What do we need to do?
Medical revalidation in the UK started in late 2012. All doctors wishing to hold a licence to practise must take part in revalidation and all organisations providing healthcare have a legal responsibility under The Medical Profession (Responsible Officer) Regulations 2010 and The Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 to support their doctors throughout the process.
Guidance for leaders
The GMC has a section for employers on their website, which includes:
- A guide to revalidation for NHS leaders in England (published 13 July 2011 by the GMC, Department of Health, Revalidation Support Team and NHS Employers)
- A guide for independent sector leaders in England (published 18 October 2011)
- A Revalidation Guide for Boards
The General Medical Council (GMC); Care Quality Commission (CQC); Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) have written to the chairs, chief executives of regulated designated bodies to draw their attention to their Board’s statutory responsibilities to ensure all doctors are keep up to date and remain fit to practise. Effectively board members should:
- monitor the frequency and quality of medical appraisals in their organisations
- check there are effective systems in place for monitoring the conduct and performance of their doctors
- confirm that feedback from patients is sought periodically so that their views can inform the appraisal and revalidation process for their doctors.
Checklist for employers
NHS Employers has created a checklist for employers, which provides a useful outline of items to consider, including pre-employment processes, contracts, action plans and capacity considerations.
Suggestions for support
Employers could also start to think about other ways they could support the revalidation process. For example, to help preparation for revalidation, a GP practice could:
- Develop a system to catalogue data from clinical audit – perhaps a shared folder for the doctors to access. If doctors within a practice are encouraged to communicate about audits and other information, this will help to avoid duplication. Are clinical audits being written up and is there any support that can be given?
- Encourage and facilitate doctors to keep up with their continuous professional development and put them in touch with educational events and learning groups
- Hold regular meetings to discuss significant events
- Contact the appraisers and liaise with them to arrange appraisals
- Enable locum doctors working at the practice to join in with meetings and discussions, have access to educational sessions and conduct clinical audits