Appraisal and revalidation in the time of Covid 19
Our usual service was stopped in March, on the advice of Professor Stephen Powis. All GP appraisals in England have been halted and we do not yet have a start date. We are very aware that these months have brought very different experiences to local GPs. Some have had a very hard time, and all have been affected. GP appraisal would be the natural time to reflect on these experiences but as this cannot be offered at present, we wanted to share some resources in the hope that they will help.
Firstly, please be aware of the local GP mentoring service which is running and fully open for offering help. All mentor contacts are completely confidential and are now offered by phone or by video link. It is possible to have a short contact, if that is easiest, and up to 6 hours of contact are offered. This can be extended if needed.
The GP Mentoring website has a comprehensive list of other sources of help.
We will post information about future appraisal arrangements as soon as we can.
The Appraisals Team
Telephone 01865 963811
Most queries about appraisal should be directed to your appraiser in the first instance and only queries about non allocation should come through to the office.
The Revalidation Team
Important Update 26 June 2020
Letter to all GPs, Appraisers and Appraisal Leads
Important information regarding your revalidation from your responsible officer.
As you will be already aware, on 17 March 2020, the GMC announced that it was going to change the revalidation dates of all doctors with a revalidation recommendation due before the end of September 2020. The effect has been to re-set the date for 12 months’ time.
Further to this recent communication from the GMC, the decision has been taken to continue with the pause in revalidation for those GPs due to revalidate from 01 October 2020 to 16 March 2021, also for a further year.
Those GPs who have had their revalidations pushed back due to Covid19 will be given an ‘open notice period’. This means that NHS England & NHS Improvement teams can continue to process revalidation for these GPs ahead of their new date if they are ‘revalidation ready’.
In practise, the NHS England & NHS Improvement Appraisal & Revalidation team will be reviewing the records of GPs whose revalidation date has been pushed back to ascertain whether the supporting information gathered from appraisals provides the required detail to enable a positive early recommendation by your Responsible Officer
In addition, we are writing to remind you that appraisal is currently on hold. We are awaiting the national decision confirming the date for recommencement of appraisals and will share that information with you as soon as it is available.
Therefore, there is no action for you to take at the current time in relation to your appraisal or revalidation.
We hope to be in touch soon to update in relation to appraisals. In the meantime, if you require any support in relation to your current wellbeing please contact us.
Further information can be found with the following links:
- COVID-19: General Medical Council confirms revalidation date changes
- Changes made to revalidation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Appraisal, revalidation and associated activities (compiling your portfolio, recording CPD and quality improvement, formal feedback) were suspended in March 2020, initially until end September 2020. This was to allow doctors, appraisers and the associated administrative teams to focus on clinical work and use their skills in the best way to support the Coronavirus emergency. No doctor’s licence to practise will be affected by this.
This period of revalidation suspension has been extended until 16 March 2021.
GP’s revalidation dates between 17 March 2020 and 16 March 2021 will be ‘reset’ for an additional year but will be given an ‘open notice period’
GPs on ‘open notice’ who are already ‘revalidation ready’ will continue to be processed by the Appraisal and Revalidation Team.
Appraisal is currently on hold and the team will send further details as and when available.
If you have any queries or questions regarding the information detailed within this letter, please contact your Appraisal and Revalidation Team using the email address at the top of this letter.
Dr Shahed Ahmad
Medical Director for System Improvement and Professional Standards
NHS England and NHS Improvement- South East Region
Frequently asked questions
You will be notified by automated email 90 days before your appraisal month who your appraiser is, and contact them direct, at this point you will need to log into your toolkit and match yourself to your allocated appraiser.
NHS England does not administer the CLARITY toolkit (any dates/appraisers are not put on there by the team). Any queries relating to CLARITY must be directed to their helpdesk and not to the Appraisals Team. Please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 113 7111
RMS – Sign off of appraisal
Please sign off as soon as possible after appraisal date, you will be chased by automated email until this has been completed on RMS. Please note you must upload the completed Appraisal from any of the toolkits, and complete the appraisal output summary.
Primary Care Support England
In order to make any changes to your status on the performers list, you should inform PCSE.
In 2019, all Performers Lists moved to a new online service, and can be accessed via PCSE Online. Transformation began with Ophthalmic practitioners at the end of September, followed by GPs and Dentists at the start of December.
