improve general practice in particular.
The action plan is intended to correlate with the recommendations outlined in Sir Keith Pearson’s ‘Taking Revalidation Forward’ report.
This document was released back in January.
Responding to the text, the GMC agreed to the proposed scheme with the newly-established Revalidation Oversight Group.
Particular priorities will be reducing the burden of revalidation on doctors, tracking the impact of revalidation, supporting improved local governance, making revalidation more accessible to patients, strengthening assurance where doctors work in multiple locations and tackling the impact of revalidation.
This is intended to address a situation that has sometimes been described as a ‘postcode lottery’.
Indeed, the British Medical Association had previously urged the General Medical Council to address the current climate, and crack down on local organisations utilising revalidation in order to set extra objectives to healthcare professionals.
The BMA instead asserted that national requirements should be the foundation for daily operations.
And the GMC also indicated a willingness to collaborate with the Care Quality Commission, in an attempt to cut down the amount of duplication in GP workloads.
BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul was broadly supportive of the new initiative, calling on the General Medical Council to draw on existing documentation.
“The BMA supports the principle of revalidation. We see this action plan as an opportunity to reduce the burden that revalidation imposes on doctors. In particular, we want to see implementation of the recommendation from Sir Keith Pearson’s review that local organisations should not use revalidation as a lever to achieve objectives beyond the GMC’s revalidation requirements. We also agree with Sir Keith that doctors should be able to challenge decisions they feel are unfair.”
Nagpaul also indicated that the BMA “will continue to press the GMC and other bodies about the actions needed to relieve the unnecessary burden that revalidation can sometimes place on doctors, in order to ensure the process delivers for patients, doctors and the NHS.”
GMC chief executive Charlie Massey acknowledged that a lot of work had been done, but also stated that significant progress must be made in order to enact the recommendations of Pearson.
“This is 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.”