The new online service replaced the form paper-based NPL1, NPL2 and NPL3 forms, offering new applicants and existing performers an easy to use process to join the performers list, notify PCSE of any change in circumstances and keep their information up to date.
Notice regarding feedback surveys for appraisal and revalidation
This continues to cause confusion and causes delays in the RAG being able to recommend positive revalidation recommendations, this causes distress to a fair number of GPs each month.
- Surveys should be done ideally in the third or forth year of the revalidation cycle. If done before the last appraisal before revalidation they should be timed so the result is available before the appraisal, which should itself be timed to be completed 3 months before the revalidation date. Information from surveys cannot be added after the pre-revalidation meeting and absence of this information will lead to a revalidation deferral.
- Surveys need to be validated and need to be given to all patients in sessions, and the result collated and analysed by an independent third party.
- The minimum number of responses needed for patient surveys is
- 34 for Clarity and FourteenFish
- The minimum number of responses needed for colleagues’ surveys is
- 15 for FourteenFish and Clarity
- Alternative surveys are permissible as long as they are agreed in advance by the appraiser.
- Surveys arranged and analysed “in house” in a practice are not suitable.
- Email patient surveys are suitable only if all patients seen use email and the patients selected are identified by an independent third party who gather and analyse the result.
The RO and Appraisal Leads are aware that GPs have different work environments and if a GP would find gathering data a problem please be in touch with their allocated appraiser well before the appraisal meeting for advice.
The rationale behind all this is GMC guidance:
“Those asked to give you feedback must be chosen from across your whole scope of practice. You should use standard questionnaires that have been validated and are independently administered to maintain objectivity and anonymity. You must agree any alternative approaches with your responsible officer. You should not personally select those asked to give feedback about you, and you should make sure the method used for collecting feedback allows responses to be obtained from a representative sample.”
Read about all the supporting information for appraisal and revalidation at http://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/practice/revalidation/guide-to-supporting-information-for-appraisal-and-revalidation/feedback.aspx
GP mentoring service
This GP mentoring service is for GPs in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire West. It offers free face to face mentoring and is linked to a GP career service. Access to the service is via its website where there is also a wealth of information about other sources of help for local GPs.
Responsible Officer and Appraiser Network
Responsible Officer and Appraiser Network Information Sheets. They cover a broad range of topics, from logistics to support consistency between designated bodies, clarification/promotion of existing guidance, to suggestions and resources for appraisers to offer doctors who they are appraising.
General Appraisal and Revalidation information
NHS England Guide to Revalidation
- Introduction to revalidation, plus regional contacts and informatio
- Information on revalidation, aimed at doctors
- An overview of the medical appraisal process, including information and resources to help medical appraisers carry out their roles effectively and consistently.
- Medical appraisal guide (MAG) model appraisal form
- Information on revalidation for patients and the public
- NHS England Medical Appraisal Policy and annexes
- RCGP guide to supporting information for GP appraisal and revalidation
- BMA Guide to medical appraisal
- The Good medical practice framework for appraisal and revalidation
- RMS User Guide for appraisers and appraisal leads
- Appraiser claim form 2018/19)
- Mileage claim form
- Supporting doctors who undertake a low volume of NHS General Practice clinical work form
- Structured reference for appraisal/revalidation for GPs in other roles
- Form to request the postponement of an appraisal
- Form for appealing against the allocation of a specific appraiser.
- NHS Practitioner Health service and 0300 0303 300, for doctors in England (including trainees and retired) with:common and more complex mental health conditions;
- mental health conditions relating to a physical health issue;
- substance misuse including support for community detoxification;
- rehabilitation and support to return to work after a period of mental ill-health
The service is non-acute, but they have a 24/7 crisis line – text ‘NHSPH’ to 852
BMA Wellbeing service (Tel: 0330 123 1245) offers six free counselling sessions with trained therapists and a number of other resources
Our NHS People online support for all NHS staff. This is provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with the Samaritans, through a helpline and text service, offering support and resources including coaching, bereavement care, mental health and welfare support.
Text ‘frontline’ to 85258 any time or ring 0300 131 7000 from 7am to 11pm.
Members of Medical Protection society can access six free sessions of counselling by the Independent Counselling and Advisory Services (ICAS). ICAS offers telephone counselling and face-to-face counselling sessions. Call ICAS on 0808 189 4385 and quote your MPS membership number to book.